November 10, 2001 Homestead-Miami Speedway ELTON SAWYER-98-Univ. of Miami/Starter Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd) DID THE CAR CHANGE WITH THE LAST SET OF TIRES? "Well, we actually had a second-place car anyway. Kevin was just checked out. ...
November 10, 2001 Homestead-Miami Speedway
ELTON SAWYER-98-Univ. of Miami/Starter Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd)
DID THE CAR CHANGE WITH THE LAST SET OF TIRES? "Well, we actually had a second-place car anyway. Kevin was just checked out. In that stage of the race, I thought we were as good as we had been all day, Joe was just a little faster there at the end. Our car was doing the same thing; I could make it push or make it be loose. But, what a job by these guys, great pit stops. If we do that every week next year, maybe we'll be talking about the championship, but it was still a good day for us."
DID YOU EVER CONSIDER TAKING TWO ON THE LAST STOP? "I don't consider anything. I was just driving my ass off. Ricky said pit and we got four. We thought that we had enough time there that two tires wasn't going to help it. Goodyear brought a great tire, and we would have been burned both ways on that deal, so I thought he did a good job." MORE SAWYER. "Our car performed well all day, but the 2 car was the dominant car all day. When he broke, I thought we had them all covered. Joe made a good call there at the end. He could gamble and we didn't want to gamble. We had some things that we needed to accomplish here, and that was to finish in the top five in both the owner and driver points. Our guys made a great call. We had great pit stops all day and the engine ran good. We just ran second; it's that simple."
DID YOU THINK THAT FOUR TIRES WOULD BE BETTER THAN TWO? "Goodyear brought a great tire here and our car was better on longer runs. A lot of guys were loose today and when we got them where they couldn't use the gas pedal, we were in pretty good shape. There at the end, he had enough time with his right-side tires to do what he needed to do. All in all, it was a great day."
DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR HARVICK WHEN YOU WERE BEHIND HIM? "I was running as hard as I could; I don't know what he had. When we got through traffic, we made some ground on him, but we needed to get to him and get by him, and those are two different things." HOW HARD IS IT TO BE HERE UNSURE OF SPONSORSHIP IN 2002? "We did all we could today. We ran as hard as we could. Ricky made good calls in the pits. And like I said earlier, if this team can't find sponsorship, there's something wrong with the system."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"It was a pretty good run. I feel bad, though, I ran into the jack guy down there and had a bad pit stop. The Grainger Ford Taurus ran really good today. The middle set of tires wasn't as good as the first or the last, so we keep adjusting on the chassis with spring rubbers in and out and finally got it good in the end."
JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Finished 9th)
"We were just junk. We practiced under the moonlight last night and the car was really good, but we raced under the sun today and that made the track slick. We just had too much shock to make it run. I was so loose that I couldn't get on the gas. The guys got it tightened up, but it still wasn't very good, and we lost so much track position there at first that we could never could get caught back up. It was a great year, though, and this was my last race with them. I just wish I could have done better for them, but that was about all I could do for them."
THERE WASN'T MUCH SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING TODAY. IS THAT ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE TRACK OR THE TIRE? "This track is awesome, but you need to have a great race car to run good. We just missed it today and Kevin hit it really good. Kevin just hit it on the head and made the rest of us look bad. We had the car to beat last night, but we raced under the sunlight and not the moonlight."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Finished 19th)
"We just missed it and with very few cautions, we didn't have a chance to fix it. We have no excuse, we just didn't do what we needed to do. We qualified well, the race just didn't go well. We tried hard all year, and we'll just have to come back next year and make another run of it."
THERE WAS A POINT IN THE RACE WHERE YOU AND JEFF WERE BOTH OUTSIDE THE TOP 10. WERE YOU KEEPING A TAB ON HIM TO SEE IF YOU GET POSSIBLY GET SECOND PLACE IN THE POINTS? "I was trying everything I could get all day; we just missed the setup. We have no excuses and with very few cautions, we just didn't have a chance to make it any better. When you go a lap down at a place like this and with the kind of race we had today, that was it."
RYAN NEWMAN-02-ALLTEL Ford Taurus (Finished 8th)
"It was a good run all together. To do green-flag runs like we had, and to be off and not to get a big opportunity to work on the car like that and still get a top-10 finish, it was good for the ALLTEL Ford. I just we could have done a little better. We know that we could have done better, but we learned, and we'll come back stringer next year."
IS THIS AN ANTICLIMACTIC END TO YOUR SEASON, FINISHING IN THE BUSCH SERIES? "Not really. It's good, as a whole, for the team. We've learned a lot this year and we've experienced a lot. Everything that we've done, we've done better. From the start of the year on, we've done better and we'll continue to learn and do better as a team. Whether we finished eighth, won or finished last at Homestead, I don't think it really matters."