RON HORNADAY , NO. 33 AES HR SOLUTIONS SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 6TH, FINISHED 2ND: "Our AES Chevrolet ran good all night and I have to thank Rick Ren and the guys for working their guts out. To come out of here with a top-five with all these guys...
RON HORNADAY , NO. 33 AES HR SOLUTIONS SILVERADO, QUALIFIED 6TH, FINISHED 2ND:
"Our AES Chevrolet ran good all night and I have to thank Rick Ren and the guys for working their guts out. To come out of here with a top-five with all these guys in competition here, it tells you how much homework Chevrolet has done over the winter time and what Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) have done with the second truck to help our program out for the AES Chevrolet.
"It was a great run until the last three or so laps there when Mark (Martin) went spinning. We were really good off the trailer. We started changed a few things to try them and then luckly went right back to where we started. Rick Ren (crew chief), Danny and all the guys on our AES Chevrolet Silverado did a great job all night long. To run with those guys all night and running up front. It says a lot for our team for what they have overcome since last year.
"Starting off at Daytona finishing seventh when last year we had a lugnut loose, then we came here, I don't remember where we finished but a carbureator shaft busted so it wasn't good, to finish second now is great. We had a truck to run up front all night long. We were kind of savinga little bit running in third.
"I know the question is going to be what happened to Mark (Martin). There are only two people who really know what happened and that is Mark and I. Mark knows he tried to get me to get out of the gas. When the second place guy gets out of the gas and when the leader goes and you get back in the throttle, all you are going to do is spin the tires. I am the type of person, when you see the book I write someday, I ride the brake a lot and if you get out of the gas, that just puts more fuel in the carbureator and spins the back tires. If I had done that, we would have had a big stack up and I probably would have been the one spun out in second. I touched Mark, it looked like he tried to come back up to block me from passing him. When he did, he was still off the ground a little bit and it spun him out.
"I hate to see that, because Mark is such a clean racer and great competitor. I wouldn't race him that way and he wouldn't race me that way, it just happened. I wish it hadn't or it was somebody else. If it was Sprague or somebody, I wouldn't feel bad about it (LAUGHS AS SPRAGUE COMES IN).
"Mark races usclean and things happen in racing. It was just one of those racing things and I was excited because I had such a good truck.
ON IF SKINNER GOT BY HIM BEFORE THE YELLOW CAME OUT:
"(Mike) Skinner got by me before the yellow came out. That is how much Mark slowed the field down. I got in the back of him, I had to get back out of it. Mike just enough of a run. Mike saw what was going on and he was smart enough to get out of it and let us dice it out and then we touched. He got a good sling slot. I did all I could do, he did a great job those last two laps. If he had pushed up just a little bit, and I got clean air, I could have got him but it just happened the way it happened.
ON CONTACT WITH MARTIN
"In the driver's meeting, Wayne Auton said 65 guys, 65. I think he said it three times, don't slow it down. Mark knows I am pretty good on restarts and I ride the brake, I was trying not to spin the tires.
"The deal is if you can get anybody behind you to get out of the gas, it is almost like a brake check. If you are going 65 and slow it down to 55, and get the guy to run up on you and you get out of the gas again, he spins the tires. That is what I didn't want to happen. I was a little closer and our bumpers didn't line up. I would have shoved him forward, but I actually had his back tires off the ground. They said go go go, I said I can't, my bumper is hooked to his bumper. It is one of those sad things. It took a great day and hate to see it for anybody, especially Mark Martin. He races everybody clean.
-credit: gm racing