JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Finished 1st) TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN TODAY. "Well, our little Busch team, they just do an awesome job. We came out here, I asked to cut the test a day short for some reasons we'll keep to ourselves, but we cut the...
JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)
TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN TODAY.
"Well, our little Busch team, they just do an awesome job. We came out here, I asked to cut the test a day short for some reasons we'll keep to ourselves, but we cut the test a day short and came out here and worked really hard for only one day. Brad and everybody wanted to do it in two days and I kept trying to convince them they were good enough to do it in one day. I'm glad that worked out. All year long, every race track that we've gone to, with the exception of maybe Richmond, we felt like during the race at some point, we had a chance to win. It's just been an incredible run in the Busch Series. Those guys, we have Winston Cup caliber people. We went and rebuilt our Busch program this year and we went and got the very best people we could get. And, some of those people, including Brad, were former employees of Roush Racing and they came back. It's just been a lot of fun to watch them jell as a team, to watch Brad mature as a crew chief and take control of that Busch program. He and his guys are doing it. I'm, literally, much different than I used to be. I'm truly just a driver in that deal and they've just done a great job."
TALK ABOUT JEFF'S BUSCH SERIES SUCCESS THIS YEAR.
JACK ROUSH; "I'm just excited about everything that happens every day. These are all extra days for me. The thing that has happened with our Busch team is we've been able to see it reborn. It had grown a little stale last year and Jeff said he wanted to continue to race in the Busch Series with sponsorship, and Gain brought us good sponsorship, and he wanted to continue to do that, but he wanted an effort that would be equivalent to the effort that Mark had so many years in the 60 program. We went back and talked to Brad's dad, Buddy, about what he thought we ought to do and Buddy thought that Brad would be the guy, and of course, then Brad had a host of, I don't want to say has-beens, but previous Roush employees that were buddies of his that he thought would like to come back, so we picked up on several of those guys. We got Tony Price back in, who had been out of the mix in stock car acing for a number of years, that I had respected for a long time. And Bob Rinaldi and all of the engines guys and the chassis guys over at Mooresville rallied behind what was happening, not only what was happening with Greg and Randy's program with the 60 car, but to get the 9 program back to where it needed to be. There was a time that Jeff literally carried the thing on his own shoulders, but the Winston Cup thing got hard enough and the Busch thing is hard enough that you can't do that now. A driver has to be supported by really good people and Brad and the guys that came back and committed themselves to go up front. They're disappointed when they don't win ever race that they go to. It's wonderful thing."
TALK ABOUT PIT STRATEGY.
BRAD PARROTT : "We're a four tire kinda team. Any time you get four Goodyear Eagles on a fast race car, it's just going to go faster. The two tires was never even a consideration, or gas only. Our car, we came out and test and ran four or five sets of different tires, and tires mean a lot, and I had our best set of tires. Our tire man Tony Price had his best set of tires sitting on the wall and I said, 'We're going to use them, if they're the best set.' Some people say, how does he know they're the best set -- he drove off and left them. I can't thank Jack and Jeff enough for the opportunity he gave myself and Darrell Marrow, who Jack didn't mention. Darrell used to be with Roush and he's our shock manager. Him and Jeff put a shock package together. That's Jeff and Darrell's deal. I owe it all to my guys; they've worked really hard for the last two weeks, preparing for this race, and once again, we came out on top."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN HERE TESTING TWO WEEKS AGO?
JEFF BURTON: "In all honesty, all you'll laugh when I say this, but we learned what we couldn't do. We came out here and we worked for a solid day trying to pull something off that we came to the conclusion we couldn't pull it off. And had we not come out and tested, we would have raced today with stuff that wasn't capable of winning because when you come out here to race, there's not enough time to experiment. There were some things we wanted to experiment with, so we came and experimented. We used it as a test. Not specifically for this race track, but we used it to learn what was crossing the border in some areas. When we left the test, we knew we needed to be a lot better, but we came to the conclusion of why we needed to be better based off of what we knew wasn't working."
TALK ABOUT THE EARLY CAUTIONS IN TODAY'S RACE?
"The characteristic of this tire is that it is very loose. When you start on this tire with low air pressure with no heat in the tires, they are very, very loose. And then when you get beside someone, you're that much looser because there's lack of air on your car. I was around several incidents today. Me and Ron Hornaday, he got really loose and I guess I touched him. I would have bet a million dollars that I didn't touch him, but I guess I did, and when you get near somebody and you're really loose on new tires, they just spin out. Jimmy Spencer spun out yesterday on new tires in practice; I was behind him, too. I guess you don't want to be in front of me. It's just a characteristic of this tire. It doesn't make a lot of grip until they have laps on them or they have a tremendous amount of air pressure in them, but you can't start with a whole lot of air pressure because then at the end of the run, you're no good. It's a balance, and it's a compromise - how bad can you be to start to make it up at the end? You have to know how to make those compromises and the driver has to be able to hang on for a few laps when he's driving something he really doesn't want to be driving, so that later on he'll be driving what he does want to be driving."
HOW MUCH DO YOU TAKE FROM TODAY'S RACE INTO TOMORROW'S RACE?
"I'm asked that question a lot and to this day, I don't know how to answer it. Every race is different. Every situation is different. The situation that we're in with our Winston Cup team right now, we're looking at so many things we've never looked at before. Paul Andrews has come on board and we're doing things different than we've ever done. How we tie the Busch program into the Winston Cup program, we really don't know right now. Our Cup program wasn't where it needed to be, so Paul came in and he's got some great ideas, and I'm kinda doing what I've done with the Busch program. I'm kinda stepping back and being the driver and watching and seeing what happens because me calling the shots wasn't working. We're in the process in our Winston Cup program of learning each other, of Paul learning our cars, of understanding the Ford aerodynamics versus the Chevrolet aerodynamics. We're going to have some races where we run poor, and we're going to have some races where we run very well until he and I learn each other. It's hard to take the Busch program and put it on the Winston Cup program because the Winston Cup program is all brand new right now."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON KERRY EARNHARDT'S RUN TODAY.
"Well, I'm a Kerry Earnhardt fan. I like Kerry a lot. I think he's one of the nicest young men that's on the racing circuit. Before his father passed away, I got to know his father pretty well, and when he was sitting there leading, the truth of the matter is I thought about his dad. I thought, boy, his dad would be pissed off if I passed him. That's what he would like, too. If Dale were here, he would find me in the motorhome lot tonight and squeeze my shoulder and say, 'You should have let that boy win.' But, Kerry is progressing. He's had to work at it. He's a lot like me. I didn't just jump into racing and do great. I had to work real hard at it. And, Kerry's had to work real hard at it, and Kerry, to his credit, hasn't let his brother being famous, his brother being a huge image in the whole country and not just the racing world, Kerry has handled that very well. That shows you what Kerry's character is. He's worked very hard and if you watch how he does his program, he was building his own race cars, he was doing a lot of the things I did. So, I look up to Kerry for those things and I think he's a really good person, so I'd like to see him to well, but at the end of the day, I'd rather see me do well. We have a job to do and no matter who is in front of us, it's our job to go and get in front of them. I would love to see Kerry win as long as I wasn't in the race."
DOES THE SUCCESS YOU'VE HAD IN THE BUSCH SERIES MAKE UP FOR THE STRUGGLES IN WINSTON CUP THIS YEAR?
"You don't make up for lack of success. I don't leave tomorrow, if we run poorly tomorrow or we run well tomorrow, I separate the two. I think you have to. On the other hand, if the Busch program had struggled like the Cup program, then my confidence would be really low as a driver. The one thing that the Busch program has done is that it's shown me that I can drive these race cars. Now, that's not to say that we haven't run well in the Winston Cup program because my guys can't get it done. What it means is that I'm having more trouble in the Cup program explaining what I need, getting it to do what I need it to do, and I'm part of that problem. I'm not in the situation where I say, 'make it work,' and I can get it done. I'm not saying that. For whatever reason, it's been easier for me and Brad to get it done than it has in the Winston Cup program. So, we've looked at the Busch program and said, 'why is that?' You can make a case that the Busch program is easier to win in, there aren't as many really good teams in Busch as there are in Cup, there's no arguing that. But I'm going to tell you, when you beat Jason Keller, when you beat Greg Biffle, when you beat Jeff Green, when you beat the 10 car, when you beat those guys you've done a damn good day's work, you really have. It's hard to beat those guys; they're very ,very good. I take a lot of confidence out of it from a driver's standpoint and one of the reasons that we've made a change in our Winston Cup program is because how well the Busch program has worked. I've turned it over to people I can trust, people that I knew that could do it and I've stepped into that Busch program, and what I am now, I'm the computer. I'm the car's computer. I tell them what it's doing, I tell them why I think it's doing it and I give Brad pretty much final say on what he wants to do on the car. That's worked so well, that that's what we're doing to do with the Winston Cup program. We're building the Winston Cup program based on what we've had success with the Busch program. That's why we made our changes because that wasn't working the way it needed to be working."
"I didn't see 100 percent what happened. When the wreck happens behind you and you're coming off turn 4, you better race back. When you're in turn 2 and the wreck happens, then racing back is uncalled for unless you're trying to get your lap back, and it's real late in the race. It's best for everybody not to race back. It allows rescue personnel to get to the guy who wrecked. It's just is better. If you're in the middle of three and four and the caution comes out and you've got to race back to the line, you better race back to the line. I think that's OK in that situation because you don't have to run back through the wreck and you're only running from turn 4 to the start-finish line. So, what I think you're speaking of, if that's what happened when Michael wrecked, then I think that's OK."