Busch gives Ford series-leading 11th win of 2002. Kurt Busch's second win of the season gave Ford its series best 11th triumph of the season and moved within one race of clinching the manufacturer's championship. Ford now holds a (18)-point...
Busch gives Ford series-leading 11th win of 2002.
Kurt Busch's second win of the season gave Ford its series best 11th triumph of the season and moved within one race of clinching the manufacturer's championship. Ford now holds a (18)-point lead over second place Chevrolet with only four races remaining.
Busch, who registered his first NASCAR Winston Cup win at Bristol in March, set a track record by winning from the 36th starting position. Prior to Busch's victory today, the deepest starting spot for a Martinsville race winner was 24th by Lee Petty in 1959.
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 1st)
WHERE DID THIS FORD COME FROM? "I don't think you're ever good at Martinsville, you just try and try and try. We kept taking wedge out of it to get forward bite. I have no idea what that means -- a lot of other teams might be doing that, but it's just really this team. We came in ninth and went out third with an awesome pit stop. That got us in position. Who knew we'd have two wins at a short track. We thought we'd do better at the mile and a halfs."
WAS FOUR TIRES THE KEY? "You had to take four. There was no way. Turn two had some sort of issue with forward bite, so you had to get the left-rear put out every time and that helped us."
WHAT ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS. DID JOHNNY RACE YOU CLEAN? "He raced me great. I raced him great. I mean, I bumped him at Bristol to get into the lead. We really had a good enough car to win, so it feels great."
DID HE EVER GET AGAINST YOU? "No, no. It was clean running. I know how hungry he is, but we were starving too. We needed to get that second win."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"These guys built us a new race car. We got two laps down early. I guess Matt Kenseth and I got together. It wasn't intentional, but that cut a left-front tire down and we weren't five laps into the race. We shouldn't have been running that hard, I guess, but we had to make those two laps up. And then we kept getting boxed in in our pits and had to come from the back. We had one of the fastest cars out here and we were lucky to get back to third. The guys had a good race car for us."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 34th)
"It was just a tough day for us. I had to run up high. I could never get my car to really run on the bottom, so I tried to run up high, and it's just tough making up time up there. Just could never get enough forward bite in the car for me. I don't know if I was just too hard on the gas or we just couldn't really hit the setup the way we needed it. But, the one time we got it close, a few times, but not just where we could be competitive enough to run with these guys. Another tough day at Martinesville. I don't know if it's the curse of the Wood Brothers and the curse of Elliott Sadler, I think. We've just had some terrible races here since we've been coming to Martinsville. I'm kinda glad we got this race track behind us, and we'll go get 'em in Atlanta."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Viagra Taurus (Finished 10th)
"It was a great run for us, we just never did get track position. We didn't run good enough to get that. We couldn't afford to short-change us on tires or anything, so it was a good run for us. We were pretty competitive over the last half of the race. Long green runs were our friend."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 8th)
"Track position was important. It's just such a crazy thing. You're trying to get off the corner and you're sideways. What you need to be doing is freeing the car up and that doesn't make sense to me. We tried tightening it up and that just hurt me through the center and we never got track position because of that. They did a great job of trying to adjust and trying to please me, but we never could find it."
WHEN THAT SPIN HAPPENED IN FRONT OF YOU AND TONY AND EARNHARDT, JR., DID THAT DAMAGE THE CAR? "No, I don't think so. I saw him start spinning and I was just trying to get by. Unfortunately, Tony went for the same spot and we all kind of hit there. It knocked the fender in, but it didn't really change the car any there. We just never got it exactly right. I felt I was giving the right information, but maybe the calls I was asking for weren't the right ones. It's a tough race track. It's no different. The only thing was that today you had a second groove that you could run in some, but it was still about handling and getting your car up off the corner and that's where I was hurting."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 9th)
"I didn't really tear anything up, but, man, I tell you what, we pitted in pit number 12 and those guys that pitted way down, when they made a pit stop they would fly past me. They were killing us on pit road, but we had fast pit stops. Track position was everything. At the end of the race, my car was really pretty good. If I was in the front, maybe I could have won the race, but I just couldn't pass everybody again. The track, the top groove -- entering low and going up to the middle of the track was the preferred line most of the time. It just got slicker as the day went on, but I'm pretty happy with our finish. We gained on everybody in points today, except the 48 so that was a bonus."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK? "I sure don't think it was any worse. I think it was better because a lot of times everybody has to get in and fight for the bottom groove. If you got in a little out of control on the bottom, you could go to the top. I think there was a lot more elbow room to operate."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 15th)
"I cooked the brakes. I was too aggressive at the start of the race and I feel like it was my fault that I cooked them. It's one of those things at Martinsville being a rookie I screwed up. Being out front I should have slowed down a little bit."