Ford 300 post race quotes
Scott Wimmer, No. 23 Bill Davis Racing Pontiac, race winner
What went through your mind when you saw Jason Keller slowing down?
A lot of things went through my mind. I was pretty disappointed we couldn't make it on fuel. I thought that maybe we had a chance to make it. We had to come in and I figured Jason Keller was going to win the race. Down the frontstretch I saw him shaking his car and pulled on the inside and I couldn't believe it that he ran out of fuel. I feel bad for him. He's a great driver and he had a great season. Looking forward to next year and running for a championship I think he's one of the guys we're going to have to beat. I'm excited about finishing the year off so strong.
Did you have any input from radio/crew chiefs on what was happening with him?
Yea, my spotter said something when I was going into three. It took me a long time to get by Hank Parker Jr. He actually had a pretty good car. I think he was trying to play the fuel mileage game there a little bit and trying to save tires. After that I figured we were just racing for second anyways. Then Jason runs out of gas and we were able to pick up the win. It was just a real exciting day for us.
What accounts for your four victories in the last eight races?
Really we're just working real good together. Me and my crew chief, my whole team. After we were going to shut this team down we all got together and just decided that if we wanted to do this we were going to have to work harder, communicate better and that's what we've done. I think I'm driving as good as I've drove all year and at the end of the year out here. I think my guys are giving me great pit stops. We're bringing great race cars to the track every week. It's real exciting. Our car owner has been supportive since day one with this team. It's good to give him the wins.
When did you start not feeling well today?
It was after that last pit stop. We were back about 13th and I started getting a little hot. I just couldn't get a lot of air in the car. NASCAR makes us run the side windows at mile and a half tracks and you just don't get a lot of air in the car. I think during that last caution for rain we were running around and I just started getting a little hot and probably didn't drink enough water. I didn't feel good those last 40 laps but was able to stick it out. I always get a lot of confidence on the radio from my spotter and my crew chief and my owner and all them. Fortunately it wasn't a longer race and we were able to stick it out today.
Hank Parker Jr., No. 36 GNC Live Well Dodge, 2nd place finisher
Sum up your run today and your season.
It's pretty out in the open that GNC has left us. So here I am without a job and it's getting kind of late in the game. We've really worked hard to have a good season. We had a good run going last week. We just had some misfortune. Today at the start of the race my car was so good. It drove straight to the front and I was kind of catching Bobby. Bobby was really good. We wanted to stay out but I was scrubbing my tires that last restart I was leading. My car felt like it was going to flip over. I think we broke a shock and my lap times really dropped off quick. We just tried to adjust around it in our pit stops. They did a good job getting me in and out really fast. They got the car to where I could drive it because at first it was just undriveable. We were very fortunate today that the race fell the way it did.
Is there anything you could have done to hold off Scott Wimmer?
It was hard because my car was bouncing so hard through the corners. I had a charge but then Shane Hmiel came along and had new tires. I don't know what he was thinking there but he cost me a shot at maybe a win. I don't know if I could have gotten it or not. Shane Hmiel is a good competitor and he drives really, really hard. Sometimes he drives too hard. He messed us up a little whether he meant to or not.
Joe Nemechek, No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet, 3rd place finisher
Sum up your run/season:
It's been a pretty good season. We won at Daytona. We come here and we got too far behind to overcome and ended up third. We only got one win this year and that's kind of disappointing. But man, they're getting harder and harder to get.
Do you think this series is getting more competitive?
It's definitely getting tougher. Myself, we got behind too early. At first on that first set of tires my car pushed terrible. We lost too many spots. It's a hard track to pass at. But we passed a lot of cars today. Everybody seems to get their cars a little better every year.
Ford 300 Post Race Quotes
Casey Mears, No. 66, Phillips 66 TropArctic Dodge, highest finishing rookie at 12th
Sum up your season:
First of all I'm really grateful for this opportunity and really happy to be here on this side of things. Making the decision to come in this direction I was pretty apprehensive. I think for me obviously I had a lot of open wheel experience and making this decision while I was this young to go in this direction I think has been one of the best decisions I've made. Once you get in on the NASCAR side of things you don't realize what actually goes on and how competitive the races are and how much harder the races are when you've got a car that works right. I'm thankful for the opportunity and I'm looking forward to a long future in NASCAR.
What are you planning for next year?
Right now there's a lot of things up in the air. There's some positive things going and hopefully they'll come through. I'm pretty confident that I will be here next year.