STANTON BARRETT --48-- Sportcut.com Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "That's the way it goes, I guess. I don't know, you can't see because you're so close and I was one car behind it so you couldn't see what was going on. The first lap they were ...
STANTON BARRETT --48-- Sportcut.com Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "That's the way it goes, I guess. I don't know, you can't see because you're so close and I was one car behind it so you couldn't see what was going on. The first lap they were four-wide down the back straightaway and that's kind of nuts, but I was directly behind them. They all started to check up and when you're only a few feet away you can't stop in time. There was some debris there when we were coming out of the corner, so I was already a little bit loose there and I didn't have enough to where I could turn underneath. I wouldn't have had time anyway, but I don't know what they were doing up in front of me or what caused it. I just saw them all start to stop and I had nowhere to go."
JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 8th) -- "I broke the transmission myself. Kenny Wallace drove us in the wall there on the first lap, I mean I just didn't understand it and that took us out. The only way we were gonna have a shot of trying to win that race was to have an awesome pit stop, a great in and a great out, and I was right on the edge. I went too far and ended up breaking the transmission." WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE THREE-WIDE LIKE THAT RIGHT OFF THE BAT? "Yeah, it was dumb but that's gonna happen Thursday too."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus (Finished 2nd) -- "The 88 car was in a class by itself. It's been a long time since I've seen two cars hook up and couldn't run a guy down, but they're just that stout I guess. The Exide guys had a good pit stop, I didn't get in the pits very good. Terry beat us all getting in the pits, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway." HOW WAS YOUR CAR? "The car drove really well, I mean it really drove well. I just think the 88, they've just got their stuff together better than the rest of us do. He beat us through the corners and he beat us down the straigthaway too, so we've gotta go to work before next Sunday I know that."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 1st) -- YOUR NEW PIT CREW ALREADY HAS MADE A MARK. "It's paid off already. They do a fantastic job and that's what won the race. That gave me the opportunity to get way out front. We came in as a group there and they did such a fantastic job of getting me out of there and got us a good lead. And, we've got a fast race car so that was nice and it worked out for us." WERE YOU SURPRISED THE CAR WAS THAT GOOD? "Yeah, I surely thought that Terry and once Jeff got to him that they could hook up and then I saw them switch to try to get Jeff in front to try to get to us, but our car is awful, awful fast, especially down the straightaways and that makes a difference when you have that much engine and a good aero package, but I was a little surprised they couldn't get to me there. This next race will be a little different story, but we came here with two good race cars, the car we sat on the pole with and this car, actually, I didn't think drove quite as good as what my 500 car does, but it's working out pretty good right now."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 15th) -- "We just didn't have enough brakes there. It got hot coming in off of the race track and I couldn't stop, I couldn't get it slowed down, I couldn't miss Mike (Ehret, jackman). He was trying to do his job, trying to get out around the car. I didn't really come in the pit stall, but he was trying to get around the car and I was just helpless. I had to just sit there and watch it."
KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- MAC Tools Taurus (Finished 5th) -- "Not too bad. The car was a little tight there at the end and kind of got screwed up in the pits. I thought we had the right line being low, but a couple guys on the outside of me were behind me and got outside and squeezed me in, so we lost a lot in the pits. But, the first time in this race, anything goes, and it was pretty exciting there at the end."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 13th) -- WHAT HAPPENED? "I couldn't really tell exactly. Everybody got three-wide and got jumbled up and it was one of those deals. I couldn't tell who got into who, but all of a sudden I was off for a nice little ride." WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WITH ALL THOSE CARS COMING FROM BEHIND YOU? "That's the only thing I was thinking. It was weird because I slid on the roof a long way and it was never a hard hit. There was no violence at all inside the car and I'm sliding along and the whole time I'm thinking, I'm kind of scrunched up thinking, 'Man, I hope nobody hits me when I'm upside-down.'" YOU HAD A NASTY WRECK 16 YEARS AGO IN THIS SAME RACE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE? "This one really looked bad, but it really wasn't nasty. I just hate to see the car get torn up. The car actually ran better than we thought it was gonna run." ANY IDEA WHAT STARTED IT? "No, I just think five or six cars racing for the win and it was getting down to crunch time. A lot of guys did what they had to do, but, evidently, three-wide doesn't work too good at Daytona that late in the race." WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO DO THE LAST LAP? "I was moving forward. I saw daylight. Really, what was happening was with three to go I thought we had a plan. I was gonna dive to the inside of Sterling and I had relayed that to Dale, and about the time I make my move to go to the inside it sort of jumbled up. All of a sudden Schrader was behind Dale and it just got all knotted up there with about three or four to go. Things didn't quite turn out like we expected them to."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 1st) -- "My guys did a fantastic job in the pits once again and everything worked out for us. It was great. I just hate what happened with Ricky, I'm glad he's OK. I kept waiting so we could make a move and get Ricky to the front and then it would be between the 28 and the 88, but it didn't seem that we could get that going. Then, Schrader and the 24 started laying back and I knew what they were doing, so I laid back and I had me a run. I said, 'The car's working pretty good on the outside, so let's give this a try and see. If it doesn't work we're not gonna lose any points today,' so we made what happened happened. Then, they got to racing side-by-side and Bobby Labonte actually gave me the push that I needed there on the last lap and that's really what broke me out front. We had a lot of momentum going down into three and it kind of hurt Gordon's momentum when he had to race Sterling, so it worked out for us. It looks like the Chevrolets are OK. I've heard them complaining a little bit this week, but there cars looked awful good. It's gonna be a heck of a race next week."
DALE JARRETT PRESS CONFERENCE
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "Waiting until the last lap is kind of a thing of the past, you've gotta start shuffling before then. I saw the 36 and the 24, they were getting a little impatient back there with about three or four to go and started laying back, so I knew that I was gonna have to start trying to make a move whenever they got to me to give me a little bit of a push and I got a push with about three laps to go or so. I got the outside of Ricky and I really thought I was gonna be able to clear Ricky with the push that I had and maybe we could stay in line and go from there, but we got side-by-side and things started happening. Then Gordon got by us and then coming right at the start-finish line the last lap that's when Bobby got to me and really gave me a push and really sailed me off into turn one and I got a good run. When I saw Jeff and Sterling get side-by-side I knew they were giving me a chance then. I was hoping Sterling would stay down there beside him as much as he could because that was gonna give me more of an opportunity. The 18 stayed right with me and it gave me that push I needed and I really sailed off into turn three. I knew when I got there that I was at least gonna have a chance. I didn't know if the 24 and I were gonna be side-by-side, but he had no help at all and I had a lot of help getting there. It's unfortunate for Ricky and Bobby to get tangled up there at the end, I don't know what happened, but I hope both of those guys are OK. It was an exciting race for us, but the pit stop and the pit strategy is what got me in position to win the race."
TODD PARROTT, Crew Chief --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- WHAT ADJUSTMENTS DID YOU MAKE TO THE CAR FROM THE FIRST RACE TO THE SECOND? "The car was driving exactly like the first 10 laps of the first 25-lap race. We made slight adjustments during that pit stop and the break between the qualifying race and the feature we made a chassis adjustment on the car and Dale said that adjustment was better and what the car needed. Like he said, I think the key was staying out that lap. I looked down pit road and it was just chaotic. It looked like Mark Martin didn't even know which way to go to get to the pit and then I looked at the monitor and saw the jackman for the 6 car with his shoe off. This race always has that sort of stuff happen. Everybody races down pit road and the guy on the outside has to get to his pit and the guy in the middle isn't gonna give you a bit of room because he knows that's gonna cost him time and that's where the thing is gonna happen. It's another thing for them to look at to keep the safety issue of that deal happening on pit road. Like I said, we stayed out and avoided it and enabled us to have a good pit stop. The guys had a great pit stop again and us and Bobby got out in front and there we were. I guess the big thing is knowing where you're gonna be out on the race track. If you're in the front, obviously, you want to be the first guy in the pits because you're not gonna have anybody in front of you, but if you're in the back where we were we saw no advantage to it. We were actually gonna lose time coming in the pits, so that was a decision we made. We had a gameplan and Jimmy Makar came up right before the race started before Dale got in the car and we talked about it. We actually talked about it a little bit this morning and we stuck with our gameplan. We didn't vary from it and I guess it was one of the keys to winning the race."
DALE JARRETT CONTINUED -- "We were making pretty good time and it looked like Mark got hung in the middle and he made a move to the inside going into turn one. I honestly didn't think that there was any way that Rusty was gonna be able to get out of the gas fast enough or enough not to hit Mark and start something. I probably was over-cautious and I backed way out of the gas. You can't back out much or they'll fly by you and I lost all the track position and got myself in the back and once that happened I just said, 'OK, just go with our gameplan here. I can't make up enough time here because I had nobody behind me helping me and you can't pass that many cars, so I just worked my way to the outside and got ready for the pit stop knowing that our guys were gonna make a great stop. What we were gonna do was I was gonna be able to get on pit road really fast and not lose any time and I was actually gonna be able to gain time and with a fast race car you can do that." IF BOBBY HAD NOT PITTED AT THE SAME TIME AND HELPED YOU WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN IN TROUBLE? "I may have gone back a position or two further, I wasn't gonna go any more than that. It was a help to me. Bobby helped me throughout the race, he helped me there. It was great that we got that little push and then at the end. Again, with our car being as fast as it was by itself, we weren't gonna lose much time." HOW ABOUT THE 500 NEXT WEEK? "We've had a great weekend so far, but even the 125 and looking at next Sunday, 500 miles is a lot different than going out there and running nine or 10 laps and getting right-side tires. We have no idea what the car's gonna do from there, so we've got a lot of long runs to be making here to see how the car is gonna react with these shocks and spring combinations when you get into having to run fifty-some laps at a time because that's what we're gonna have to do next Sunday. There's a lot of work to do. We have a fast race car. We have a good driving car for next week, but, still, a lot of work to be done. This race is won by the guy that can stay in the gas the most in the Daytona 500 and that means having a great handling race car, so we've got a lot of work ahead of us."
"I didn't pass any cars on the race track to speak of until the end and I got help with that, but we have a fast race car, there's no doubt. We came here to race. They're gonna do what they have to do, so we're just gonna race. We're gonna show them everything that we have, that's what we've got. If they see fit to make a change, I don't think that's needed, I was very impressed with the Chevrolets there. Obviously, Bobby Labonte has a fast car and the Pontiacs can run too, so I think no matter what make of car you have, if you know how to work the draft and you get your car handling good, everybody out here has a chance to win. I'm sure the Chevrolets and the Pontiacs are saying something different, especially about our car, but that's the hard work and effort that was put forth by this guy right here (Todd Parrott) and his people that made this, so we're gonna do everything we can to win everything they have here. If they see fit to make a change, we'll just race them harder." DO YOU SEE THE ADDITION OF YOUR NEW PIT CREW AS GETTING YOU A COUPLE MORE WINS? "I think it's obvious that in years past that they won them some races where they weren't the best car, so I think that kind of thing, along with the pit strategy, that works. They did a great job. Obviously, we had a great pit crew last year because we won the championship and won races, but they are very good at what they do and I think it's showing everybody else what they're gonna have to do to compete in that area." DID YOU HAVE ANY VIEW OF RICKY'S ACCIDENT? "I saw it start, but I have no idea what happened. I saw Ricky's car get sideways, but I don't know what triggered it or anything. Unfortunately, what I saw was it getting upside down. I'm just glad he's OK. It's unfortunate that we went that long and then something happened, especially to a teammate." TALK ABOUT WINNING BOTH RACES? "I was planning on playing golf this morning. I wasn't even gonna run that qualifier, but Todd said we had to run it so I showed up. It was a good opportunity for us to see what we had with the car and run it because we hadn't been in these type situation, so it gave us a little heads up on that. Starting from 15th I knew that as close as the competition was that our only chance was to do something with the pit stop and for our crew to make a great stop and they did all of those things. It's kind of hard to believe, but they got me in the position and then from there it's just being lucky and making the right moves. Without Bobby's help there at the end I wouldn't be sitting here. He's the one that gave me the push that I needed. I made a move with a couple of laps to go and it was a good time to make that and see what I could do because it wasn't gonna cost us any points or anything, so I could learn some things today and see what we had and see what the other guys had."
TODD PARROTT CONTINUED -- WITH THE SHOCK AND SPRING RULE WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CHANGE YOUR RACE CAR? "Just normal stuff you'd do any other week. You've got air-pressure adjustments, the wedge in and out of the car, the track bar adjustment, spring rubbers, stuff like that. All of those things still effect it. It's not that you can't adjust your race car anymore, it's just that you've got four shocks. That's what you have, you can't change those shocks. They do have little adjusters on them and you can adjust them a little bit, but there's not a whole lot so you have to get your car driving on those shock. You don't have any other choice, that's it. You have to adapt to the rules. If you look back the last couple years, the shock and spring rule, we weren't very good qualifying but we always raced real well. That's the key. That's what I want to do. I want to win races and run up front in the race. Qualifying, sure it's important, but getting the car right for the race is the main thing."
DALE JARRETT CONTINUED -- HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU? "My confidence is in this guy sitting right here and in our engine shop. I look forward to coming to Daytona. I enjoy the challenge that restrictor plate racing presents of trying to outsmart these other guys. It's not a matter of outdriving, it's just a matter of being able to feel that air and know when your car wants to go and when you can't go. We're very, very confident that we have the people and the resources in place to continue that this week and, hopefully, all year. This is a nice reward for our guys as I said yesterday for winning the pole and then today. It's a nice reward for their hard work for two months that they put forth day and night working, and now it just makes them work that much harder." WITH THREE OR FOUR LAPS TO GO YOU AND RICKY WERE NOSE TO TAIL AND THEN A COUPLE LAPS LATER YOU WERE SIDE-BY-SIDE, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? "I'm not sure. Like I said, I saw Schrader and the 24 start to lay back and I knew they were gonna try to get a run on me. It didn't look like Ricky, we tried a few times earlier with maybe eight or nine to go, but when we got down to like five and six laps to go it seemed like he was content to stay right on Sterling's bumper, so maybe he was waiting until the very end. But in third, I'm not in a position to wait until the last lap or even the last two laps to start making a move, I need to get going especially with those guys behind me. When I got that little bit of a push, Schrader laid back and I felt him coming, and when I got that little bit of a push I knew that I had to try to go. I thought that I had enough momentum that I wasn't gonna cost Ricky but one spot, that I could get clear of him going into three but I didn't quite make that move enough. We got side-by-side and then I saw the 24 coming and I was just hoping that Ricky was gonna be able to block him, but we didn't, obviously, and he got up to the front and in front of us. Again, until the 18 came Ricky and I would have raced side-by-side for third if the 18 hadn't gotten there and pushed me. You have a teammate there and the last thing you want to do is put either one of you in a bad position and I didn't want to do that. But we're here with our sponsors and our team to try to win and we had no plans. It'd be the same way in the 500 next week. Teammates are great to have, but when it gets down in the last 10 laps of a race, you go after it. It's every man for himself."
Mike Ehret, jackman for the No. 6 Valvoline Taurus, suffered a bruised right ankle after being hit during a pit stop in today's Bud Shootout. He went to the infield care center, where x-rays proved negative, and was released.
MIKE EHRET, Jackman --6-- Valvoline Taurus -- "He was coming down pit road and I jumped when I was supposed to jump, but it didn't work out the way it normally does. He came in a little fast and didn't stop like we usually stop because we run small brakes here and then we had to use a lot of brake at the end of pit road where it was four or five-wide coming in. They got hot, so they didn't stop like they normally would and I ended up on the hood." IN YOUR JOB, THOUGH, YOU HAVE TO ALMOST GET A HEAD START AND ANTICIPATE HE'S GOING TO STOP, RIGHT? "Yeah, and a lot of times he'll dart in at the last minute. You have to have confidence that it's gonna happen and this is the first time it hasn't. You do it so many times it's just like a routine. He gets to the spot that you need to jump from and you go. It just didn't work out this time." WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND? "It all happened so fast, I just knew I was on the hood. I thought it was gonna hurt when I fell off because it's a pretty big drop. The hood had a little give to it, but the ground didn't." WHAT'S YOUR PROGNOSIS? "I'll be back, if not Thursday then definitely by Sunday."