BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid) "These guys just keep working together and communicating and trying to work things out. You unload and you're off in one direction and they keep working on the car. It's a heck of a group of...
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
"These guys just keep working together and communicating and trying to work things out. You unload and you're off in one direction and they keep working on the car. It's a heck of a group of guys. They work really hard. I don't think it's going to be a disadvantage at all going out early the way the weather conditions are. If this thing gets windy and the sun comes out, it may be an advantage.
"I was tickled to death with what we ran. I knew Steve was quick and had the car to beat. Unfortunately we didn't put it all together. We were close. Right now my main concern is to come in in the morning and get it where we can run well Sunday afternoon. That's my main goal. Last year I couldn't even see the front from where I started. At least I can now.
"I think it's now becoming more driving style than it is any particular brand. Finally I felt like I got the feel of what I liked from Michigan to here, and I've always been pretty good at Michigan. Give or take or whatever, I don't know that the brand really mean anything any more than particular driving styles and somebody having it right for that particular moment. Now we'll get down to who's going to be the best in race conditions.
"Any time I get beat I get frustrated whether it's fuel mileage or otherwise. I've been on both sides of that shoe before. If you're on the right side of it it can be a good thing. Over the years you win and lose in a lot of different ways. Regardless of how you win, that's more important than the circumstance it comes down to.
"I don't think they'll ever make 'em equal. I don't care how hard you try. There's too many things different to make 'em equal. As long as different drivers give different input and come up with particular things, and you've got some awful good engineers working on these things today. Somebody will figure it out. You take the DEI cars at restrictor plate races. Is that equal or is that not equal? I'm just asking a question, but you take that one for instance. You'll get somebody here, if they get hooked up, they could dominate the field just like we've seen some of the races in the past.
"It can't do nothing but get better I hope. It's been a tough season. We've had a lot of little problems, just knick-knack stuff. As competitive as the cars are today, if you have any problem, then you're normally finishing bad. It just makes it a little harder go. We've had some people who've moved around within the team, plus we lost some guys over the winter, and I think that hurt some. I think now we're just starting to get back on track and get to some of the race tracks I like and fit my driving style. Hopefully we can get through here and get a good go going and get the season turned around. I didn't feel that bad at Martinsville, but I kind of dug a hole when I qualified bad. I felt like we ran pretty decent most of the day. Texas was really good. We just had some motor problems there. Atlanta wasn't bad, and we had some motor problems there. We've been on both sides of the fence.
"I don't know if it's the Dodge nose that's gone away. I think all our setups, we kind of concentrated on those kind of race tracks (flat tracks), here, Michigan, Pocono, Indy, Kansas, Chicago. Look at Texas. We were clearly a good car at Texas. We just ended up having some motor problems. There again, it all depends on if you hit everything right that particular day. You can put it all together and we did last year at Indy and Pocono.
"We can joke about this a lot, but Steve (Park) has been through a lot, and I'm really proud of what he did here today. He's had a tough year. I can look at my season and say I've had a lot of ups and downs. I have won a lot of poles. We came from a long way from where we practiced and where we qualified. I'm proud for him for what he's done."