Darlington: Ford drivers race quotes

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 43rd) "I don't think it had anything to do with Sterling's wreck, other than I must have run over the same stuff he did. I think the right-front (tire) went flat. I went down in there and...

TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 43rd)

"I don't think it had anything to do with Sterling's wreck, other than I must have run over the same stuff he did. I think the right-front (tire) went flat. I went down in there and the spotter said, 'Wreck.' I hit the brakes to slow down and the car went straight just as I got to the corner. They said Sterling cut down a tire and I think that's what happened to us. I don't know if it was the same piece of stuff or what."

JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 42nd)

"We broke a motor. I don't know if it was the crankshaft or a rod, but it was the same thing that happened at Atlanta. I don't know. Our guys are working their butts off. I'm not down on the engine thing at all. We're having too many problems, but it isn't because we're not working. We'll just keep digging."

IT OBVIOUSLY MUST BE FRUSTRATING. "It really is. Everybody is working real hard. We had a great race car today. Our car in happy hour was just awesome and I was looking forward to running this race and having a great time out there. These things happen. It's really unfortunate. We're having way too many problems, but it's not because we're not trying hard. Maybe we're having problems because we're trying too hard, I don't know. We're trying to do the right things, but things just aren't working out for us right now."

WERE YOU NERVOUS AT ALL ABOUT THIS WEEKEND? "We obviously wouldn't come to the race track with stuff we know wasn't right. We certainly were nervous with Kurt having his problem yesterday, it was real similar to what we had today. We hope nobody else has it that's for sure."

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO AS A DRIVER TO HELP THIS SITUATION? "It's more about support than anything. We've got to stay behind our guys and believe in them. I'm not an engine guy. I don't know how to help them fix engines, but I do know how to tell them that we're there and we're not down on them. These things happen. It's sucks. It's awful. It's all those things, but it is what it is and we've got to work on it to make it not happen again."

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 2nd)

"It was awesome and that's what it's all about, just racing as hard as you can. I've got to give congratulations to my team and all the effort that we've put forth. We're just missing one little input. If we can get all the inputs in the right place, we can win some races. This feels great."

HOW BAD WAS THE POWERSTEERING PROBLEM? "With 50 to go it started missing and with 10 to go it cut off completely. I was fighting it as hard as I could. This car weighed about 10,000 pounds. I did the best I could, I just couldn't dig and dig and dig. I just came up a bit shy, I guess. We'll review the tape, but we're happy with second place because we know we're missing a little something as far as the complete package."

YOU DIDN'T LET UP. "I can't let up. I've got to make sure our team goes and runs the way it's supposed to. We've had two shortcomings so far this year, one with a wreck and we've got two wrecked race cars now, and with the motor issues. If we can get those scienced out, we can run pretty smooth so I'm pretty happy."

WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE AT THE END? "I couldn't do much. I was in the guinea pig seat with having no power steering and having a real tight race car. I don't know why, obviously, without power steering I couldn't feel the car. We drove the Ford the best I could and came up a bit shy, I guess."

DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 3rd)

"All the guys at the shop are putting great bodies on the cars and they've got me in the ballpark. We're just trying to stay there and not dial ourselves out."

WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE? "It's huge. I felt like I could race with these guys, it's just tough to get everything put together. I feel like we've got a team that's running well. Everything is flowing pretty good. We're not changing much with these cars. They're fast off the truck and Bootie has the whole team energized and doing a great job."

DID YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE IN THE RIGHT SPOT WITH THOSE TWO GUYS BUMPING LIKE THAT? "No, well, maybe. We just weren't as good at the end of that long run as we had been for some reason. I guess I was just running too hard trying to keep up. I thought something bad could happen and we might luck into it, but, almost."

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 7th)

"We had a great day and a great race car. It was just a stupid driving mistake. I was following Gordon and pressuring him pretty hard and he got up in the wall. I was thinking, 'Man, now is my chance,' so I just matted it wide open and tried to go under him and I hit the wall the same lap and same corner he did. That knocked my rear-end around and knocked my toe out. We were done after that. I'm sorry for the guys. That was our chance to win the race. They gave me a first or second place car and I finished seventh with it, but we'll take a top 10. We sat on the pole and if we keep getting top 10s like this, eventually the driver won't mess up and we'll get a win."

YOU HAVE MOMENTUM TOO? "It is. This is one of my favorite tracks to come to and we ran good all day. That makes you feel good to be able to run up front like we did all day, running in the top five. I was probably going for it too soon. Jeff Gordon doesn't make too many mistakes and when he made that one I was thinking, 'Now is my chance.' Then I hit the wall right behind him. So it was a tough day at the office, but I'm so proud of these M&M's Ford Taurus guys. We'll move on to Bristol."

WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE THE 97 COME FLYING BY LIKE THAT? "We were leaving him and then after the 24 hit the wall and I hit the wall our days were done. The 97 could have gone on then. We couldn't run with him after that. I didn't know he was absolutely that close to us, but after we hit the wall as hard as we did, we didn't have anything for him."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 8th)

"That was a good finish because it started off not looking too good. I don't know. On that first wreck I slowed down and just got run over and tore our car all to pieces. Luckily, it didn't hit any of the tires and damage anything too bad. It probably didn't run any worse than it would have once it got hit."

YOU WERE RIGHT AROUND 10TH ALL DAY AFTER THAT. "We had an average car at best. Thankfully, through those middle runs that were long greens, we were able to have a decent handling car and stay on the lead lap and keep ourselves in decent position. That was the key. We had a couple runs where we had a terrible handling car. If that would have happened under green, we probably would have gotten lapped."

YOU GOT THE MOST OUT OF TODAY? "Yeah, it's the same as everyday. You just fight as hard as you can and get the best finish you can. If you've got an eight-place car, you've got to finish eighth. This was the best we could do."

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 4th)

"It was a little bit a disappointment for everybody on the Viagra team. They really had our Taurus hooked up today. They've given us such great pit stops all year and you're gonna have that. Some days you're gonna run it in the fence and some days you're gonna have problems on pit road. We had a great car and a great opportunity. I told them, 'If you can give me cars like this, we'll win a lot of races.' The only problem that we'll run into is we might only have a car like that once a year and we've got to make it count. I think these guys can give me cars like that pretty often and, if they do that, we'll win our share."

YOU HAD A GREAT CAR. "This was a day where we had the goods to contend. It was so good that we came back from that last little problem we had. That's sweet. It's a little disappointing for my whole team because they crank out such great pit stops, but once in a while you drive her in the fence or you have a lugnut fall off. That's just the way it goes."

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner - Roush Racing Tauruses

WHAT DID YOU THINK FROM THE PIT BOX? "It was certainly too close for me to call. It looked to me like it was an absolute dead-heat, but I was hoping he'd won, but I couldn't tell."

YOU BOUNCED BACK A LITTLE BIT FROM LAST WEEK WITH THREE CARS IN THE TOP 10. "We've been running good, but we just haven't been consistent. We had some more trouble here this weekend. I've got an idea of what our issues are and they're certainly different than they were last week, but we're running good. The pit stops were pretty good. We had a lugnut problem on Mark's car or he would have been up there. We just look forward to going to these races every seven days and see what we can do."

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 15th)

"That was just a good, solid run. We've been about an 11th to 15th-place car all year with the exception of Atlanta. We missed it there when we broke a motor. It's hard to say we're tickled with 15th, but we came from near dead last and came up through there. All the guys on the Motorcraft Ford team made a lot of changes to get this car running better. It wasn't perfect by any means. It was about a 12th-15th place car and we ended up 15th today. That will give us a little base to go work on. We've got some work to do."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon