Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger), Finished 25th
What happened with your car today? “We were loose from the time we got here. Today, we started off loose and just never could get the car to handle. Toward the end, the front end starting bouncing and we couldn’t get any grip on the track. It was a frustrating today. We ran in the top 15 part of the day but just couldn’t hang on to that track position. We did everything we could to not go a lap down, and the guys made some good calls on pit road to help that. But we couldn’t gain many spots on the racetrack with the way our car was handling.”
Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Avenger) Finished 10th
What happened with the air hose? “I guess they didn’t get the hose pulled back across the car and it got caught in the front of the car. We snagged it and that was pretty much the end of it. That was a penalty. That cost us a lot of track position. That cost us a good top-five finish and potentially a shot at winning the race.
Was today a good example of NASCAR as a team sport? “Obviously. I said today the best place to pass guys today was on pit road and I guess we got passed on that one.
Comment on your car today? “I thought it was really good. It was a top-five race car. We came out of the pits today with two tires at that point along with some other guys. We had a good top-five car and we lost track position. It’s so hard to get it back here, especially with how the racetrack runs and having to pass the lapped cars.
Bobby Labonte (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Avenger) Finished 18th
Comment on your day today: “Tight. We were tight all day out there. Just too tight. Seems like we got back there in the back and could never go forward enough to make any headway. We didn’t do two tires, which was okay. Our car was just too tight. We just rode in the same place most of the day.
What happened in the incident with Stremme? “We all checked up. We all checked up and I hit him. I was trying to slow down.”
Robbie Loomis, Petty Enterprises
Did you see what happened with David Stremme? “I didn’t see what happened. I’m not sure if it was us or the No. 9. Somebody checked up up ahead and I think everybody checked up and it was a chain reaction. If it was us that hit Stremme we feel sorry about that and hate that we hit him. He’s a good guy.”
David Stremme (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Avenger) Finished 27th
What happened out there today? “I don’t know. It felt like the 43 ran us over. We were having alternator problems all day. We had to run with a lot of the switches off and no blowers, which made for a long day. It’ll be interesting to see what he says. I think I just got run over. They stacked up in front of us and there wasn’t much we could do.”
Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge Avenger), Finished 26th
How was your day? “It wasn’t very good. We just didn’t have any front grip all day. Starting out we had some rubbers in our shock bumpers melt down, I guess, so we had to change the shocks and went a lap down. Got a lot back there at the end but we were way too tight. That’s about all we could do today.
Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger), Finished 33rd
Talk about your day today: “We were struggling with the handling of our Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger from the get go. It got tighter and tighter and we started to chatter the front tires as the race went on. Josh (Team Director Josh Browne) made big changes when we hit pit road, but the car just never really responded. Once you get more than one lap down there is hardly any way to make the lap up. We tried to short pit at one point and just narrowly missed the caution falling at the right time to get back to one lap down. The guys on pit road did a good job, but it just wasn’t our day.”
Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Avenger) Finished 19th
What was the problem today? “I don’t know, balance. The car started really good and we tried to fix it all day. We threw everything at it and it just got worse all day long. We started with a top-five car and finished with a top-20 car. I think we made progress from where we were before with the COT but it still shows we have a long way to go. I think the short runs we were really good. Long runs we were not strong as we need to be. Got some more season points and that’s important.”
Were you having trouble getting the car to cut through the center of the corner? “Yeah, it just wouldn’t turn. And every time we made it turn I couldn’t get out of the corner it was so loose.”
Was the cool temperature today a factor? “I wouldn’t think. It should have made the car a little bit more drivable but it didn’t.”
John Andretti (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Avenger) Finished 42nd
Comment on the engine problem: “We had an engine problem. Until they pull it apart we don’t know what exactly happened. It’s unfortunate, we had a pretty good car after about five or six laps. I couldn’t get going on starts but then I could get going. I was pretty happy with the Wells Fargo Dodge. I just kept working my way on up through. I got caught behind one guy for a lot of laps.”
How was it to be back behind the wheel of a Cup car? “It was fun, it was a lot of fun. I wish it could have been a little different and that we had different results but it was fun.”