JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Spencer will start seventh in Sunday's Food City 500. In his past three qualifying efforts, Spencer has started fifth, fourth and seventh. In 24 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway,...
JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Spencer will start seventh in Sunday's Food City 500. In his past three qualifying efforts, Spencer has started fifth, fourth and seventh. In 24 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Spencer has three top fives and seven top 10s with two best finishes of second, including last year's Food City 500.
"We haven't been on a pole yet, but we've been qualifying good. It's real important to start in the top 15 or 20. It doesn't really matter where you start at some tracks, but it really helps with pit selection. As competitive as the pit stops are today, being in the right position is so critical to gain two or three spots or just maintaining sometimes. Getting blocked in the pits costs you four or five spots. It's a whole lot easier to at least go out the same spot you came in if you can't gain a few spots. If you don't have the same pit selection you can't do that.
"I'm shocked at the way the races have been handled lately at this track. They bumped Rusty and cost him the win. They bumped me and cost me the win. It's exciting, but on the other side of it, what goes around comes around. I feel bad for Rusty. It's like 'OK, we can get away with it because it's the last lap or we can get away with it because we're at Bristol and people expect it.' Well, I disagree. Eventually if it keeps going on NASCAR is going to have to park 'em. They did it to Davey Allison and Ricky Rudd one year. They could do it again. Who knows?
"Earnhardt and Terry got into it up here on year on the last lap. Earnhardt just wanted to rattle his cage. I love Dale Earnhardt. I ran second that day, but I think that was wrong. Dale hit Terry Labonte, knocked him out of the way and spun him out. It was obvious. I didn't mean to do it. It was like Todd Bodine last week. I didn't mean to do it, but they won. Do we issue fines? I think we should go back to the way we did it 20 years ago - meet you outside.
"I wouldn't move 'em. I feel like I passed Kurt Busch fair and square here last year. I didn't bump him and knock him out of the way. He slammed into me. I don't know what happened between Gordon and Rusty, but I think if a guy hits me to get by me for the lead, yeah, I'll probably retaliate. I think that's the way you're supposed to race. You take a guy like Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, they're running good, and I don't think they'll knock you out of the way to pass you. I think they'll pass you fair and square. Some other guys won't do it that way. My theory is you race them the way they race you. You rough Jimmy Spencer up, you're going to get it back. You're going to start it, and I'm going to finish it.
"That finish last week at Darlington in the Cup race, that's the way you need to finish a race. That was racing at its best, and neither one of them crashed their race car. They came across the start-finish line. It's a situation that's awesome for our sport and the fans in attendance. It was absolutely the last-second quarterback throw into the corner of the end zone to win the Super Bowl. It's a fine line, but that's what we get paid for. We don't get paid to spin each other out.
"Monday's race was bad. You just don't spin someone out like Todd did to win the race. He says, 'I lost it.' He loses it a lot. Things like that could come back to haunt you for many, many weeks. Some of these guys pay you back once and they don't think that's enough. They'll do it again and again. That's really bad because you've got 70 guys back at the shop working to get a car ready to race each week. It's not right for someone to destroy that car and then just say, 'I lost it.'
"Our team has been working great together this year. Tommy Baldwin (crew chief) has assembled a great group of guys. Jim Smith is probably one of the happiest owners in the garage area, and he has a right to be. He gives us everything we need to put a winning car on the track, and that's what we've been trying to do. We've had some real good cars so far this year, and I think we're going to have another good one Sunday. I just hope we can come through with a real good finish here Sunday."