August 5, 2001 Indianapolis Motor Speedway MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 42nd) "I don't know. Somebody was spinning in front of me and slowed down for that guy and got hit from behind and spun out." YOU'RE GOING...
August 5, 2001 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 42nd)
"I don't know. Somebody was spinning in front of me and slowed down for that guy and got hit from behind and spun out."
YOU'RE GOING TRY TO GET BACK OUT THERE?
"Yeah, this makes for a long day, when you can't make it through two laps, that's pretty bad. If we get it fixed we'll just have to limp around today and collect as many points as we can. It's very disappointing. This is the first new car we've built in a long time and it was a real good car for us, probably the best car we had. I thought we had a good shot at running good today."
DID THE GUYS SEEM OVERANXIOUS?
"I don't really know. No, the track was fine. I don't really know what started the accident. It started in front of me. The 77 checked up in front me and I hit him a little bit, at the same time I checked up then whoever was behind me hit me pretty hard and spun me out into the 77, and then I was just kind of a passenger from there."
ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 43rd)
"I'm not sure. Obviously, the car just jumped around on me. I don't know if I had any help from behind. I haven't seen a replay or anything like that. It felt like I could have had some help because the car was sticking really too good to just jump out like that. There wasn't really any indication, it just really swapped ends on me. It's heartbreaking. To come up here for the first time wanting to do well and I felt like we could do well. The guys did a great job with the car. The car was really good the first lap and I felt like it was gonna be real strong and to go home early hurts. It's just a bad day for us. This deal has been pretty tough from the start and it'll all be over before long."
AFTER WHAT HAPPENED AT CHICAGO WHEN YOU HAD A MECHANICAL PROBLEM ON THE
PACE LAP, YOU HAD TO FIGURE THIS RACE WOULD BE BETTER?
"It's not, it's all really irrelevant. Stuggling and running bad is one thing, but to have it happen like it's happened the last few weeks is hard. Sometimes things just don't work and you can't explain why. That's kind of the way this deal has been. It just hasn't worked. We'll go and we'll do what we need to do these next six or seven races and then we'll all re-group and do something different."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 39th)
"I'm not really sure. It threw the fan belt off for some reason, it's kind of a crazy thing to have happen, but the first thing I knew is I lost all of my power steering. I happened to look down at the water temp gauges and it was off the scale at the same time, so I'm not really sure what happened -- if the water pump blocked up and burst or we lost the belt -- but the guys did a great job of trying to get us back in there. Evidently, we damaged a cylinder head or something. They're changing the cylinder heads right now."
THIS IS A BIG BLOW IN THE POINTS RACE.
"Oh yeah. This is probably one of the hardest hits you can take is coming to Indy and probably be one of the first cars out of the race, but they're hopefully gonna patch it up and get us back in there and get a few points, but certainly our day is over."
HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TO KNOW YOU HAD A GOOD CAR COMING INTO THIS RACE?
"It's disappointing. We felt like at the start of the race we still had a little bit left. We hadn't shown our full hand yet because it wasn't time. Those Dodges of Elliott and Atwood were awfully strong. I don't think we had much for those guys, but we had a good top-five car today. You never know. It's a long race here and, unfortunately, we broke something which is something we haven't done much of all year."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 4th)
"It was a good run for us. We started 37th and got a fourth out of it. I knew we could get up to the front, I just didn't know what would happen. We adjusted on the car all day long -- loosened it up, loosened it up and it turned out good."
THERE WAS SOME GOOD RACING OUT THERE.
"Yeah, there was a lot of good racing out there, you just had to get the cars turning real good. The cars really push bad at this place and we got it turned, so it worked out okay."
THAT WAS A KEY CALL TO TAKE TWO TIRES ON THE LAST STOP.
"Yeah, we had it figured that we could outrun everybody on fuel and thought we might win this race on fuel mileage. I got past the 10 and got past the 18 and it looked like I was gonna get him, but then the caution flag flew and we had to race back to it. Then we just put right sides (tires) on it because we only had like eight laps on the left sides and that was the smart thing to do there."
YOU HATED TO SEE THAT CAUTION DIDN'T YOU?
"Yeah, we had it in the gas tank. It looked like we were gonna win the thing on fuel mileage. Robin just kept stretching it and stretching it and stretching it. We got such good gas mileage and he said there might be only a couple of guys that can win this thing on fuel mileage and we were one of them. I had just passed three of 'em, so there was only one of 'em left and we had a good shot at winning it. A fourth place -- going from 37th to fourth -- that's a damn good run."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 5th)
"It's an awesome run for the Sharpie guys and the Rubbermaid team. They did what they needed to do today. It's been a struggle as of late, but this is what we needed to do to get back in the rookie points game and get us some consistent top fives. This is a track where I thought I could do well because it's flat and it's wide."
WERE YOU PINCHING YOURSELF OUT THERE SEEING YOURSELF IN THE TOP THREE?
"I thought if we could ever get track position we'd be alright, but we just never seemed to be able to do that. When we got stuck back there in the traffic we just got a little bit of a tight condition and and we just couldn't get down the straightaway like we needed to. It's probably because we were too aggressive in turns two and four, but, all in all, a great run. I learned a lot about this place. This is a treat to drive, this Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
YOU WERE PLAYING THE FUEL MILEAGE GAME, SO MUST HAVE HATED TO SEE THAT
YOU CAUTION COME OUT.
"We always seem to play the fuel mileage game and it never turns out. You sacrifice horsepower for that and it seems like it never turns out. It turned out once so far this year at Charlotte."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 22nd)
"I've really got to compliment my guys for doing a great job on the car. We got caught up in that accident early and they really stepped up to keep us competitive. After that I just did the best I could, but I guess that's what you get when you start that far back."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 18th)
"It wasn't too bad. We just got a little loose and messed up on the pit sequence a little bit, but a lot of people did that. At least we finished. We were going to try to go the distance with gas mileage, but when the caution came out that put us behind everybody else again. We'll be alright thought. This wasn't bad."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 16th)
"The Citgo crew was really looking forward to today after an awesome happy hour practice. For some reason our car handled totally different today. We didn't handl good in the straightaways, which was disappointing. We really ran well yesterday, but all we can do is keep fighting. There aren't any quitters here."
DALE JARRETT-88-UPS Taurus (Finished 12th)
WHAT HAPPENED NEAR THE END?
"It just got tight, real tight. The car wouldn't turn in the center and I don't know if it was the set of tires or what it was, but just couldn't make it turn and that just kills you when you can't go in the center. Yeah, it kind of messed up a good day, but we probably made a mistake not taking two tires there and getting ourselves out in some cleaner air. But that's the gamble you take."
WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE TO THE END WITHOUT ANOTHER PIT STOP?
DID THAT CAUTION WITH 30 LAPS TO GO HELP YOU OR HURT YOU?
"We were going to have to stop anyway. It helped in that in gave us a chance, we just made the wrong decision."
RICKY CRAVEN-32-Tide Taurus (Finished 9th)
"Yeah, this is nice. We got to string some top-10s together and then some top-fives. I think this Tide Ford and this Tide team is going to win."
AFTER A STRONG FINISH LAST WEEK, DID YOU COME TO INDIANAPOLIS WITH MORE
"Yeah, and a good car. The car drove at the end of last week and drove good today. We gave ourselves a chance. If you give yourself a chance and you don't make any mistakes you're going to get a top 10. I just got that much confidence in this team. The key today is that we didn't make any mistakes."
WERE YOU AS STRONG AT THE END AS YOU WERE AT THE START?
"We only had two tires so we weren't as strong, but we gave ourselves track position, that's something we didn't have all day, so with 30 to go we're running third and that was a lot of fun."
DID THAT CAUTION WITH 30 TO GO HELP OR HURT?
"No, I'd rather we hadn't had it because it spread us out a little bit and it allowed me to use more of the race track. I had to get defensive for a few laps on that last re-start."
ELLIOTT SADLER-21-Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 23rd)
"I don't know."
JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 13th)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY?
"Not good. We just pushed all day long and never could get it right. We kept losing the front end. We just didn't have enough downforce and that really hurt us."
WHAT ABOUT THE DODGES?
"Well, I hope we can get a little help maybe because the Chevrolets and Dodges are pretty strong right now. Maybe they'll give Ford a little bit of help because we need it, there's no question about it."
WHERE DO YOU NEED HELP -- IN THE CORNERS OR OFF THE CORNERS?
"Everywhere. The car won't stick. The front tires won't stick like their cars. It'll do it for one or two laps, maybe three, but after six, eight, 10 laps -- with the heat in the tires -- their just gone. They just pull away from you and there's nothing you can do. It keeps getting worse and the harder you try the worse it gets."
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOPE THEY'LL CHANGE THE RULES?
"It's up to NASCAR. Maybe they'll give us a break. A Dodge didn't win the race anyway, Chevrolet did, but it's not just that. We missed it a little bit. We were pretty happy to be on the pole, but we would have rather been a contender for the win."
AT WHAT POINT DID YOU FEEL THINGS CHANGED?
"Our car pushed the nose all day. The longer we ran the more the front tires would slide and that really, really hurt our car a lot. We just didn't have a good day. It's not what we wanted starting from the pole, but that's life."
WAS IT TWO SEPARATE RACES OUT THERE?
"It came down to the end where you put only two tires on or no tires and gas. The top five or six cars put only two tires on and some put none on. Goodyear has just got a great tire. We put four on and that was a mistake on our part."