Michigan II: Ford Racing post-race quotes

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 43rd) "I'm alright. My knee is a little sore and my ankle is a little sore, but, other than that, I'm good. I was just one of those racing deals. I turned down and got under Kenny and was...

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 43rd)

"I'm alright. My knee is a little sore and my ankle is a little sore, but, other than that, I'm good. I was just one of those racing deals. I turned down and got under Kenny and was pulling in front of him, but I got Kurt pinched down a little bit and the air came off his spoiler and he got into me. That's one of those racing deals. If Kenny wasn't outside of me and I would have had some room to save it, we would have been alright, but Kenny was right out there and when I moved up the track he got in the quarter panel and turned me right up into the wall and it was on from there. It's a crying shame. We've struggled all weekend. This is the car we crashed testing at Indy. It was really fast there, but we crashed and fixed it. We came back here and struggled all weekend with it, but we made some changes this morning and the car was a lot better. Gary (Cogswell) made some adjustments and the car was really good right there. We were just working our way through. Me and Kurt were coming up through there together and I was basically just following him. In that one instance he was down low and I got under Kenny and it was just one of those racing deals."

IT WAS A SPECTACULAR LOOKING WRECK. WHAT WAS IT LIKE INSIDE THE CAR?

"That's not the closest I've come to turning over, but I knew I was close to turning over when I looked out the windshield and the wall was going sideways. That was not fun. And then the fire, I didn't know if it was my car or what was going on. I didn't know Kenny was underneath me like that. It was a pretty hard hit when Kenny turned me up in the wall. I hit the wall at probably 180 miles an hour, but, fortunately, I've got a Lajoie seat and a HANS device and everything did its job. The only thing is I've got a sore knee and a sore ankle. That's racing. I'm not gonna blame Kurt. I was mad at him at first, but after seeing the replay I know it wasn't his fault. It was just one of those racing deals. Air came off his spoiler and he got into me. It's just one of those deals. It's a shame for our National Guard crew."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus (Finished 4th)

"We feel like we've been struggling with our cars. This is the car we ran at Indy and couldn't get the handle at all. We bring it here and it runs great. I tell you, the Grainger guys are working really hard. I've got to give them 110 percent. They're working harder than any team in this garage area for us to run better and it's paying off. Everybody's got their head down digging and nobody is giving up. It just goes to show you today. It was a real easy car to drive today, but we just couldn't quite get it. I didn't want to get it too free and I was a little bit tight all day. I thought I could catch the 48 and the 29 there, but you've got to be excited with that."

HOW MUCH DID YOU HAVE TO CONSERVE FUEL?

"I didn't have to conserve any. They said we were good to go, so we must have been getting good mileage. I was trying to catch the 20. The 20 was a little better than me. I didn't want to wrestle with him long, I just let him go. I needed a good top five finish and we weren't gonna hold him off for eight to ten more laps."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 9th) ANOTHER TOP 10 FINISH.

"Yeah, it's good getting that finish but we just ran so bad today. We had a 15th or 20th place car and got lucky and finished ninth with it. I'm really disappointed the last couple of weeks. We haven't run as good, but my DEWALT guys did a good job of keeping me in there. We were slow and steady today, which isn't really what we're after, but we just missed it. We thought we were really good in happy hour and all day I just couldn't get the front end to work like it needed to and because of that we had to crutch it with the back end. We just couldn't get either end gripped into the race track and just struggled with it all day."

ANOTHER GOOD POINTS DAY. YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP DOING THIS WEEK AFTER WEEK.

"Every week that gets by and you gain points, you feel better about it. I'm not pleased with the way we ran. Some other people had trouble, so we had a good day in the points, obviously, and I feel good about where we're at. That's one more race down, but we have to get back to a winning level. We've slipped a little bit in the last couple of weeks and I'm not sure why. We need to get back on track and get that thing up front and winning some races."

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 23rd)

"We couldn't have made it if we had pitted before, so it was just one of those catch-22 situations. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I'm encouraged that we ran a lot better. The car was a lot better today. Driving-wise it's got a little more work to do and we'll keep working at it."

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 18th)

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE RACE?

"Ask Jimmy Spencer."

DID JIMMY SPENCER HIT YOU?

"Ask Jimmy Spencer."

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 12th)

"For being a lap down, that's not too bad. Our radios went sour at the beginning of the race and I didn't know it was three-wide. I don't know if I came up into Ricky or if he came down, but I definitely didn't know he was there. I'm sorry that happened. But to come out 12th after being a lap down we're gonna take that. We struggled a lot. We didn't have the grip we needed, but we'll take that."

IS THIS SOMETHING TO BUILD ON?

"I hope so. I told the guys if we can get top 15 finishes the rest of the year we'll get in the top 15 in points, so that's what we want to do."

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 29th)

"We actually had a really good car today. We had a fifth to tenth place car. I'm not sure how far we got up to, but we were coming through there pretty good. We wouldn't have won the race, but we were coming through there and Sadler didn't see me. Some of it was my fault because I made it three wide down in one and two. I came up on the 97 and the 38, they were holding me up, I ran them down and caught them. They were holding me up for about four laps so the 38 went to the bottom and the 97 went to the top. I went through the middle and was passing both of them and Sadler didn't see me. Somebody said his spotter's mike was stuck and he couldn't tell him. We came off three wide, but Elliott didn't see me and just drove right in the side of me and shoved me up the race track. That flattened our tires and we had to come in. That's how we got out of sync on the pit stops, but then it was just patching up and trying to keep going. We couldn't do much after that because the front end was tore up."

JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 11th)

"At times we were real fast and at other times we were real slow. We just can't get the front of our car to work very good, so the only thing we can do is just make it really, really loose to start and make it to where it's decent at the end. There at the end we loosened it up even more. Matt got really loose off of two and I was behind him, so I had to lift and five or six got by us. Then I had to go and get back by all those guys. We didn't have a great car, but we finished 11th and did a good job on fuel mileage. We just have to get the front of our cars working a little better and once we do that, then we won't have to be so loose to start and everything will get easier."

IT LOOKED LIKE BRISTOL AT TIMES OUT THERE TODAY.

"It was pretty wild."

JIMMY FENNIG, Crew Chief - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus

"What I understand is we ran out of gas on the race track and we ran out of gas here again. The car came to a stop and Spencer ran into him in the garage area. I don't know what happened after that. I wasn't around to see it."

IS KURT INJURED?

"No, Kurt's alright."

WAS THERE ANY INKLING THERE MIGHT BE A PROBLEM AFTER THE RACE?

"No. We didn't even know there was a problem during the race." THEY DIDN'T GET INTO IT ON THE TRACK? "No, they rubbed one time down the straightaway, but, I mean, everybody rubs racing. It wasn't even enough to bend a fender or even take the Goodyear off the tire."

SO YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT SPENCER COULD HAVE BEEN UPSET ABOUT?

"I don't know, maybe because we ran out of gas.  He ran in the
back of him.  I don't know.  That's racing."

WAS THE CREW INVOLVED?

"No. Our crew is pretty good. I've had meetings with our crew about not going in and getting in any fights. We don't fight in Winston Cup racing, so my guys have strict orders never to worry about fighting. These guys are good. They don't worry about it."

ARE YOU SURPRISED THIS HAPPENED GIVEN THEIR PAST AND SPENCER'S NATURE?

"Spencer used to drive for me years ago. I really don't have a comment about Jimmy Spencer."

WHAT WAS SAID IN THE NASCAR TRAILER?

"They're still in there talking."

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus

"We had another incident and, in this case, it was after the race was over. It was in the garage. Jimmy apparently ran into, with witnesses, I did not witness it, he ran into the back of Kurt's car and that was after some contact and some exchange with Jimmy apparently being the aggressor as they went from the race track to the garage. Kurt says that his car ran out of gas, it stopped running. He didn't have much gas left, so Jimmy then ran into him and came up and punched him through the window. There were words exchanged. I don't know what was said. We'll get that all straight. We're gonna let the authorities handle it. The local sheriff's office is taking statements from the drivers since it was not on the race track and it wasn't during the event. Of course, it's primarily in Mike Helton's hands to decide what he needs to do with Jimmy after these repeated assaults that he's had, either on the race track or the rest of it. That's all I've got to say for now."

WHAT WAS DISCUSSED IN THE NASCAR TRAILER?

"Jimmy has had a history of being overtly aggressive and NASCAR has taken a position on what he should and should not do about that. I haven't been part of meetings when they discussed that with Jimmy, but I know that there is some kind of a deal that they had made with him to let him continue to race unimpeded and he has broken whatever his commitment was."

ARE YOU SURPRISED THIS HAPPENED BASED ON WHAT HAPPENED PREVIOUSLY WITH KURT?

"I wouldn't care to comment on that. Jimmy is what he is and Jimmy does what he does. He's full grown."

-fr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmy Spencer , Mike Helton