JIMMY SPENCER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram) Note: Jimmy Spencer is the eighth different winner, and the second Dodge winner in eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at New Hampshire Int'l Speedway. Spencer's victory was earned in...
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram)
Note: Jimmy Spencer is the eighth different winner, and the second Dodge winner in eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at New Hampshire Int'l Speedway. Spencer's victory was earned in only his second Truck Series start. The win is Spencer's first NASCAR victory at NHIS - his previous best finish at the track was fourth.
"I didn't mean to get into Carl (Edwards). He had a good run at me, and he got right into the right-rear quarter panel. I got together with him, and I sure didn't want that to happen. My Dodge was really good after three or four laps after the restart. I knew I was a tenth and a half faster than he was, but that's life. I did not want to bump Carl. I sure didn't mean it. But he came over, and he knows. He said he would have done the same thing - we're racing to win. I'm glad he got second, though. We'll race again this year. Hopefully we'll have a good finish, and he can beat us one time.
"I was four laps short (on fuel). Ol' Darrell Waltrip used to say, 'Start breathing early.' So I was breathing as early as I could. Early in the race I wasn't worrying about the fuel mileage. I was about a tenth and a half to two seconds better than any truck. But Dennis (crew chief, Connor) told me to worry about my fuel and to start to conserve. I started slowing down and he gave me my laps times, and I knew I could run two-tenths quicker if I had to. But I gave two-tenths a lap to save me three or four laps, and it worked out for us.
"This was pretty cool. We were able to sit on the pole with the Team ASE Dodge. We knew we had a really good truck yesterday in practice. We didn't practice last night because we felt like it would've given us the wrong read on the truck. We made a pit stop and got four fresh tires, and we were a little bit tight right there. We ran second for a long time behind Teddy (Ultra Motorsports teammate, Musgrave). We put four more tires back on and made chassis and air pressure adjustments, and the truck took off. We really had a good truck. Then they said that we were going to be five laps short on fuel, and that really pissed me off. I said, 'Here we are, and now were going to run out of fuel.' In the meantime the caution came out there at the end, and it really was beneficial for saving our fuel but Carl Edwards really got up on me. Him and I got together coming off of turn four. It was just a racing deal, you know? He's a cool cat, and he's got a great future ahead of him. I just like racing these trucks, and the Team ASE Dodge came out on top. That was pretty cool.
"I think it's advantage any time you run a Saturday race. You know, if you do really good it's a big advantage, and if you don't do good then it sucks. It's like, 'Man alive, I'm not looking forward to tomorrow.' But you have to wash it off, go to bed tonight and wake up the next morning. It feels like you're starting a new day. That's what happened yesterday. I still think it gives you a lot of confidence. Any time you run really good in a Busch car or a truck, it's going to help you in Winston Cup on Sunday. I think it does. I feel really good about tomorrow. The team Sirius Dodge is running pretty good. It really runs good on old tires. That's what our truck did today. This truck really would fly after we had six or eight laps on the tires. But, you know, it just depends. Winston Cup racing is really competitive. I think it helped me today to run this truck, without a doubt. I think the truck helps because the aerodynamics and stuff is pretty far off. It shows you a lot of stuff about the chassis. We made the right calls in the pits to adjust the chassis the right way. I think Dennis (Connor, crew chief) did a great job there.
"I gave him (Edwards) room on the outside and he shot me to the outside coming off the corner. It was just a deal where I tried to give him all of the room I could, but I didn't want to lift off the throttle either. The momentum just took me up, and him and I got together a little bit. He came to the Winner's Circle, and he was really cool about it. We'll get to race again this year before it's all over, and I'm sure he'll be racing Winston Cup down the road. You know, when you're the leader you're sort of the boss of the field. That's what I was always taught. I sure did not want to get into him. But he also, I think, knew he was pushing the issue there because I was running that line. But it's cool, because nobody got hurt. You know, we both still ended up first and second."
"I talked to most of the truck drivers before the race, and they're awesome. All of the drivers here get along really, really good. There's actually only one person who needs to learn how to respect his other competitors and stuff. We all know who that is. It's obvious that Carl Edwards respects everybody. He listens to Kenny Schrader, and he'll be in a Winston Cup car some day without a doubt. He's a talented, talented driver.
"I thought this was the end of it, but now Jimmy Smith (team owner, Ultra Motorsports) is telling me that I can run all of the combination races. I think running at Martinsville, Phoenix and all of them places would be really cool.
"I saved fuel today. I lifted probably three to four truck lengths a lap, rather than keep going. I knew I had to save four laps - that's four miles. I said, 'Man, that's about impossible, but we can try.' We knew that if we could save fuel, lift early and get a caution, it'd work. After that last restart Dennis said, 'Right now, with the caution laps and the way you've been saving fuel, we're in good shape.' I could run 30.30-sec. laps at any time, and I was the fastest truck most of the day. Carl came along and he could run some 30.30-secs. But all in all, when you start running 30.50 and 30.60-secs., you're saving three-tenths of a lap, and every three laps that's a second, so you're saving fuel. That's what I was trying to do, and it worked out for us today. The caution fell again, and we ended up winning the race.
"NASCAR is so dag'goned competitive today. The emphasis is always on the Winston Cup, because that's where you always want to be. But all the NASCAR touring series are tough. I think the biggest thing about the NASCAR program is that it allows young guys to be able to race. It allows young guys to be the future in the sport of Winston Cup Racing, and it gives them notoriety and recognition. We saw that with Kurt Bush, Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday and all those guys in the Truck Series before that. Greg Biffle is a good example, as he's racing for Rookie of the Year this year. I think it's neat for me. I won in the modifieds. Now, I've won in the Trucks. I've won the ASA. I've won in Winston Cup, in Busch and Busch North too. Yeah, it's an honor really, but the thing about NASCAR is that they give you a lot of avenues to pursue a career. My son is going to start racing, and I'm looking forward to running him in all of the other series to get him eventually to the Winston Cup Series. Hopefully, he has what it takes.
"I told Carl in the Winner's Circle, 'Man, Carl, you should have waited on me just a little bit more, and I'm glad you didn't.' But he's cool about it. That's just being a rookie. He knows he made a rookie mistake. His truck was really working good on the outside. If you could have gone outside far enough to pinch the guy down on the inside, then you're sort of screwed. He wasn't screwed at that time, but I would have been screwed. It was just a racing deal. I guarantee that boy's smart enough to put that in his memory bank and carry it into the next race. That's what makes you a better driver."
DENNIS CONNOR (Crew Chief, No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram) -
"Well, we work hard for all of them. We came up here knowing this was going to be a fuel-mileage race, so we did a lot of things that were going to help this Team ASE Dodge get a lot better fuel mileage than what we've been doing in the past 10 races. We gave up some horsepower, but Junior Johnson used to say that horsepower doesn't win races anyway. He was right today. Jimmy Spencer did a heck of a job, and the whole team did a heck of a job today."