DIAMOND HILL PLYWOOD 200 POST-RACE NOTES Darlington Raceway -- Saturday, March 22 RANDY LaJOIE (No. 74 FINA Chevrolet) -- We finally beat Mark Martin and he sends his darn teammate (Jeff Burton) after us! I learned how to drive ...
DIAMOND HILL PLYWOOD 200 POST-RACE NOTES Darlington Raceway -- Saturday, March 22
RANDY LaJOIE (No. 74 FINA Chevrolet) -- We finally beat Mark Martin and he sends his darn teammate (Jeff Burton) after us! I learned how to drive this place from Jack Ingram (three-time NASCAR Busch Series champion). (On last lap Burton and LaJoie swapped the lead twice from the end of the backstretch to the finish line.) I learned that (crossover move) from the Winston Cup guys when I used to watch the races on Sunday sitting on my couch. I figured if they could do it I could do it. He (Burton) slid up (in turn three) and I got underneath him.
STEVE BIRD (Crew chief No. 74 FINA Chevrolet) -- Not only do we have to come here and beat Mark (Martin) all the time -- now we gotta beat his teammate, Jeff (Burton)! We came here loaded to try to do it and everyone put a big effort into it. I can't say enough about BACE Motorsports. As much as controversy goes with our driver -- you know, everyone knows that why he's lost rides before -- but we're still a race team and this BACE Motorsports team keeps going!
BILL BAUMGARDNER (Team owner BACE Motorsports / No. 74 FINA Chevrolet) -- We've won two championships (1995 with Johnny Benson and 1996 with Randy LaJoie), but I guess winning Darlington means we're on our way to our third championship!
MARK MARTIN (No. 60 Winn-Dixie Ford) -- He (Randy LaJoie) was just better. I had about a fourth or a fifth place car and that's where we ended up. (On Craven hitting the wall.) I don't really know what happened there. He just got in the wall and I barely squeezed by. That didn't cost me any momentum. We didn't really have a shot at it. We weren't good enough to win.
JEFF BURTON (No. 9 Track Gear Ford) -- We had a really strong car and I knew what Randy was going to do. I just didn't know what to do to stop him. This team will get its wins. We've been close the last several races. We had a really strong race car -- I just didn't get the job done. I felt like I lost this one for us.
PHIL PARSONS (No. 10 ChannelLock Chevrolet) -- We've got a pretty good run of finishes going here. We were probably better than fifth but there's some tough cats out there. Any time you finish on Mark Martin's bumper, you've done something. I'm pleased with fifth, but unless you win you always want to do better.
DICK TRICKLE (No. 64 Dura Lube Chevrolet) -- It took a while for us to get going, but once we did we were okay. We had a better car on the long runs. If we hadn't had all those late cautions we might have had a chance to win. I'm real happy to finish third. We are a few guys short back at the shop and these guys have been doing an outstanding job. (Trickle, while still in his car, was confronted in the garage area by Ricky Craven following the race.)
RON BARFIELD (No. 94 New Holland Ford) -- We had a much better car than our finish shows. I'm still trying to learn these places and how to get around them in race traffic. We had a super car and some great pit stops but I need more experience. We finished on the lead lap and there's something to say for that at Darlington.
JASON KELLER (No. 57 Slim Jim Chevrolet) -- We just don't have any luck at all. We pitted a lap after Todd (Bodine) and just as soon as we came down the pit lane the caution came out. We were headed for a solid top 10 finish before we got caught in the pits. We never did get our lap back, but we ran strong.
DAVID HUTTO (No. 24 Hutto Racing Chevrolet) -- This is a tough track. It was a pretty good day. We didn't get banged up that bad. We didn't finish all the laps today but we finished and that says a lot. I was involved in that early wreck and knocked the grill in but that didn't seem to hurt us too bad. Next time we come here I'll race a little harder in the race. This is a tough track that you've got to learn, and take your time learning it. It's the toughest track I've ever been on, that's for sure.
TODD BODINE (No. 36 Stanley Pontiac) -- No -- I didn't have a car that could win the race (despite what it looked like when he held off Randy LaJoie to get his lap back). The car was just too tight the whole time. We loosened it up like crazy and it was still too tight! We had a top 10 car and that's where we finished -- 10th! We were like 16th (before last two restarts) and we got up to 10th...so that's not too bad. But this car has never really run that good. We're gonna have to make some changes on it. To salvage a 10th, I guess that's what you gotta do to win the points -- do the best with what you got.
RICKY CRAVEN (No. 2 Raybestos Chevrolet) -- (On late race wall-banger.) I just got high coming off (turn) two trying to pass (Dick) Trickle. That bent the front end. (Craven confronted Trickle at the gas pumps following the race, while Trickle was still in his car.) We were just disgusted with how that race came out. It was unforunate. If we could have gone green with the Raybestos Chevrolet we were in great shape. That car really ran on long runs -- and then we had so many cautions at the end. It didn't allow us time enough to get to victory lane. (More on Trickle.) I was a little disappointed with him. I thought when I drove underneath him he rode me down to pit road (on the frontstretch). If that had been for the lead I wouldn't have minded and if it had been for the win I wouldn't have been disappointed at all. But it disappointed me running for third because it banged up the front of my car and prevented any chance of winning.
TRANSOUTH FINANCIAL 400 PRE-RACE NOTES
RICKY RUDD (No. 10 Tide Ford) -- (On his flu bug and status for Sunday.) I'm not in great shape to where I'd want to be running a 400-mile race. It's a pretty heavy flu bug. All the guys in the shop had it and I was the last one to get it. I thought I was gonna dodge it but I came down with about Tuesday (March 18). It's a situation where you just have to make the best of it. We've got Elton Sawyer standing by. He fits the car well and drives it good. (In the last practice.) A couple of 10-lap runs were all we made. The biggest thing is getting enough fluid in me. I think I'll be all right because I've been staying down and in bed all week. It'll be cooler tomorrow so that'll help. The frustrating thing is it's seemed to have stayed with the guys two or three weeks. Right now is probably the best I've felt but I'm still not 100 percent better. It's gone from being a flu bug with aches and pains to a head cold. If that's all it is I think I can handle it because when you get in the car it tends to dry you out.