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NASCAR Winston Cup Series DieHard 500: Post-Race Quotes (Chevy Drivers)

13 October 1997

NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Chevrolet Race Quotes
DieHard 500
Talladega Superspeedway
October 12, 1997

TALLADEGA, AL - The following provided by Chevrolet Motor Division, General
Motors Corporation Public Relations:

WALLY DALLENBACH (#46 First Union Monte Carlo) - Started 24th, finished 41st -
NOTE: Dallenbach competed in his first race with new crew chief Terry Shirley.
He spun on lap 99 bringing out the second caution of the race. - "It was fun
while it lasted. The guys did a great job, and the car was awesome. I just got
in a deal on the backstretch and got the left-side tires in the grass when I
went to pull out on the 21 (Michael Waltrip) car. He moved down and I moved
further and I was in the grass, and these cars don't like the grass too much.
I tried to keep it straight for as long as I could. I was in the grass, but
then I hit the service road and it wasn't straight and that's when it moved me
back up on the race track. Everybody was feeling pretty racy out there, but it
was clean. We've worked hard all year, and I think we showed 'em we can run up
front today. We've just got to get this monkey off our back. It's a gamble. Do
you try to stay out there, come in and just change tires and go back out or do
you come right in and lose a lap? If I'm a lap down, I don't want to be out
there. That ain't no fun. We tried staying out and blew the tires and then
tore the car up."
JEFF GORDON (#24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) - Started 8th,
finished 35th - Was involved in multi-car accident on lap 140. - "I felt the
left rear go just before it turned sideways. I tried to save it, and I got
into the 98. The left rear tire blew. It's pretty obvious. You can look at the
left rear and see it shredded. I don't know if I had some contact or what.
It's pretty unfortunate. A lot of cars are torn up. This is exactly what we
didn't need today. You've got to have all four tires on these things. I felt
it get squirrelly. I didn't think it was like somebody had hit me. I tried to
gather it up. I knew right then something was wrong with the left rear. That's
the last thing you want to have happen to you in the middle of a pack like
STERLING MARLIN (#4 Kodak Gold Film Monte Carlo) - Started 30th, finished 38th
- Was involved in multi-car accident on lap 140. - "They just kept cutting
each other off. I'll call it like I see it. It looked like the 98 (John
Andretti) and 24 (Jeff Gordon) were going down the straightaway straight. The
24 swerved over and hit the 98 and got 'em both a little wiggly. The 24
overcorrected and hung me in the right rear and turned us both in the wall and
started a big wreck. There was nothing I could do, nothing. You don't expect
to wreck on the straightaway but we did again. It's unfortunate. We'd been
pretty good all day and had led. They missed two or three wrecks today. It's a
deal where you get up to somebody's door and they just hang a left on you.
Sometimes you can get out of the gas quick enough, but most of the time you
can't. That's what happens here."
DARRELL WALTRIP (#17 Parts America Monte Carlo) - Started 33rd, finished 37th
- Was involved in multi-car accident on lap 140 - "I saw absolutely nothing
when it happened, but for 140 laps I've been seeing that happen. I just didn't
know when. It's just not any fun doing this. It's tough. You get five wide
down the straightaway and guys are changing lanes like it's five o'clock
traffic. You're at the mercy of somebody letting somebody else in. The first
time somebody doesn't, you can have a wreck anywhere. I had a great car and I
got screwed up on the start and lost the lead pack. That was the bottom line
to that. From there on I was OK, but I didn't like where I was. There was
nothing I could do. I was just bouncing off stuff like a ping pong ball."
STEVE GRISSOM (#41 Kodiak Monte Carlo) - Started 22nd, finished 32nd - Was
involved in multi-car accident on lap 140. - "It's a tough deal. You work hard
all day long, but if you're not there at the end of the race it doesn't
matter. You've got to be patient and get yourself in the right position. I
didn't see what happened. All I saw was a lot of smoke and dirt. Somebody got
sideways up front and pretty much blocked the track from there. We were toward
the back of that pack. You try to get slowed down. From that, we were still
going straight and somebody came from the right side and got us. From that, we
went spinning and the front end got into the outside wall. We slid down the
banking and got hit again. Some chances were taken and some people got away
with it. It's just the way it goes sometimes."
GREG SACKS (#40 Coors Light Monte Carlo) - Started 28th, finished 39th - Was
involved in multi-car accident on lap 140 - "I saw all the cars spinning up
front and Jeff go flying across the track. Why I don't know. I rode back in
the ambulance with Jeff and Sterling and they each had their own opinion. Jeff
thought his left rear tire went down. I was in the middle of the three-wide
situation as it was. I checked up and hoped for the best. I came through a few
and then it started happening. It was a shame. I had a great day. I'm happy
about today. Mike Hillman and the Coors Light team gave me a great car. I'm
disappointed that we couldn't have gone the last 40 laps to the end. We had a
car that could compete for the win. I'm going to win the next three races.
We're not going out of here with our tail between our legs. We're going out of
here pumped up and ready to go get 'em next week. We were good in practice
Saturday. I made two 15- or 20-lap runs and put it away with half an hour to
KEN SCHRADER (#33 Skoal Bandit Monte Carlo) - Started 14th, finished 4th - "It
just wasn't good enough. I knew I was in trouble and I looked back and saw two
teammates and two brothers. It didn't look real good. When Andretti came back
up there, I thought I had something going. It's not that I wanted to make a
move with 10 (laps) to go. It was just that Andretti was going to go. I could
either make my move and have him behind me pushing me or I could be following.
It's nice to work with the fastest car. I figured if it came down to Terry or
I, Bobby had to go with Terry. I've had good runs at Daytona, so I'm happy
about finishing in the top-five today. The Daytona 500 will be huge next
season for me. Our car didn't fall off at all today. The handling stayed good
all day."
DALE EARNHARDT (#3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) - Started 12th,
finished 29th - Was involved in multi-car accident on lap 140. - "The 98 (John
Andretti) and 24 (Jeff Gordon) got together. I think the 24 cut a tire, but
I'm not sure. He came off the wall and came down. I went down and he clipped
me and turned me around and I started spinning down. If I could have spun
straight I wouldn't have hit anything. I think they need to evaluate these
restrictor-plate races and do something."
RICKY CRAVEN (#25 Budweiser Monte Carlo) - Started 15th, finished 6th - "I
guess Jeff (Gordon) cut a tire down. I thought he had it saved. I was right
behind him, and he was working pretty hard to save it. It was too tight of
quarters. It's typical Talladega. It only takes one little bobble or problem.
You can't avoid it. I thought we had a shot at 'em, but I was pushing the
train instead of pulling it. You need to be leading to have a shot. Whoever
was leading the second group would have had a shot, but I was the meat in the
sandwich. Terry (Labonte) and I could have worked together, but there's only
so much you can do being in that position."
MIKE SKINNER (#31 Lowe's Monte Carlo) - Started 16th, finished 33rd - "We had
the best race car on the track I think. They told me to follow Dale Jarrett,
that I'd learn a lot. I came off the corner and hit him in the back and pushed
him up both straightaways. That RCR restrictor-plate Chevrolet was pretty
stout today. I've got some busted ribs, but we'll be all right come
Rockingham. They'll heal by then."