JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Finished 8th) "I had to race those guys a little bit differently than I would have if we hadn't been in that situation (as far as the point standings). When guys would get underneath me, I would just...
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Irwin Ford Fusion (Finished 8th)
"I had to race those guys a little bit differently than I would have if we hadn't been in that situation (as far as the point standings). When guys would get underneath me, I would just let them go because we had to finish well today so we could have a little bit of a buffer in the points when we go to Texas. That was a really solid day. We made our car better as the day went on and at the end had one of the best cars, but I just gave up a couple of spots there. The way the pit strategy worked out, it didn't favor us so those guys that made it on tires, I wouldn't have done that. We couldn't have made it."
IS THIS A BIG RELIEF FOR YOU? "Yeah. Even in 2003 when I had to make it on time I wasn't really expected to because I was a rookie and it was a brand new team. That was a totally different feeling last weekend. I learned a lot about myself and fans. I never really understood how loyal NASCAR fans are and having the weeks that I had and everything and to support a guy that doesn't win very often, that's a really loyal fan and that kind of makes you feel good."
WERE YOU NERVOUS THESE LAST FEW DAYS OR FRUSTRATED? "No. I feel like we'll run well at Texas. We have not run well at the mile-and-a-halves and the 48 car has somewhat been in the same boat, obviously not as far off as we have been, but we've tried to run what Carl has run for a setup and we went to Nashville and Carl actually drove my car and we didn't like the same thing. So I think when we get to the bigger tracks, I think next week at Texas with what we learned at our Nashville test, we should unload fast."
DO YOU FEEL PRESSURE WITH THE SITUATION IN THE POINTS? "Now there's pressure, but the thing is that we beat ourselves a little bit with the deal at Bristol and the axel caps falling off. We shouldn't have ever been there. We haven't run 40th every week, if it could go wrong it has and hopefully this weekend will turn it around."
YOU STARTED THE SEASON THINKING CHASE. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING NOW? "I don't think that the chase is out of the question. If you can run like we did today every weekend, you'll still make the chase. But you have to take one step at a time and certainly just getting in the top 35 was the goal this weekend and I'm positive that we've done that. We tested really well at Phoenix and, like I say, our Texas stuff should be good from our Nashville test."
DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion(Finished 11th)
"Track position is the key here. I feel like we had a good car, a car that could have contended for the win if we were in the right place at the right time, but those guys gambled on fuel and we made the right call coming in and getting some tires. The cautions just didn't fall how we needed to and the lapped cars raced us pretty hard there at the end. It was a good effort, but a little disappointing when you have such a good car and you don't quite get the finish you want, but we'll take it. We got some good points and we're coming back here again, so we'll just have to do a little better job next time."
IT APPEARED AWFULLY HARD TO PASS TODAY. "Yeah. All of the cars are so equal. I think there were 10 or 12 cars that were pretty good and unless they made a mistake or you pushed them around a little bit you couldn't pass them. Pit stops are very key. Picking the right line on restarts are very key and sometimes I did a great job and sometimes I did a bad job. It's just stuff to work on, but it was a good race, a clean race and we finished all the laps. It was a nice points day, but those top fives and top 10s are sweet and we had a car capable of that today."
MATT KENSETH -- No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (Finished 30th)
"Everytime we made up a little ground, we kept getting wrecked or wrecked, whatever the case turned out to be. We were so far off in the beginning and then I got spun out on pit road and pitted out of the box. That cost us a lap and it took us 200 laps to get that back, and then we really ran pretty good but we just kept getting run into."
-credit: ford racing