Phoenix, Ariz. - The Dana Dodge, driven by 55-year old Joe Ruttman captured the pole for the third straight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race today at Phoenix international Raceway. Ruttman shattered the old track record with a lap of 27.863 ...
Phoenix, Ariz. - The Dana Dodge, driven by 55-year old Joe Ruttman captured the pole for the third straight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race today at Phoenix international Raceway. Ruttman shattered the old track record with a lap of 27.863 seconds at 129.204 mph. Dodge remains the only manufacturer to earn a pole position in the truck series this season. Dennis Setzer also qualified in the top-ten putting the Mopar Dodge in the seventh position with a lap of 28.162 seconds at 127.832 mph.
Joe Ruttman, driver, #18 Dana Dodge, starting first:
"It was a good lap for the Dana Dodge and before the race I had a chance to sit down with Danny (Gill), my crew chief, and he showed me the qualifying in Winston Cup from Darlington. We talked about how the young guys were driving and how the old guys were driving. They asked me if I wanted to be an old guy or a young guy. And of course I told them that I wanted to be a young guy. We really tried to relate what the guys were doing at Darlington to the track here and I think that is where the speed came from."
"This Dana Dodge team has a lot of little things that they do before we go out to qualify and that is where a lot of the power for these three pole positions has come from. We always set out to qualify well, but we have not really gone after the pole at all this season. I am certainly not going to complain about three poles. Now I just want to get the win for Dana, for Dodge and for Bobby Hamilton Racing."
Dennis Setzer, driver, #1 Mopar Dodge, starting seventh:
"The second lap that we ran during qualifying was the fastest lap that the Mopar Dodge has run all day. We are still a little loose in turns three and four, but I think we have a strong set up for the race tomorrow. I think this is the best that the Mopar Dodge has been at Phoenix'
Randy Renfrow, driver, #41 TKO Motorsports Dodge, starting 11th:
"It was a pretty good run for the TKO Dodge, we were a little tight in turns one and two, but the truck was more on the loose side in turns three and four. I got the truck a little sideways and I just laid back on the gas. We are going to be good in the race tomorrow and I am really looking forward to a good run for this team and for Dodge."
Randy Tolsma, driver, #26 Citgo Supergard Motor Oil Dodge, starting 12th:
"The Citgo Supergard Dodge ran great and I tried not to overdrive the truck and probably left some out there. We improved from practice and I think we will have a good truck for the race. We just weren't quite fast enough to beat those other Dodges that are up front. The guys did a great job and Dodge gave me a great truck so we will just see what we can do in the race tomorrow."
Steve Grissom, driver, #43 Dodge By Patty, starting 16th:
"It was not one of our better laps, but we have some things on the Dodge By Petty that we will try during this final practice session. The truck is still pretty tight, so we will adjust on that before the race. I think we will be good tomorrow."
Carlos Contreras, driver, #12 Hot Wheels Dodge, starting 22nd:
"Hot Wheels Dodge has run good today and I am pleased with where we qualified the truck. I am looking forward to a good run for this team tornorrow,'
Mike Cope, driver, #0 RC Cola Dodge, starting 31st:
"We have been struggling here a little and I have never raced here before. But we still have another practice session today and there are some things that we know we need to change on the RC Cola Dodge before the race tomorrow."
DODGE WINS FROM THE POLE IN PHOENIX RUTTMAN BRINGS DODGE IT'S FIRST WIN OF 2000
Dodge Ram Notes & Quotes
Phoenix, Ariz., - After winning the first three poles of the season, Joe Ruttman brought the Dana Dodge to victory lane this afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway. The 55-year old driver brings the Dana Dodge its first ever win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Dodge's first victory of the 2000 season. Bobby Hamilton Racing also won the $10,000 bonus from Craftsman for winning the race from the pole position. Ruttman finished the first of four Dodges in the top-ten when the checkered flag waved. Dennis Setzer finished in the sixth position followed by Steve Grissom in seventh and Randy Renfrow in eighth.
Randy Tolsma was the only Dodge with bad luck on the day when he was running second to Ruttman and a lapped truck spun in front of him. Tolsma had nowhere to go and was collected in the incident. Tolsma was uninjured in the accident.
Joe Ruttman, driver, #18 Dana Dodge, finished first;
"I want to thank Dodge and Dana for taking a shot on this old guy to drive one of their trucksBobby Hamilton put together a great bunch of young guys on this team and they have been working their tails off on these trucks. I also want to thank Joey Arrington for the best motor program. That has really been the turning point for us this season. We were good last year, but we just didn't have the power that we have this season."
"When Andy (Houston) got up along side of me there at the end I just didn't want him to pass me after I had been leading for so long. Then I saw the #99 truck coming and I thought, 'I used to drive that truck and I really don't want him to pass me'."
"The guys didn't have to make many adjustments on the Dodge all day. Danny (Gill) set up the truck and it was just flawless all afternoon. We laid back a little in the beginning to see what our tire wear would be like and once the guys saw that, they told me to drive the wheels off of it and that is just whet I tried to do."
"The Dana Dodge that we brought here this weekend is the oldest truck in our stable and named 'catfish'. I guess it took the old guy in the old truck, but it has always been good to us and today it was real good."
Dennis Setzer, driver, #1 Mopar Dodge, finished sixth
"The Mopar Dodge got some rubber in the headers and we lost a lot of positions when it started smoking. But once we recovered from that, we were able to move to the front again. The guys gave me some great pit stops today and the last one moved us from eighth to fourth position. The Mopar Dodge was great all day, but we just weren't right on. There were times that we were moving up through the pack and times that we were just running steady in the same position."
Stove Grissom, driver, #43 Dodge By Petty, finished seventh:
"The Dodge By Petty ran decent all day and we learned a lot today that we will be able to apply to races in the coming weeks. The team worked hard to give me some great pit stops and I think we will be another Dodge to visit victory lane in the near future."
Randy Renfrow, driver, #41 TKO Motorsports Dodge, finished eighth:
"The TKO Dodge was faster than the leaders for much of the day and we were catching the lead pack for a long time. This was a great race for this team and the guys gave me a great truck. We are still getting beat on pit road at times, but once we all come together on that, we are going to be tough to beat. But I want to congratulate Dodge and Joe Ruttman on winning today. He was really hooked up and ran a great race."
Mike Cope, driver, #66 RC Cola Dodge, finished 20th:
"The RC Dodge ran all day and we stayed in the lead lap. This race has given us a starting point The body is still in good shape and we will be able to build from this race. The truck was just loose in the comers all day. If someone got near us in the corners, we would get violently loose and I just didn't want to spin the truck. The motor is good and the team did a great job on Pit stops, now we just need to get the chassis perfect."
Randy Tolsma, driver, #25 Citgo Supergard Motor Oil Dodge, finished 31st:
"The Citgo Supergard Motor Oil Dodge ran phenomenal all day. We started off with a clutch problem but the truck was absolutely fantastic. The crew did an awesome job in the pits. We were running second when another truck spun in front of us. The spotter said 'Go low' so I did and there was just nowhere to go. Luckily the truck absorbed the shock of the hit and I'm fine, but my favorite truck is wrecked pretty bad.