An interview with: Jamie Mcmurray Reed Sorenson Kyle Busch THE MODERATOR: We'll begin the press conference portion of the second duel. Joining us is third place finisher in the 26 Crown Royal Ford. Talk about your run out there...
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We'll begin the press conference portion of the second duel. Joining us is third place finisher in the 26 Crown Royal Ford. Talk about your run out there today.
JAMIE McMURRAY: Actually, it's so much tighter than what it was in the shootout. My shootout car, felt like it was the dominant car. We just haven't been able to get this car quite as quick. It was better in testing. We worked on it for the last couple days, worked on it tonight. It still just doesn't want to turn like the other car did.
Have a little bit of work ahead of us. Looked like everybody was somewhat fighting the same issues. Even the 24 leading the pack looked like he was a little bit tight. Been pretty happy, our second race together. We've already yelled at each other, got that out of the way and move on, good run for us tonight, though.
Q: There was a time where you had three Roush guys lined up behind Jeff Gordon. Is it hard to pass the leader that even with three guys lined up like, that you couldn't have passed if you wanted to?
JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, for some reason, when the guy gets out front, it is tough to get up beside him. I assume that since we put two tires on, Mark and Greg and I all did, that we'd be able to get on the outside.
You know, you make the commitment before it goes green that you're all going to stay in line. You get down to the corner, there's two laps to go, that's a tough commitment to keep (laughter). Everyone kind of broke apart. When that happens, it's hard to get up beside the leader. Everybody's kind of doing what they feel like is best for them.
If you probably all stayed together, you could. But I think that the caution really hurt the chances of getting by the 24. If we could have kept running, you kind of get your momentum built up. The 24 is on obviously older tires. If you can get his car to get tight while he's on the bottom, you can get a little bit of a run.
Q: A lot of the emphasis, especially prerace, was on the bump-drafting and aggressive driving. What did you see out there? Do you think it was a lot different than it might have been otherwise?
JAMIE McMURRAY: Well, I was fortunate that I was in the top three for most of the night. You know, I didn't have to bump anyone until the end. When it comes down to a couple laps to go, it got a little bit wild.
But nothing like the shootout. But the shootout, I don't know, the mentality when you drop the green flag in that is to try to get to the front. Run two- or three-wide. It was a lot different race. You're not racing that car in the Daytona 500. You're not quite as careful.
The 150, you know, we use it as a testing tool, seeing what our chassis would be like on long runs, when you're committed to having to stay out for 30 laps on tires, it's just a different type of race.
But I thought it was probably better than normal today.
Q: Compare your cars last year, Ganassi, to the Ford's this year? Talked to Kenny Schrader a little bit. He came from Dodge. He said the horsepower of the Ford Racing engines are phenomenal.
JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, I mean, the Roush, Yates engines are pretty impressive. You know, not only here at the superspeedways, but also at the Vegas test, you know, they don't seem to ever stop pulling. The new Ford Fusion, you know, they've obviously done a lot of homework on that car because it's great here, and I thought it was even better at the downforce track at Vegas.
It's tough to compare one team to another without putting one down. I'll just keep my mouth shut, but I'm happy where I am.
Q: Several drivers today have talked about the fact that this was a different kind of race from the shootout. Does that mean that this no bump zone is unnecessary, that NASCAR didn't need to make that rule?
JAMIE McMURRAY: No, I think that -- I mean, I think it's certainly something that needed to be addressed because it seems like every week or every time we would come back to the speedways, it would get worse. Guys would start, you know, obviously making their bumpers stronger in the front and weaker in the rear to get the spoiler knocked down out of the air.
It's something that needs to be addressed. I told someone earlier, there's something about when Mike Helton talks, everyone listens, very powerful voice. A lot of the drivers that went to him and complained and just wanted everyone, you know, to understand when you need to do it and when you shouldn't.
I think everyone tries to do it in the right places. I mean, I've been guilty of hitting someone in the tri-oval. It's not necessarily because I wanted to, but it's because you have someone shoving you. There's not a whole lot you can do.
No, I think it was great. The orange dots they put on the racetrack, they're very noticeable. If you're on the inside, you can see the marks they put on the track. I mean, I think it's great what they've done.
THE MODERATOR: Also joining us on the podium, we have the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, 41 Target Dodge, Reed Sorenson. Talk about your run and about being in the 500 on Sunday.
REED SORENSON: Well, we were dead last for a little bit. We just didn't really have the right gear to run the bottom. Finally moved up to the top there near the end, got a couple good runs. Had a really good run when that caution came out for the green white checkered. It wasn't very fun until we moved up to the high side there, and then it was pretty cool.
Q: Jamie, with this package, with the aggressiveness of most of the drivers out there, it seems like it's almost become impossible to finish a race either here or Talladega without it going green white checkered. What are your thoughts on that?
JAMIE McMURRAY: I'm not real sure. I don't know what happened tonight to create that. But it does seem fairly common that we've had a lot of green white checkers. It certainly gets -- everyone gets more aggressive when it comes to, you know, one or two laps to go because you're so close, even if you're 15th, you can see the front of the pack. I think it's just natural to want to shove the guy. You get a little bit anxious. Everyone is guilty of it, the side drafting or running into the guy.
I assume that's what's causing all the green white checkers.
THE MODERATOR: Joining us right now second place finisher in the No. 5 Kellogg Chevrolet. Kyle, talk about your run out there this afternoon.
KYLE BUSCH: It was a pretty good run for the Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte-Carlo SS. We did a good job with this Chevrolet. It was really good. I was very impressed with the way the guys have built this one. Steve Bergy and all those guys that built our restrictor plate race cars are doing a whale of a job out there. To be able to have the 24 and 5 run the way we did, I think it was pretty cool the way that we were able to pull the draft. We pulled it so fast that there wasn't a whole lot of passing up front.
Any time people got single file, they'd want to latch on and just stay single file so we could get away from the rest of the guys in the field and whatnot.
Being able to run up front like that, for myself leading the majority of the first half, Jeff the majority of the second half, was definitely pretty cool for Hendrick Motorsports. We're looking forward to the 500.
Q: Kyle, over the course of this week, everybody has talked about bump-drafts, it seems like what's emerging is there's this feeling that some of the older drivers are blaming some of the younger drivers for being too aggressive. As one of the younger drivers, do you feel like they're sort of trying to single you out without naming you or anybody else, and do you think that's fair?
KYLE BUSCH: Uhm, I'm not sure if they're singling me out. What I do want to say is from previous reports, you know, the 5 is the one that caused the wreck on the back straightaway pushing the 25 into the 26. That's unfair to judge. If you go back and review the tapes, the 25 and the 26 got together first, and the 25 was wrecking before I was into them. I busted my grill on that.
The deal with the 6 going down the back straightaway, you know, he was kind of messing around thinking he was going to go to the outside and pass those guys. I was going to stick to the bottom and get in behind I believe it was my teammates, if I'm not mistaken. Then he tried to get back in line real quick at the last minute. Yeah, I should have let him in. That was a mistake on my part. He went for a little ride there.
All's good between the 5 and the 6. You know, the deal with Tony Stewart is I was waving for a lap and a half coming off of turn four, the lap before, and the 11 I'm sure had to have seen me. He just decided that he wanted to pass me and get me stuck out of line. That was the lap we were planning on pitting. I was trying to keep it on the bottom, but I got a little tight off 2, gave him the room.
As far as the whole bump-drafting deal, it is what it is. I'm going to go with Dale Jr.'s quote on that. It's a necessary evil. It's something that's out there, something that has been around for a little while. Yeah, there's the veterans that some know how to do it, some veterans don't know how to do it. Some veterans think they can do it through the tri-oval with other veterans, they're going to get away with it. That may be true, but when you're pushing a rookie through a trial, we may not be necessary or aware or ready for it and cause something there.
As far as it being unfair to myself or the younger drivers to not be allowed to bump-draft, no, I don't think it's fair. You learn by trial and error. You have to go out there and learn how to do it, yes. You should learn how to do it between the specific points, which for me I've only tried to do it between what NASCAR has proven the okay zone, I guess they're calling it, not through the corners, just down the straightaways. That's the only place I've been doing the bump-drafts. Seems as though it played out all right tonight. We were able to come home second.
Q: Did you get a little overzealous on the pit stop? Did you spend any time beating yourself up after that was over?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I did the same thing in the shootout. I don't know what it is about me being able to come in on pit road on old tires here at Daytona and Talladega. You know, a bunch of guys on the green flag stops, they'll lock them up coming into pit road, and then not having any tire. Running on their inner liner. For some reason I'm pretty good at coming into pit road, but then as soon as I get down in my stall, I get in there a little too hot.
I'm going to try to go back and talk with Jeff and Jimmie and learn some things from those guys on what they've learned over the past years, you know, being that way. The beach, it's always sandy and whatnot. Sometimes the guys don't get the stalls cleaned up. I'm pretty sure mine was cleaned up because they've always been pretty good at doing that. Just driver error at that point.
Q: Do you think the racing today was pretty calm because people have really learned something or because it wasn't that important?
KYLE BUSCH: You ask the guys in the back that were coming to try to make a spot for the 500 if it was important. They'll tell you it was pretty important.
But we had -- you know, for the second shootout, the race I was in, there wasn't a whole lot of bump-drafting because, like I said before, the 24 and the 5, pulled the draft so fast, you couldn't really get alongside or you could be even catch the guy in front of you to bump-draft him.
The first race, though, I'd have to say that there was a little bit of the bump-draft going on. You saw some of it with Stewart, Junior was doing it. I believe the 48 a couple times. I'm not quite sure on anybody else. I was watching it, but I wasn't necessarily paying attention to that. I was watching more so where guys were going.
The first duel race, there was a lot of really, really good cars. The 48 was in there, the 25. They were both good cars. The 20, the 11, the 8, the 1. There was definitely more good cars in the first race than the second.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, thank you.
KYLE BUSCH: All right.