JOHN FERNANDEZ (Director, Dodge Motorsports Operations) "I was hoping it was going to be a little bit shorter than this, but with the new cars I knew it was going to take some time before we won. I thought we had really good cars at Bristol. I...
JOHN FERNANDEZ (Director, Dodge Motorsports Operations)
"I was hoping it was going to be a little bit shorter than this, but with the new cars I knew it was going to take some time before we won. I thought we had really good cars at Bristol. I think that's when we broke through a little bit. I think that's when we showed our cars had potential to run in the top 10 and give us chances to win races. In practice this week and again in qualifying the cars looked good. We were running solid and consistent lap times. With 30 laps to go and when Junior went by, I was thinking, 'man, this is a strong Chevrolet.' Ryan hung in there and kept dogging. He was there and finally he got close enough where he could race him hard and when he did he went by him and drove away from him. It was awesome.
"I think we've still got some things to learn, but we're gaining on it. I think Jamie McMurray did a heck of a job today and so did Casey Mears. He's still learning the tracks. Rusty was off a little bit off all weekend. Two tenths and he's right there as well. I'm obviously encouraged. I think this will work for everybody. The other Dodge guys will dig down a little bit. They'll say if he can do it, so can we. I think it's good for everybody.
"I thought Jimmy Spencer did a good job today, too. He got a couple laps down and he got a lap back and ran strong. He just had a little unfortunate incident, and Bill Elliott looked smooth and fast when he was out there.
"We've been working hard on our plate program. We were obviously behind when we were at Daytona. This is the first time we've got to go back, and we hope we've made some progress. I wish we were going back to a mile and a half track next week. We'll see what happens. Hopefully we made some progress with our plate-motor program."