FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES UAW-GM Quality 500 October 11, 1999 Lowe's Motor Speedway MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "I made a mistake there at the beginning, I was too loose and trying...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES UAW-GM Quality 500 October 11, 1999 Lowe's Motor Speedway
MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "I made a mistake there at the beginning, I was too loose and trying to go too fast and got in a place I shouldn't have been and the DeWalt Ford got turned around. After that we had a crush panel knocked out and all the exhaust was coming in the car. It still wasn't too bad and then we got loose on one run. We sort of got it back and then I was racing with the 40 and he got high in the middle of the corner and I got high and clipped me...I got in the wall."
RICH BICKLE --9-- TBS Dinner and a Movie Taurus (Finished 39th) -- "The alternator broke and shorted the battery out. I don't know what it did, but we just put a new battery in and it won't connect right. It must have burnt back through the battery cables or the connection at the back of the battery and it won't work."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (Finished 4th) -- "We had an awesome race car. We had a problem on a pit stop and got way behind, and then we equalized a tire and had to run a fuel stop with an equalized right rear. It's a miracle we finished where we did. I don't know. We lost touch right there. We had the dominant car to that point and, obviously, we didn't after that. We got a little bit off beat after that chasing an equalized tire around."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 8th) -- "Started out like a ball of fire and then it started fading on me. It held almost through half of the race it was good, and then it started getting cloudy and the track was getting more rubber on it and my car started getting real super tight. Then when I loosened it up to make it turn it got real loose. We overshot trying to make it turn. I needed another pound of air out of that right rear tire, but that one little pound of air killed me. I took a pound of air out of the left side tires and that murdered the car, it hated it so that was definitely the wrong way to go. We'll have to write that down in the notes for next time and that was it." WAS IT FRUSTRATING NOT TO BE ABLE TO WORK ON THE CAR MORE? "Yeah, it is because you want to work on it and get it right. It's frustrating when don't have time to work on the thing and get it right."
KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- TV Guide Taurus (Finished 9th) -- "It was a great day. I can't say enough for the guys in Liberty, this is a brand spanking new race car. From the first lap I made on the track Wednesday the car just drove absolutely great. We started off just a little too loose at the beginning and we lost a little track position, but once we got it all figured out we ran as good as the leaders. We were just one lap down, though, and couldn't do much about it. A ninth-place finish here at Charlotte, I can't say enough for all the guys. They did a great job." WILL YOU RUN THIS CAR A LITTLE MORE THIS YEAR? "Yeah, we might take it to Rockingham, we'll take it to Phoenix probably -- it's a great little race car. The guys in Liberty are doing a great job and it's just great to get back in the top 10. We've had a couple weeks where we were off, but we ran strong all day long today and my hat's off to all the guys in the pits."
JOHNNY BENSON --26-- Cheerios Taurus (Finished 16th) -- HOW WAS YOUR DAY? "Terrible. It was up and down. It was loose and then bad loose and we struggled. We struggled on the track a little bit and we struggled in the pits today. I don't know where we finished, but it was better than where we started. Still, it wasn't as good as we would have liked."
KENNY IRWIN --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 15th) -- "The car was really good at the start, but then everybody kind of got to work on their car and got it better. Our car was very consistent all day. I mean, it was on the tight side, but we just stayed out there and ran all day. We got a top 15 out of it, which is good. I actually thought during the first part of the race that we might have a top 10, but it just didn't work out that way. We had good consistent pit stops all day long. The guys did a great job and the motor ran good. It was a good day, not the best we could have, but it was a good day."
RICKY RUDD --10-- Tide Taurus (Finished 38th) -- "We broke a ring and pinion. It was brand new...we were the only one here that broke a gear. The company that does that for us, the one who builds our gears and transmissions, they build probably 80 percent of the field. It happened about three laps after the restart. We were down anyway, something like 20th or 21st." SO EVEN IF THAT HADN'T HAPPENED, YOU STILL WEREN'T HAPPY WITH THE WAY THE CAR WAS RUNNING? "It wasn't a pretty day. I wish I could say we had a great car and could have won the race, but we probably would have salvaged a 16th or 17th out of it. Not great, but still better than where we finished."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 7th) -- "The track got a little slicker and that didn't work to our favor. We made adjustments, but we just couldn't get it adjusted right. We got it too loose and just never got it back. We just didn't have the grip that we needed, so we made the most of it." WAS IT TOUGH TO FIND THE SETUP WITH ALL THE TRACK VARIABLES? "It makes it more difficult certainly, but some guys did so it's just our fault for not getting it a little bit better." MATHEMATICALLY SEVEN IS THE MAGIC NUMBER AS FAR AS FINISHES FOR YOU GO, SO IS THIS A GOOD FINISH? "It's a good finish. Certainly we came here to win and saw we weren't good enough to do that as the laps closed down, but it was a good finish and a good day for us." YOU GO TO A TRACK NOW WHERE YOU'VE HAD SOME SUCCESS. "Yeah. We're excited about going to Talladega. We've got another race down here. We led a few laps and didn't give up a whole lot." DID THE CAR CHANGE AT ALL? "I don't know if the car changed, the track changed. I think the track lost some grip and the setup that we had wasn't working with that, so we tried to adjust it and couldn't quite get it. We kind of just chased it around and those guys adjusted better than we did for the track conditions." WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON THE DAY WILL YOU BE HAPPY OR UPSET? "We're fine with it. I mean, you can't win every week or finish in the top five. We did what we could do and made the most of it. It's another race marked off and we didn't lose many points." DID YOU HAVE HIGH HOPES AT THE START? "I thought it was gonna be a little better day today than what it was. The car was really good early. The track changed and we lost some grip and, as we lost some grip, our setup wasn't working with that exactly right. It was a pretty good day. We ran hard and got the most out of it. It would have been nice to have been up there challenging those guys up front though." HOW MUCH DOES MATURITY PLAY INTO A DAY LIKE THIS WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND YOU KNOW YOU MIGHT NOT GET TO THE FRONT. DO YOU JUST GET WHAT YOU CAN? "That's what you have to do in this position. We thought we were really good early and we were good early. Then other guys adjusted and the track changed, so then we just had to take what we could get and make the most of it. There were times that I could have probably pushed it and might have got myself in trouble, so we had to take what we could get today and get ready for next week."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 6th) -- "We had a great day. We had a pick-up problem in the fuel cell and ran out coming off of turn two down the backstretch twice, but, luckily, it was the lap we were coming in and it didn't really cost us a lot. All in all, these guys did a great job, this whole Mobil 1 team did, and Penske engines and everybody that contributed to this day. This is the way we're supposed to be running here." DID YOU STRUGGLE TO FIND A SETUP WITH THE TIRES? "They worked pretty good for us. I mean, there were a lot of cars that missed it, but we hit it pretty good. We were good in about all the practices and would have qualified better if we wouldn't have had that little mishap in qualifying. All in all, it was a good day for us." DID YOU DODGE A BULLET WITH THE GAS SITUATION? "Yeah, twice. We've been here before and run out coming off four and that's not good. If you're gonna run out, run out while you're coming in. That's the best way." SO YOU RAN OUT AS YOU WERE COMING IN? "Right and that was probably our savior right there, not running out down the frontstretch or going into one, but at least it ran out while we were coming in."