Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chicagoland: Dodge teams race quotes

Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Finished 8th

How was your day? "We would have been alright if I hadn't brushed the wall. We never could get track position for our alltel Mobil 1 Dodge after that. We just weren't any good on the restarts. We had a good car and good stops all day. We just weren't in the right spot at the end.

What are you doing on the off weekend? "We're going camping. We're going to get some fresh air and get away from things and relax."


Bobby Labonte (No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Charger) Finished 20th

Comment on your day today: "We were tight all day, tight all day, tight all day. We got a little better during the race, but couldn't adjust enough to get where we needed to be. Sometimes you just can't adjust enough on your car to make it right."

How was the track? "The track is really getting good. We could run high or low. I think it will keep getting better and make this an exciting place to race. I just wish we ran faster on it today."


Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger), Finished 12th

How was your day? "It was a good day for the Target team. We had a solid top-15 car all day and this is definitely the kind of finish we need after the last few races.

"I thought we would be able to move up in the closing laps by taking four at the end, but we kept getting caught behind lapped cars on the restart. Still, it was a good day and I'm looking forward to Indy in a couple of weeks."



What happened with your car today? "Well, we thought we had a really good run today. We just kept creeping up on them and kept creeping up on the set-up. Starting 43rd we just had to take our time and really put a maneuverable set-up on the car -- one that could go low and one that could go high. It turned out really positive. The team had good pit stops. We thought we had a top five and ended up sixth."

What happened that forced you to change the engine? "We had something internally like a freeze plug come over and plug up the screen where, or I think it was the plug out of the back of the cam shaft. So you have to have oil pressure when you run. That is what took us out. It was unfortunate that we didn't even make a lap with it, but we had to start at the back and work our way forward. Those are the rules and that is what we did."

How difficult mentally to know that you have to go to the rear of the field? "You know that you have to stay on pace and take your time. You could have a bad pit stop at the beginning of the race and have to go to the back so. "

This team has had a lot of momentum the last few weeks. How far away is a top five? "It's just right around the corner. Daytona was a great race for us and we lead a lot of laps. We will roll over to Indy -- I got a good Dodge for that race track. It's big Miller Lite country there so we are looking forward to it."

What does the team do keep the momentum during the off week? "The guys will be doing pit stop practice but we do need a weekend off. These guys need to relax, take their time and spend some time with their families because that is important. It gives us extra time for the guys at the shop to build on that Indy car and make it a little faster."

Have you ever seen a team that fights back so hard like this? "It feels good. You don't know when things are going to go your way. You don't know when things are going to go against you. You just try to hunker down and keep things on a level field and never give up."


Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger), Finished 33rd

Talk about your day today: "We put ourselves in a hole when we wrecked our primary car at the end of practice yesterday. It's tough when you've got to race a car that you haven't practiced. The guys worked really hard to get this one ready for us by morning.

"We struggled with the handling from the start and then got into the wall a little and that knocked the toe out. Once we got that fixed we were several laps down so we just used the last part of the race as a test. Ray (Evernham) tried out a few changes and we got the car the best it had been all race. Having him on the box is great - he really understands the car and is focused on how we can make them better."


David Stremme (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) Finished 34th

What happened out there today? "It was a challenging day today. The car wasn't bad early on and we didn't make any changes at the start. I thought we had a decent car at that point to tell you the truth. But we fell two laps down and then got a drive-through penalty following a restart and that pretty much ended our chances for a strong finish today. I think we may have dropped a cylinder at the end which forced us to the garage."


Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger), Finished 32nd

Talk about your day: "We missed on the set-up early in the race and got a lap down. That put us in a difficult situation which we could never overcome. I could not carry speed through the corners. As the race progressed, we turned our focus to trying a wide range of adjustments that would give us the grip that was missing. That required time in the pits which costs you laps. It wasn't the kind of performance we were looking for. The crew did a good job on pit road and by the end of the race, we were able to get in the corners better and still keep the back of the car hooked up with the track. We'll keep working and figure this out."


Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Wrigley Big Red Dodge Charger) Finished 15th

How did pit stops affect your car? "When we would stop on the green, it was really good. I could run really strong but every time we would pit on the yellow we would get really tired. We tried to free it up all day long but we didn't catch it up enough. We still had a really great result. The car is in one piece so I'm really happy.

It seemed like your car ran better the longer the race went on? "It was good. We did maybe one wrong change but the rest were pretty good."

How much have you learned about these kinds of cars in the year since you announced your move at Chicago? "A lot. I feel like I've learned about 40 percent of what I have to learn, but I still think I'm miles off. I think that my pay is pretty decent. I think I can run good but I think we still, as a team, need to understand what I like and I just need more experience working with Donnie and stuff like that."

Is the hard part just learning how to be patient? "No. I just think it's about racing smart. It's not about patience. You take what you can take. There's some places you can't take and have to race smart more than being patient."

Are you looking forward to Indy? "I guess, yes."


John Andretti (No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge Charger) Finished 18th

How was your race? "I was really happy. I think we started and finished good. We finished on a lead lap, and made up some spots at the end. I'm really proud of the whole team. I'm excited and I hate to leave."

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