FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES MBNA 400 POST-RACE June 6, 1999 Dover Downs International Speedway RUSTY WALLACE -2- Miller Lite Taurus -- "We had a really good run today. We ran strong all day long, and we had a set of tires that were real, real...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES MBNA 400 POST-RACE June 6, 1999 Dover Downs International Speedway
RUSTY WALLACE -2- Miller Lite Taurus -- "We had a really good run today. We ran strong all day long, and we had a set of tires that were real, real loose, and it got me way off. Then we adjusted for that a little bit and we adjusted for that a little bit, but it was still loose. Then we had a set of tires that were so dog gone tight I couldn't turn it. So the tires were really inconsistent today. There's not much you can do about it. We felt like we had a good car. The first three pit stops it was perfect, and then after that all the tires got messed up on it." DID THE TRACK HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THAT? "No, I don't think so. I don't think the track had anything to do with it."
MARK MARTIN -6- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus -- "It was an awfully good run for the Valvoline team. The crew worked really hard, and this is a good racetrack for us. We were a contender, but we just couldn't outrun them." YOU ARE USUALLY GOOD ON FUEL MILAGE. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END? "We weren't strong enough. A little short."
RICKY RUDD -10- Tide Ford -- "We should have ended up eighth or ninth, something like that. But we lost one lap when we run out of gas, and it stalled on pit road and couldn't get it running, and we lost some time. At times it was pretty racy. That very first run killed us. We got a lap down, and that got us in a hole. After that we got the car adjusted, and it run pretty good, anywhere from a fifth to eighth place car. But giving up that time with gas, and then the other time we just missed the first set-up."
BRETT BODINE -11- Paychex Taurus -- "I'm not really sure (what happened). We've lost second gear, the ratchet or something. We couldn't keep it in gear."
JEREMY MAYFIELD -12- Mobil 1 Taurus -- "Well, we kept the streak alive. That's two races and two top- tens since Peter (Sospenzo) move up to crew chief. We've qualified in the top 10 for both races too, so we're making progress. Our guys were helping Rusty's guys with the fueling and we didn't get the tank vented for that last pit stop, so we didn't quite get it to where it was supposed to be. We came within a half-gallon of being right there. It's just one of those things. You could have taken a swig and spit enough gas in there for us to finish. We were running sixth at the time, so we felt pretty good about that. We were a little tight at times but, for the most part, we had a good car. I don't think it's anything less than Michael (Kranefuss) and Roger (Penske) expected when Peter moved up to crew chief. This is a good race team and everybody is working hard to show that. You need to finish in the top 10 consistently and that's what we're starting to do.
JIMMY SPENCER -23- Team Winston Taurus -- "There were no cautions at the beginning of the race, and that hurt us. It got us a couple of laps down there. We got our car adjusted finally, and then it was too little, too late. We had a car that we felt could have finished in the top-ten there at the end of the race. We've got to do a better job of adjusting our car on Saturday afternoon, and not wait until race day, but I think we went a step in the right direction. It's Dover, and we finished. It ain't what we want by any means."
JOHNNY BENSON -26- Cherrios Taurus -- "The guys did a great job tuning the engine so we could get the fuel mileage that we needed. I'm telling you what, the guys just done good all day. The car was terrible at the beginning, and Pat and the guys got it good. And we hung. I've got to definitely thank Cherrios for staying with us during the hard times. Hopefully the good times will keep coming. We definitely have to build on this. There's no doubt. Everybody is still real supportive. We just hate running bad. We're happy with that (our finish), and build on it. We need to get in the top-15 in points."
KENNY IRWIN -28- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "We were pretty good. It come down to a fuel mileage deal, and we got good fuel mileage. We were pretty happy about it. We weren't in contention to win the race, but it would have been nice to finish on the lead lap.
TED MUSGRAVE -75- Remington Arms Taurus -- "It was a typical Dover. If you are off a little bit, it's a nightmare. We kind of struggled since we unloaded this car here. It's the same car we ran at Bristol, and it ran real well at Bristol, but it just didn't want to react here at Dover. We tried a lot of changes during the race. We tried a lot, and had some good pit stops. And one set of tires didn't react real well, and we lost a lot of ground there. And then we struggled a little bit, and just had to hang on. We just have to hope for the best right now."
ROBERT PRESSLEY -77- Jasper Engines Taurus -- "The thing just shut off. I think it's the ignition box. We got going and it cut off again. We'd have to change everything again (to go back out), and I don't think we've got time."
DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "We were too tight at the start, and then we got it too loose. And it just stayed too loose there for a while. Finally at the end we got it tightened up where we could go for a while, but that made it too tight at the end. We just missed on the set-up a little bit, but we made another top-five out of it, and that's the things you have to do whenever you're not the best."
BILL ELLIOTT -94- McDonald’s Taurus -- "We started off decent. We got off there in the middle, and I really struggled. I was tight a while, and I was loose a while. Then there at the end I got real good. I mean I felt like I was really decent there at the last run. It really paid off because we gained a lot of spots right there at the end of the race. I was tickled there at the end. I felt like we finally hit on something and got something going. Working new with these guys and everything we've got going on they're doing a heck of a job. We're all kind of struggling and learning new things, different things. I think we learned a lot today. We had two (yellows). If they could have happened (earlier) I would have been in pretty decent shape."
JEFF BURTON -99- Exide Batteries Taurus -- "It (the race) wasn't very good. We started out real loose. Actually we got good there during the second run. Then it was bad from then on. It was either too loose or way too tight. We never hit the middle, never could find it. We struggled all day. We struggled all week to be honest. We probably ought to consider ourselves lucky to come out of the race.
MORE MARK MARTIN - FROM POST-RACE INTERVIEW
MARK MARTIN -6- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus -- "I was just real proud of this Valvoline team. We just couldn't outrun those guys there at the end. It was pretty close thought. We ran strong. It is a good racetrack for us. These guys are building good stuff. ANY THOUGHTS ON TONY STEWART'S RUN AND HIS DECISION TO STOP AND GET A LITTLE BIT OF GAS THERE AT THE END? "I thought that was a good decision based on trying to win the race. It might not have been quite as good a decision for conservative points racing. That could have won him the race if Bobby couldn't have made it. But it wouldn't have after all. I see he finished behind us." COULD YOU EXPLAIN THE SITUATION WITH THE GREEN FLAG WITH ONE LAP TO GO? "Usually NASCAR tells the teams it's going to be one to go. This time they threw one finger up after all the cars had passed pit entrance, so we didn't have a chance to pit with one to go. We would have had to stop and back up down the front stretch to get in the pits. And we were going to wait until one to go to come in to get gas because we knew we couldn't make it if we pitted when Bobby did." DID YOU GAMBLE AT ALL ON THE LAST STOP? "I watched the fuel pressure fluctuate. I think I came one lap earlier than they intended. We weren't going to gain anything by running out of gas out there. We were going to have to stop, and it made no sense to run it out of gas hoping for a yellow." DO YOU THINK THAT'S WHAT GORDON DID ALSO. "You don't understand. If you can't run that many laps that many laps, then you can't run that many laps whether it's 108 or whatever it was. If you can only run 100, and it's 108 to go. There's no gambling to it. Man, you're eight miles short. That's the way it is. Bobby Labonte could run that far. And we could run a couple laps less than Jeff Gordon, and Jeff Gordon couldn't make it. It wasn't close enough. It wasn't a gamble because he was short. It just wasn't enough. It just wasn't quite enough. We still would have come in with one to go and topped off, but we all kind of got snookered on that one. And Bobby came in, not knowing it was one to go, but knowing he could make it. It was just calculations. So it was just a matter of calculations there. That's what it was. Calculations said Bobby could go. Calculations said the rest of couldn't. And so he came as soon as they thought he could go so he'd be leading after everybody stopped. If he stopped the lap before then everybody stopped the next lap then he would be leading. It's not real complicated. It's just a matter of numbers and calculations and who's getting the best mileage and when the cautions fall. You can go for it if you're within a lap of making it, that's one thing to roll the dice. But if you're not even close, there's no need to roll the dice. If your figures come up within one lap then it's gamble time, but if you're five laps off you can't gamble on something like that. You're just going to lose." IF YOU HAD BEEN ABLE WITH ONE LAP TO GO TO COME IN AND GET GAS, YOU WOULD STILL HAVE HAD TO STOP BEFORE THE END OF THE RACE. "Yes, quite a ways from the end, five laps or more, five laps. We were short. We were short on mileage a little bit today. What we've got to do is pick up the pace just a little bit. We've been running second and third every week. I'm real proud of this race team. That's what you have to do to win races. You run like that. When it's our day, we'll get them."
MORE DALE JARRETT
DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "That is kind of the story of our season. We work hard, and get better toward the end (of a race), but it's just not quite all together. If we keep coming out with top-fives, we'll be okay. It would just be nice to have a day to where we didn't make these adjustments every single stop, and come out on one side or the other where the car would be either too tight or too loose. But right now that's not happening. Hopefully we can continue to run in the top five. I thought we were pretty good when we started the race and were able to run pretty hard right off I knew we were going to be a little be too tight. The left front tire really gained a lot air pressure for some reason during that first run, and that really kind of threw us a curve. Then we just had to keep working. But then we got it to where I could drive it. That was the main thing. I was so loose a couple of time all I was doing was following the car around and try to keep from wrecking it. We finally got it to where I could be aggressive and run hard, and that was at least a better side of it, and that's what allowed us to finish fifth. What we would really like is to have the car where we aren't adjusting every 30 laps or every pit stop. It would be nice to get the car a little bit closer. But they kept working and working to get what I was looking for. But we made the most of what we had here today. If we'd have had another caution we might have made another adjustment with some spring rubbers and things, but you do what you have to do. We just keep plugging along. The 18 is the one that is really strong right now. Maybe we have to look out for him." WERE YOU SATISFIED WITH DAY? "Satisfied, yeah. We'd certainly like to win, but the Pontiacs are strong, and Bobby Labonte did a great job. Tony Stewart was strong. Of course Gordon's always going to be, and Mark (Martin) had a good car. We battled them, but we're pretty happy with what we got.