JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 4th) "We're bringing knives to a gunfight. The Dodges and Chevrolets get to you and they can run up under you and get you loose, but with a Ford when you get behind a guy you're just screwed.
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 4th)
"We're bringing knives to a gunfight. The Dodges and Chevrolets get to you and they can run up under you and get you loose, but with a Ford when you get behind a guy you're just screwed. There's no way you can pass. You can't pass. They keep giving everybody all this stuff and we're so disadvantaged that it's really frustrating. I don't think anybody is intentionally trying to screw us, but that's what's happened in this process. I'm proud of my guys. I think we got all we could get today. We did a great job. We had great pit stops and the car was good. The car was good by itself, but in traffic we were junk. That's where we're really being hurt is in traffic. I should be happy with fourth. That's another top five for us and we're showing a lot of strength at the end of the year, but we just don't have what we need. We need to be able to plant the front of the car without having to unhook the back of the car and that's what they can do. We can't do that
AT A FLAT TRACK LIKE HOMESTEAD IS THAT MORE NOTICEABLE? "It's such a big deal here because the corners are so long and they are so flat. They're able to get their noses down on the ground and receive all the downforce. We get our nose on the ground, but it doesn't help us as much because we don't have the kickout. I hate to whine. We had a great day and I'm proud of my guys, but it's just hard when you know you're disadvantaged
YOU HAD A GOOD DAY THOUGH. "We did. I'm real proud of my guys, they did a great job. Everybody right now is really frustrated because we know we're disadvantaged. We keep coming to the race track and we're fighting really hard, and I think they'll make the rules right but they're not right right now. Nobody is intentionally trying to screw us, it's just kind of worked out that way. We've got to get the rules where they ought to be. Three or four years ago, the Ford was the best car and right now we're the worst car. I hate to whine, I like talking about the things we did and how well we did it, but the problem we've got is that when we get in traffic we're really in trouble. The other makes don't seem to have that problem."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 21st)
"We missed our setup early in the race. After the accident on pit road, our heart just wasn't in it."
NOTE: The following crew members tookover on pit road for the Texaco Havoline team after the accident on pit road. Scott Naset (front tire changer) and Kirk Almquist (front tire carrier) work with the No. 31 team while Shane Callis (jackman) is a crew member with the No. 88 team.
MICHAEL MCSWAIN, Crew Chief --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus
WHAT DID YOU SEE FROM THE PIT BOX? "NASCAR has the tape, so I'd rather let them make a comment on that. Some cars got together on the end of pit road and slammed right into our car with my guys changing tires
WOULD HELMETS HAVE HELPED? "Of course it would have helped Bobby because he's got some head injuries, but it wouldn't have helped Johnny because he's got a broken leg
WAS YOUR HEART OUT OF IT AFTER THAT? "I mean, what do you do? These guys that got hurt are racers, they'd want us to continue to race, so that's all we could do."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 12th)
"It was an up-and-down race for us all day. It was tight at the very beginning of the race and then we were loose. We took a right-rear spring rubber out and that helped. We just had to keep on tweaking on the thing the whole day. It got really tight after that last pit stop. Track position was important all day, so we stayed out during that last yellow. We were better than where we finished, but 11th was all we could get out of it."
TODD BODINE --66-- Blue Light Special/Kmart Taurus (Finished 17th)
"The last set of tires didn't match up and we weren't as good. We pumped the air up and probably shouldn't have, but for where we were in practice to the way we ran was a big improvement, so I'm pretty happy with it even though it's not a great finish
MAYBE YOU GOT YOUR BAD LUCK OUT OF THE WAY IN HAPPY HOUR YESTERDAY. "I hope so. It's been pretty bad the last couple weeks, but this is a decent comeback. It's not what we wanted, but we finished in one piece and made improvements on the car all day. We made some improvement from happy hour and it was definitely better."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 27th)
"We really ran excellent, I thought we had a good car. What happened was that we had a fitting break on the alternator and the battery went dead before I knew what was going on. We replaced that, but in the process of doing that it shorted out and burned a hole in an oil line, so for having to rebuild our car and getting one of our laps back thanks to Tony (Stewart), we got the best finish we could out of it. I feel good about it because we ran really well. I thought we ran within the top five cars most of the day
YOU WERE UP THERE ALL DAY UNTIL THE PROBLEM. "We started 21st and were up to seventh before we had that problem and we were gaining on it. I felt like we had a car that could have finished up front. We couldn't run with the 20 and a couple of those other guys, but I felt we could have had a shot at it if we would have been up there at the end."
JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 18th)
"We had a tough day. We just never could get the front of the car and the back of the car balanced. We never could get the grip we needed. Once in a while we ran decent, but when we would try to make it better, we would make it worse. I think we just missed it a little bit. We didn't have a real good day, but we finished. We really slipped back in the points and that really bothers us a lot. I guess we're still in the top 15, but it's gonna be hard to maintain that if we keep doing what we're doing
DO YOU FEEL THE FORD IS AT A DISADVANTAGE? "I think the Fords are a little bit disadvantaged right now versus the Chevys and the Dodges, without question. I think that we need an inch pulled out from our front valance. I don't think we need two, but an inch would sure be nice. They gave Chevy two and Dodge two, so give us half."
MIKE WALLACE --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 26th)
"There were just some situations with pit strategy. Roger (Penske) was here today and he wanted to try something different late in the race with some tire strategy as far as pitting early and the caution came out. That's all that happen was the caution came out. If the 92 would have spun out, we would have been fine. I really feel we were a top 10 car again and at the worst we would have finished somewhere between fifth through eighth, but it didn't happen
IS IT HARD TO GET THE DOWNFORCE YOU NEED? "It is hard with them and it's very evident. First of all, I want to compliment Ray Evernham and his group. I'm happy for Bill Elliott and those guys, but they had an aero advantage and it really shows up at this place. I thought we had a really good car and I even put four tires on at the end and I couldn't chase them down. I guess I could have gotten everybody but the leaders, but you can't get in that race when you're a lap down. We need a little help and maybe they saw that today. Maybe they'll help us."