BUDDY LAZIER ( ...
BUDDY LAZIER (#91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone)
"First off, it's a very, very physical race, very demanding physically. I think everybody knows we're pulling 4, 5 plus G's all night long and huge humidity and temperature."
About missing stall:
"Basically, I sweat a lot, and my visor is all fogged up. I kept radioing to the guys. I kept opening it (visor) up. I'd wipe it off in the pit stops, but I came around the corner, and I didn't see them (the crew). I looked to my left, and I'm still going 60 mph, and they're right there. It's not going to happen. So, I went through, and I knew it hurt us. I was going to give it everything I got to get around those two, obviously. Eliseo (Salazar) and (Eddie) Cheever were running real good, and I think they worked on their car and did just what you need to do to win a race -- work on it to make it better for the very end. But I had an awesome car all night, and I can guarantee you it was going to be a wild 40 laps, because I was going to give it everything I got to get by them. I think as the tires started to go off it would've been a real race there at the end. I saw it coming. Those two went in there, and it was a real close call for me, but as soon as they got side by side and entered the corner I kind of set myself up, because, you know, of course I didn't think they were going to make contact but both of them would've slowed each other down through that corner. So I would've had a great run on them going down the front stretch. It would've been pretty wild going in to (Turn) 1. You know I don't know what to tell you. I didn't want to pass them that way, but we did have an awesome car all night. One little mistake -- thank God it didn't cost us the race. I just can't thank my guys enough. This team is really picking up a lot of momentum as the dog days of the championship and of the summer roll in. We just keep picking up momentum. We won the championship last year. We got ourselves in a little bit of a hole at the first part of the season, but we're really climbing out. Two in a row -- I don't know what to tell you. I'm just thrilled."
About track temp dropping:
"Track temperature was going down. It felt like some of the humidity was dropping out too and that does all kind of things, barometric pressures, and I don't know. You'd have to talk to the engineers to be exact, but I can tell you, you can feel it as a race driver. Usually when it cools off you pick up grip, which will really help you around a place like this. Sometimes some racetracks it tightens you up, some it loosens you up. Here it seems like it loosened us up, so we went from being a little tight to being a little looser, looser, looser."
Was traffic ever really a problem for you?:
"It was very difficult to pass, but you just have to time in correctly. When you have two cars that are within say 5 mph, it's real tough to pass. I don't know what to tell you. You just have to set it up. You have to be real patient. Timing is everything. And you just time it right, but it was very, very difficult. That's why those last 40 laps with the three cars, you know the two in front of me and myself, I think it was going to be a battle. You definitely wanted track position, and we fought hard for that."
With Salazar and Cheever in front of you, were you expecting something ahead of you to happen to you're advantage?:
"Yes, I was. That's two wild drivers. I mean, those guys run hard. You expect them to go for it. When you're not taking the proper line through the corner, there's a one groove racetrack when one guy's being pinched low and one guy's up high. They're not going to have the ideal momentum coming off of that corner. Actually, I was setting up to try to drag them down the front straightaway. I had a feeling something was coming."
About 2002 schedule:
"I can tell you I think Nazareth is a great facility. I'm really looking forward to it, and I guess they announced Michigan, too -- two really great racetracks. We're really looking forward to it. As a competitor, we want every race we can run. As far as tight racetracks go, I don't think you ever get any tighter and more physically demanding. Obviously Nazareth is a 1 mile (oval), and Michigan, I think, is a 2 mile (oval), but as far as physically demanding, I've never raced a race more physically demanding and exhausting (race) than what we just went through tonight."