DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 2nd) WHAT ABOUT THE FINISH? "That's two weeks in a row we've had some good fortune. I wish that caution would have come a little bit earlier. You don't want to see anyone have bad luck, but our car was ...
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 2nd)
WHAT ABOUT THE FINISH? "That's two weeks in a row we've had some good fortune. I wish that caution would have come a little bit earlier. You don't want to see anyone have bad luck, but our car was great the first half of the race. I mean, it was just incredible. I guess we'll go back over it and see exactly what may have created the push that I picked up. It got a little bit worse and worse and then it got to where it was a plow instead of a push. We did nothing to create that as far as making adjustment. Whether the track changed that much or not, I don't know, but that put us in a position there at the end when the caution did come out. Todd said, 'We're gonna come and we're gonna get four tires,' and I was all for that. I knew my car was fast for a few laps like that right on the bottom. Knowing those guys had as many laps as what they had on their tires, I felt if I didn't get held up I would have a chance. I needed one more corner, that's all I needed. My car was so much faster through the corners than what their's were with those tires. That would have been all I needed, but we came up a little short. Still, it was a good run for us."
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST DASH? "Usually in a situation like that you have a big wreck, so you had to kind of figure that may happen but it didn't. Especially when you had a lot of cars on old tires sliding around, but we were fortunate to be able to get right on the yellow line on the bottom. That was the key for us. Nobody else, even the guys that got two tires, they couldn't keep their cars down there, so mine would just dig right there. Like I said, I might have had a chance at the 17. The 12, when I started by him going down the backstretch, he moved down -- which he should -- to try to block me and that got me to where I didn't have a good angle into turn three to where I might have been able to make a real run to try to maybe get to Matt's right rear or something like that -- to get him slowed down a little bit. Still, it was just a great day. When you have a three or four lap shootout, you never know what's gonna happen. I was just glad I was the one with four tires."
WERE FOUR TIRES THE KEY DECISION OF THE DAY? "Yeah, that was the key decision. I understand guys wanting to get track position by getting two tires, but if you're gonna come down pit road at that time, I think four tires -- obviously, it's easy to say now -- but I never even questioned when Todd said four. I knew that's what I wanted. If he would have said two, we would have had a little discussion, but my feelings were the same and that was the key to our day and being able to finish second."
WERE THEY STICKERS OR SCUFFS? "They were stickers. That works best here. That's what we qualify on and everything. The one thing we did right there was normally, if we were looking at a full 50-lap run, we'd start the air pressure down. They pumped the air up in them to where they would be like after eight or 10 laps. We didn't have that much time to wait so that was a good call on Todd's part."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RED FLAG AT THE END OF A RACE? "I certainly liked it today. There have been days that I haven't been a big fan of it -- like that night at Richmond the first time it was ever done, I think. I have mixed feelings there. I know the fans come to see a finish and look at an exciting race. They come to watch us run 190 miles an hour here and not to go across there at 60 miles an hour under the caution. But I think it pretty much looks like NASCAR has made it a policy. If they have the opportunity to throw the red to give us a green finish, then that's what they're gonna do. So, as long as they're consistent with it, it doesn't really matter to me which way we do it as long as we're consistent."
YOU THOUGHT THIS TURNAROUND WOULD TAKE A LOT LONGER. "That shows you exactly what I know. You all might be sitting here writing something that's not even anywhere close to being write if you're writing what I'm saying, but there have been a couple of key things. First, Robert Yates -- not that he doesn't spend a lot of time at the shop anyway -- but his time is spent between the 28, the 88 and the Busch car before. It's hard to have him in all the places at one time, but he's a huge factor in making our race teams work.
"He came in and we talked. Todd, Robert, Doug and myself, and we discussed what we needed to do and what was gonna make our cars better for the time being and then we would look down the road at what we needed to continue to do. I knew this was a good car. I had no idea it was gonna be this good, but, hopefully, we can build some more like it. It's nice that it's happened this quickly. This gives us a chance to get ourselves back into the top 10 in the points and be able to race from there the rest of the year, so, hopefully, this is something we can continue."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 3rd)
WHAT DID YOU THINK AT THE END OF THE RACE. DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD END UP IN VICTORY LANE? "We were close, no doubt. We had an opportunity at the end to hang it all out for three laps and see what happens. I had a run on Matt getting into one. I didn't think it was gonna stick, but I tried it anyway just for the sake of doing it, and that cost myself a little bit coming off two and that's when Dale got by me going down into three. Overall, it was a good day for the ALLTEL Ford. I really enjoy driving this race track. You can race three or four wide and draft down the straightaways. There's a lot of strategy in your mind as far as what to do and how to present the race car to the race track. It's just fun to be here."
JARRETT -- DO YOU EXPECT A RED FLAG AT THE END? "I think by what we've seen, they've been pretty consistent with it. I mean, if it happens with two laps to go, there's not much that you can do there. There's not really much chance to have a finish, but when you get somewhere around five or six laps, they've been pretty consistent the last couple of years. They're saying, 'OK, we're gonna red flag this,' so you come to expect it. I think as long as we know what to expect. I think that helps all of us understand. You get out and you know there are gonna be times that it works for you and there are gonna be times that it works against you and you just hope that those kind of even out. I know that's how it was explained to me in Richmond that night, whatever year it was, the first time it was done. They said these would even out, so, hopefully, we're getting close to that."
DO YOU WISH NASCAR WOULD STEP OUT AND SAY THIS IS HOW WE'RE GOING TO DO IT? "Yeah, I guess you would like that, but I'm not sure they're gonna put themselves in that position either because of circumstances. They like to be in control of that. There may be circumstances that dictate that, 'hey, that's not the best scenario here, that's not the best thing to do,' so I think they like to have it just like it is -- to where they have that call to make."
NEWMAN -- WHAT ABOUT THAT MOVE ON MATT. WHY DO IT IF YOU KNEW IT WOULDN'T STICK? "It's the end of the race and it pays to win. That's what it's all about. On that last restart, Jimmie had been running in low and I kind of expected him to dive low underneath Kenseth to see if he could do a slide job on him up off turn two and he didn't do it, so I kind of took the initiative. I got down there and my car just got loose up next to his and I think I scared him just by correcting. He was nice enough to give me some room and collect myself and go on. Going into one on the last lap, I dove it in way, way low and way lower than I probably ever should have, but it was a moment of desperation I guess."
WHAT ABOUT THE RED FLAG? "It's racing and it should be ended under the green flag. That's the way I always grew up racing was racing to the checkered flag -- racing, not under the caution. I enjoy it. I think it's a good decision on NASCAR's part. It mixes things up some time. Some people don't like it and some others do, but, in the end, you're still gonna have one winner and he's got to work through the same situation everyone else does."
JARRETT -- DID IT MATTER IF THE TIRES WERE GOOD OR NOT AT THE END? "It really didn't make any difference because we pumped the last set of tires up. They weren't low air pressure or anything because we only had to go three laps, so it really didn't make any difference. They were new. They had a lot of grip and that was the main thing we were looking for there. We are gonna take those tires back and see if there was something in the tire. Obviously, we'll look at our shocks and our springs because there was really now reason for our car to start pushing as bad as what it did, unless we find out that others experienced some of the same thing. But we had been loosening our car up the entire time anyway and it just kept getting tighter and tigher, so it will be interesting to see exactly what it was. But, yeah, as far as that last set, as long as they had stickers on them, that's all they needed to do."
DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE WON WITH ONE MORE LAP? "All I needed was one more corner. I'm not just being cocky or a smart-aleck in saying that, but my car was so much faster through the corners than these guys who had no tires. They had 50-some laps on their tires, so my car really gripped good and Matt wasn't able to hold it right on the bottom. By the time we could have gotten down to one I think that I could have done something there, but we didn't have that so it doesn't really matter. He could say that he could have held me off for 10 more laps, we'll never know. That's just the way that it turned out. He won today and we finished second."
NEWMAN -- HOW WAS YOUR CAR ALL DAY? "We started off and the car was really, really good. It was almost too good. Then we started getting loose about 15 laps in and we really struggled all day. We were pretty loose getting into the corners and here you want to have the confidence you can drive it in, turn it in the middle, and get off real hard. We just couldn't get in and that gave us a bad situation as far as getting through the whole corner. We spent the rest of the day just trying to get the car tightened up getting in, but, overall, it was above average but just not perfect."
WAS IT THE TIRES? "No, it was just the setup of the car. We were so fast yesterday in happy hour and we changed it just a little bit. We tightened it up just before the start of the race, but I guess it just wasn't enough. Sometimes it's so hard to gauge what the track is gonna be like. As a rookie team, we don't have previous notes or experience when it comes to Sunday's race -- to see what the track is gonna do."
JARRETT -- "I think that's what makes guys like Ryan impressive. Maybe that's helping them -- that they don't have the notes that we have. You look at three of them in particular -- Ryan, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch -- they're up there everytime that we have a race and they're doing a great job. They've learned a lot in a short period of time. It's pretty impressive. I hope you all are as impressed as the rest of us are that are inside the sport as to what these guys are doing and how good of a job they really do."
DO ROOKIES TODAY GET MORE COOPERATION FROM VETERANS THAN BEFORE? "I think that they've come in here and they're very good at what they do, but they're not so brash about it that they walk by everybody and they don't care about anybody else or what's going on here. They care about the sport and that's one thing, I think, we appreciate. The other thing is we've got to hang around with them to see what they're doing to make them go so fast and how they do it. I'm not above learning from these guys. It doesn't matter than I'm 45 and he's 24. I'm not above learning from these guys. I think they've earned the respect they've got out here. Again, we've seen an appreciation from them about where they're at. They understand that there are only 43 of us out here that get to do this every Sunday and that's a small group considering how many hundreds of thousands would love to be here with us. But they appreciate that and they know the sport. They do things that are good for the sport and that's the important thing."
NEWMAN -- DID THE BUSCH RACE LAST YEAR HELP? "Setup-wise, sometimes you just guess based off of experience and we gauge our setup sometimes off of what we ran in the Busch car and similar race cars. But, overall, it wasn't far off what we thought it was gonna be. Confidence-wise, it's more of the performance of the team. I've got confidence in myself as a driver, but as a team we have to have good pit stops and we have to have the ability to adjust on the race car all day to adapt to different conditions and adapt to different track positions. It's a constant battle, but I think we've done a good job for a rookie team."