Loudon Ford notes and quotes

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 41st) -- "I cut a right-front tire down. I ran over something on the race track, evidently. No warning, just going in the first turn. The car was running great. The Kmart team worked hard this...

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 41st) -- "I cut a right-front tire down. I ran over something on the race track, evidently. No warning, just going in the first turn. The car was running great. The Kmart team worked hard this weekend and we really thought we had a car capable of running in the top five. I had a bad pit stop and we were rebounding from that. I mean, it was just really strong. We were as fast as any car on the race track sometimes faster. We were biding our time and that happened." YOU BANGED YOUR LEFT KNEE? "I just hit my knee really hard when I went in the corner. I was never knocked out or anything, but I just felt the right-front go down and I prepared myself for it. When it hit, my foot was on the brake and it just smashed it into the steering column. It bruised it really, really bad but that's all. It's fine."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 38th) -- NOTE: Pressley was sixth when the first red-flag came out. "Unless the weather did something, if we burned a piston or something. We made it to sixth, we weren't just running sixth. The car was coming up through there and was great today. It was getting better and better as we went, but when we restarted on the first lap I thought the ignition box went bad. We kept on switching that around, changed carburetors and distributors but evidently just the weather burned a piston."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (Finished 3rd) -- WITH THE WAY THE STRATEGY WAS WORKING DID YOU HAVE THE CAR TO WIN? "Easy. The guys in front of us had to stop and we didn't. Everybody that could make it we had covered real good, so we were just sitting there cruising. The last set of tires we got on the car we got the setup right and we were setting the best laps we had run all day. There was no problem as far as fuel whereas the guys in front of us had to stop." YOU'VE RECOVERED IN THE POINT STANDINGS HERE THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. "This team couldn't help it when parts broke and tires blew out and all that stuff, that wasn't there fault. The performance of the team hasn't been the problem. We had bad luck five races in a row and sometimes luck just goes that way." WHAT ABOUT THE RAIN? "We knew the rain was coming. It was sprinkling for quite some time and my hope was it would continue to sprinkle and it would play out and go all the way. If it went all the way, it was a no-brainer. We didn't have the car to beat Tony Stewart and that was the only way we could. It didn't work out for us."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 16th) -- "If we would have finished under green we would have finished about 11th or 12th. About five or six of these guys stopped early and had to stop again. We waited to make sure we could go the rest of the way on one stop. That cost us timewise because we were on such old tires, but it would have been better for fuel so we got caught a lap down. If it would have stayed green we'd have been in good shape, but that's the way it goes. We'll take 16th. The car is in one piece and we'll go on from here. We just need points right now. We think we ran pretty good most of the day, just a little tight, but we think we've got something to work with when we come back."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "It was a long day. We didn't handle as well as we needed to handle. We're struggling with our short-track program right now for some reason and that's always been our strength. Now we can't hit it. It's not from a lack of effort, the car is just not driving like it needs to drive and I'm not telling them what it's doing. I can't tell them what it's doing wrong and between the two of them we're just not running as good as we need to." YOU HAD GOOD FUEL MILEAGE AND HAD JUST PITTED BEFORE THE FINAL RED FLAG. "We were sitting there with four tires and we wanted it to go back green. We had four tires. Two guys behind me got four and some other guys in front of us would have had to pit. We hurt our track position some because had it gone green we didn't have to pit and there were about four in front of me that had to pit. We would have gotten back in front of them, so the rain hurt us more than anybody else." JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 8th) -- IF IT WOULD HAVE GONE GREEN AGAIN YOU FIGURED TO PICK UP A FEW MORE SPOTS BECAUSE YOU COULD GO THE DISTANCE. "That's what we were hoping for. We got off there (in pit sequence) early in the race, but it could have played to our advantage if it hadn't rained. That the way it goes, though, that's racing. We'll take what we've got, a top-10 and we're coming back up there. That's what we need to do right now." YOUR CAR WAS GOOD. "We had a fast car and were really good. The Mobil 1 Ford was there all day. We made a couple of minor adjustments and that was about it. We were with them all day long." THIS TRACK HASN'T BEEN KIND IN THE PAST TO YOU. "To be able to come here, it's one of the places we had on our map that we wanted to be better at, so to come out of here with a top 10 is pretty good."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets Taurus (Finished 20th) -- "We just missed it on the race setup. We were way too tight for conditions. We were good yesterday when it was hot and sunny and we just couldn't get the car freed up. We gained a couple of positions on the race track late, we got by the 8 car and a couple other ones, it's just one of them deals. We missed it. We'll take 20th and go to the house. We performed well this weekend, better than we have, and this team is showing constant improvement. That's what I want to see."

BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 24th) -- "I was sitting on pit road blown up. About 70 or 80 laps before the end it started missing and I lost a lot of ground. The car couldn't run again if they had re-started the race. I barely could just keep it running coming down pit road, so looking on one side of it I guess it did benefit us, but we keep getting bit by different things every week."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 10th) -- YOU WERE ONE OF THE GUYS OFF SEQUENCE EARLY. "I couldn't figure out who did what all day. There were two different groups pitting on different cycles and I was lost all day trying to keep up with it." HOW WAS THE CAR? "It wasn't as good as I thought we were gonna be today. In happy hour we were really good and we did OK, all the exception of one or two cars, we were as good it just depended on track position." THE WEATHER CHANGED A LOT FROM YESTERDAY. DID THAT PLAY A ROLE? "I think the track took a major change after the truck series race because a lot of guys were fighting the same thing. The speeds were off from where we practiced yesterday and our happy hour was before the track race and not after the track race. Right now, I would not run the setup I had under the car, I would change some things on it. Yesterday I was happy with it, so I don't think we're by ourselves."

DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 7th) -- BEING OFF SEQUENCE PUT YOU BACK IN THE PACK A COUPLE OF TIMES. "It made it difficult at times, but those things usually even out throughout the day. If it would have gone on and we would have finished the race, who knows, we might have finished up first, second or third. It was gonna work out even though it looked bad at the time. The guys did a great job in the pits and got me out in front of some guys I was racing there and that made a big difference." WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF IT WENT GREEN AGAIN? "These 25-lap shootouts we have here, most of the time, create a lot of carnage so it's probably just as well we didn't (go back green). If it wouldn't have rained and if we could have finished it before the rains came we were in pretty good position to pick up a good finish the way the strategy played out. The guy who had the best car won and that's really the way it should be. We were decent. Towards the end was the best we had been all day, we just never did get it exactly right."

DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 33rd) -- "The car was awesome. We qualified 27th and were really, really good on the start. We stayed out that first caution and pretty well held our own there for a little while and then the car got real loose. We had to come in under green and put four tires on and that set of tires were the worst set of tires I had all day. Once we went through that cycle, we lost two laps pitting under green, we were very competitive. We were running in the top 10 timewise and positionwise, but we were two laps down. I think we've got us a great race car, we just had a little bad luck. I told them it was just like playing a round golf. We were shooting par and then knocked one out of bounds, so that just ruined our whole day."

SCOTT PRUETT --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 30th) -- "We're pretty pleased. I've never been here before, so the fact that we came in here and ran strong -- we missed the setup a little bit. We started out way too tight and got the car coming back to where we were as fast as anybody. The only problem was we were a lap down, but we made the best of our day. The Tide car ran good and Brad (Parrott) did a good job."

STACY COMPTON --9-- Kodiak/Cougar Taurus (Finished 29th) -- "We were pretty good. The last caution bit us because we were good to the end and a lot of cars weren't. We ran in the top 20 for a good long while today. The Kodiak Melling Taurus was good, but we got out of sync on our pit stops and it bit us because of this rain."

WALLY DALLENBACH --75-- America Online Taurus (Finished 27th) -- "We had a good car, but we ran out of gas and that cost us about 11 or 12 spots. We keep beating ourselves every week. We were off by two laps, so that's not even close. We were under our window, so we had plenty of leeway. It's just that every weekend we have a better car than what we finish, but we can never show it because we beat ourselves. It's just frustrating."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus (Finished 19th) -- "The car handled really good, but we had a master cylinder or something go out in the clutch system and didn't have a clutch the whole race. When we pitted we had good pit stops, but I couldn't get out of the pits because the starter didn't work either. We had to try to push start it and just lost a whole bunch of time. We had a good car, we got up to 13th or 14th at one time, but could never get track position after that. I think we had a top-10 car, we just didn't show it with our finish."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 15th) -- "It was a good day, just pit strategy got screwed up that wasn't none of our fault. We stayed out 28 laps into the race and that got us all out of sync. Those things happen. We just can't catch a break it seems like. We stayed out at the beginning for track position and that kept us up front for a while, then right after we did pit the caution came out and put us a lap down. The rain came the first time and helped us get back on the lead lap. We held our own for a while when we went back to green, but the car started getting tight and we fell back. The 12, the 88, the 18 -- about six cars -- got around before we pitted again. When the stops cycled around we were in front of the 20 -- the leader. He got us just before the rain came again. Robin said that he (the 20 car) and several more were going to have to pit if it went back to green. It didn't and that's that. The thing was just sliding all over the place there at the end. Some guys have the luck and some don't. Seems like most of the time we don't."

MARK MARTIN PRESS CONFERENCE

"The last stop we were actually cutting some really good laps, but we didn't really need to. We were sitting in a real good position with enough gas to go all the way. Everybody behind us wasn't able to keep up with us and two guys in front of us had to stop for gas, so it was a pretty straight-forward deal -- just sit here and ride and hope the light sprinkle stayed that way. Great strategy by the team, great fuel mileage, great team effort today. That was our only chance to win and we were set up for it. If it never would have picked up beyond a light sprinkle, then I feel confident we would be sitting here in victory lane. It sort of would have been robbery. The 20 car was the class of the field, but we've lost a lot of races to fuel mileage and I think we've only won one to fuel mileage, so it would have been nice to have made it two today." WHAT ABOUT YOUR LUCK HERE? "We've run good here and that's all I can say. We haven't been in first place when it's been over with, but we've run well here and I'm thankful for that." WHAT ABOUT YOUR RACE? "It was a pretty clean race for us today. We started pretty close to the front and stayed fairly close to the front most of the race. When you can do that, it helps a lot in that kind of thing." DID YOU THINK ABOUT KENNY IRWIN AT ALL TODAY? "I looked at the spot. The spot was painted out on the wall now, but I know where the cracks are, more than once today during the race. I'm not gonna elaborate, but I looked directly at the end of the skid marks more than once today." WHAT IF IT WOULD HAVE GONE GREEN? "Some people were gonna be frustrated if it had gone green all the way, but it certainly wouldn't have been us. That's how it goes in racing, somebody is always frustrated but I think you would have seen much greater frustration on the 20 crowd had it gone green." WHAT ABOUT YOUR LATEST STRING OF SUCCESS? "That's four top-fives in a row after five bad races, which I probably haven't had since 1988. We had five races in a row where things went bad. We went from first in the points to ninth. I'm a little bit more grateful when things go good right now than I was three months ago. I feel like third place is good."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart