JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd) "I don't know. It was an extremely tough day. My car really worked well in clean air and there on that second stop, I was able to get by Greg on fresh tires, and, man, just checked out. ...
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"I don't know. It was an extremely tough day. My car really worked well in clean air and there on that second stop, I was able to get by Greg on fresh tires, and, man, just checked out. But, I'm not trying to make excuses because winning the race off pit road is what it's all about. Our car was good and I could get to Greg, but just a little bit of the old, commonly known aero-push would come into play, but it was a great day. It wasn't like we had terrible pit stops. Their guys just beat us off pit road a little bit and Scott's car wasn't quite as good on fresh tires like mine and Greg's was, but anytime you can race hard like that you want to win. You definitely want to win, but you like good, hard racing, too. There's nothing wrong with a good, hard-fought second place. We're right here in the backyard of Jewel-Osco, one of the Albertsons families, so there were a lot of good things today, especially after the mechanical problems last week. It kinda gets us back on track. I've always enjoyed coming here to Milwaukee, qualified up front and stayed in the top three all day long. It was fun. It was great racing with Scott. We went three or four wide down the back straightaway there. He's young and I don't know if I would have tried that move. He really did a great job and the caution worked a little bit in our favor because we were probably going to finish third behind he and Greg if the caution wouldn't have come out, so it's not too disappointing."
SCOTT IS MOVING UP TO WINSTON CUP THIS SEASON. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR SITUATION?
"It's just a sponsorship issue with Scott's deal, and I wish him all the best. Right now, our situation, we don't have a sister team that's a Winston Cup team, so it would be really difficult for us to do something like that. I'm really working hard to renegotiate my contract to stay right we're I'm at next year. Who knows? I'm not going to jump at the first Winston Cup opportunity. I should know in the next couple of weeks what the outcome is, and hopefully, I can stay right where I am with Albertsons. I'd then have the same sponsor for three years, and that's kinda unheard of in the Busch Series as of late. So we're working real hard on that and I hope it comes true."
TALK ABOUT THE HEAT.
"Geez. Man, I'll tell you what. It was extremely hot. I really had to dig down those last 20 laps. Usually heat doesn't bother me as much as it did today. We have a lot of heat shields in our cars and really take extra precaution. Those last 20, after that last caution, I had to find some strength in places I really didn't know I had to get up on the wheel. I just gave it all I had. I'm glad it wasn't a 300-lap race. I don't know if I would have made it. I guess Scott wanted it to be 300 laps."
"I'll tell you, Mark Martin is the toughest guy in racing and he uses one every race (cool box). I talked my guys into that a couple of years ago. I'm not any tougher than Mark Martin, I can tell you that. It was hot. In any of the worst races that I have, I'll start out with one water bag - we use bags - and about halfway through, I'd get another. But, when I came in on the first stop, I said, 'Man, you have to give me water.' I had a bottle every stop and about halfway through the run, I was already out of water again. It was really, really tough to keep enough fluids in you, but it was that way for everybody. Me and Scott were going down the back straightaway and I saw us sticking our hands out of the windows to get a little bit of fresh air. Anything we could do to try to get some air in there, it was just a really, really tough day. That's no excuse. We raced hard as we could with the heat and Greg did a great job there. I was waiting for him to mess up. It looked like he was going to hit the wall off of every corner and I was like, 'man, this is going to be my race.' I guess he can drive sideways like that. He did a good job, but it was a good day for us. I have nothing to be ashamed of on our pit stops. We've really been working hard on those. It's just because he beat us off of pit road. We just have to keep going."
"You try to see where his car is good or bad. And where his car was a little bit bad, I felt I couldn't get a run on him because he was a little bit better than I was off the corner. We were a little bit better in different places in the corner, but you just really try to put yourself in a position to capitalize if he has a mistake. You try to do everything you can all day long, but it just didn't happen. We were really just running all out. We're just trying. It's not frustrating because it's not like he's holding you up a whole lot. It's just that extra little bit. If we would have won the race off of pit road, I think the outcome would have been different, but we didn't. On the race track our cars were fairly equal, so we just didn't have it."