TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram) "I don't know what I did in my previous life, but it must have been something really bad because I'm sure paying for it in this life. Every time this team Mopar comes to life and goes for a championship, ...
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Dodge Ram)
"I don't know what I did in my previous life, but it must have been something really bad because I'm sure paying for it in this life. Every time this team Mopar comes to life and goes for a championship, something out of their control (happens). The guys did great in the pits. The driver did good. The guys back in the shop built me an awesome truck. Everything was right, but it was an act of God again. We had a flat tire. It doesn't really knock us completely out of the points championship, but it really puts us in a big hole and there's nothing you can do. We're just going to go to Darlington and kind of do like we did -today -- just try and dominate and win that race with all four tires with air in them. We've been (going for it). Ever since a couple weeks ago that's all we've been doing is just not really worry about the points, just trying to dominate if you can. We did it at Martinsville pretty well, but we just made a mistake on when to pit. We had the best truck there, and we had the best truck again in Phoenix."
When did you know your tire was going down?
"You know it's going down when it's flat. On the corner before I called it in when I went in the turn and it didn't respond. I called in and said, 'Guys I've got right-front flat.' They said, 'Make sure,' and I went down into the next corner and I knew. I've experienced that, and it was going down. It must have just run over something, because being the lead truck the guys in the back of the pack are usually dropping nuts and bolts and screwdrivers and whatever else they've got laying around in their truck. So, I'm the first guy to run it over evidently."
Did you think a saved a lap when you exited the pits under yellow?
"We did, but then the tire came apart. You can't go very far when it starts coming apart, knocking the bodies off. You can't go very fast at all once it destroys the truck. It's a lose-lose situation, but that's just the way it is. There's nothing we can really do. The crew chief says, 'You always get stronger from what won't kill you.' We're going to be some strong sons of guns here pretty soon, evidently."
Chances of winning the championship
"I've got a shot. I've never given up. Don't get me wrong. It was really bleak because we're so far behind right now where we could have only been some 40 points out with two to go. But, I told the guys we only needed 30 points a race, but that's the way it is. We're pretty much out of it, but we haven't given up."
STEVE PARK (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge Ram)
"It was just tough. There were a lot of guys up front that cut tires down. There might have been debris on the racetrack from all the wrecks and stuff. I'm not really sure. The Orleans Dodge, we started off with a fairly loose truck. The guys did a good job getting it tuned in. We pitted for two tires to get track position right there at the end. The right-front tire looked like the inside edge was wearing pretty good. I think that might be why you saw the No. 1 Dodge blow a tire and stuff. We decided to put on a set of tires that we put on for about 15-20 and took off and then put back on a second time, instead of risking maybe blowing a right-front tire. It was just a good day. It's a great racetrack. I love it here."
BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Square D Dodge Ram)
"I just sort of kept my nose clean. We ran hot, and it was sort of a blessing in disguise because it got so wild up there. We just backed out of that. I decided just to run around right in 14th place -- there was a little gap there -- and then just see what I could get at the end. The No. 46 got by me and then we had enough left at the end to get back by him. So, it was a good day for us. We ran with four-tire pit stops all day. We've got to. We're running for a championship. We don't have anything to gain by going for track position. We need to finish. That's the big thing.
"I'm just really proud of the people around me -- my guys. They're just being really patient right now. It's pretty cool to sit there and know you're racing it for a championship and nobody ever mentioned it out of the radio. We just don't talk about. All the Dodge owners, Jimmy Smith, Michael Gaughan, were pulled together and meeting before every race and trying to strategize some of these races a little bit -- just trying to make sure we help one another."
P.J. JONES (No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Dodge Ram)
"We were just so tight all day long. At the end, I was just trying to help this team out a little bit and pass as many trucks as I could. We had a pretty good Team ASE Dodge. We had a pretty good day. I'd like to get the truck working just a little bit better. We seemed to be tight since we unloaded and we just couldn't get out of it. It was getting wild at the end there with everyone scrambling to get positions.
CHAD CHAFFIN (No. 18 Dickies Dodge Ram)
"We started out in the race pretty good. We had a really fast truck, but we just didn't have the track position to show it. Our lap times were great. But we knew what we had, and we fixed it, Kip McCord made a great adjustment and all the guys had good pit stops today. But, Terry Cook was just bound and determined to just really show his ability today. So, he got around me on the re-start going into turns one and two and I let him go. Then I set him back up fair and square. I got under him off turn four. We race together a lot, and it takes a lot of give and take, and today he just thought he was going to do all taking. He just turned into me, and I tried to get off of him and, in fact, I wrecked myself. I turned it left and then when he hit me I got into the inside wall and busted my radiator and ruined our day."