Ford Joliet race notes

ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 43rd) "The rear end gear burned up on the pace lap. I've never experienced anything like that before. I don't know what the issues are with it, but it's just another nightmare, just another...

ANDY HOUSTON --96-- McDonald's Taurus (Finished 43rd)

"The rear end gear burned up on the pace lap. I've never experienced anything like that before. I don't know what the issues are with it, but it's just another nightmare, just another chapter of the way this year has been. It's extremely frustrating. These guys are working hard, so we'll see if they can get it fixed."

DID YOU SHIFT AND THERE WAS NOTHING THERE? WHAT HAPPENED?

"No, actually it started before I ever took the green flag. As I started through turns three and four, I felt it start shaking and I told these that something was wrong with it. I'm in second gear idling around I felt it really start vibrating. I didn't feel the vibration at all the first two pace laps or I would have definitely hit pit road. As a matter of fact, I would have gone ahead and hit pit road anyway if I wouldn't have been in the outside line. But we were coming to the green and as soon as I started to put power down it just free-wheeled, like there was no drive in the car. I never even actually shifted. I just lifted off and hoped that nobody ran over me. It was a pretty tense moment there, but it's just really, really frustrating."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 15th) --

"It is frustrating. I don't know where we missed it at. It's very frustrating to come here and test and run good and come back and just now use the stuff like we need to. It's just tough. We're lucky we finished 15th, because of the cautions at the right time. It's just a tough day."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 5th) --

"I'm really disappointed. I mean, the lapped cars really screwed me up today. We just weren't real good on the restarts, but I haven't seen that much straightaway speed on a race car in a long time than what the 29 had today. I was as good as any car in the corners, but I just can't believe the straightaway speed the 29 had. Oh well. That's a top five and that's pretty neat for the Kmart crew. We've had a rough couple of weeks and this is pretty good. We weren't the best Ford, but we gained a bunch."

DID A SECOND GROOVE COME IN?

"There was two grooves.  There were two distinctive grooves going in
and the track was just incredible.  I think it's a neat place.  We started
up front and stayed in front all day.  All in all, we had a good day."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 3rd) --

"I owe it to this Texaco Havoline team. Everyone on this team, I owe them a lot. We came back from a long way. We started off and had the lead early on. I thought we had a great race car, but I found out we were way too tight. We pushed all day and they kept freeing the car up. I thought we might have been doomed there at the end. We got four tires when most everybody else got two and it ended up turning out to be the way to go at the end of the race."

YOU PUT THE FANS ON THEIR FEET WITH THAT LAST RESTART.

"There's an apron down there and we used it all day long. It's amazing there's so much grip there. I don't know if we can do that when we come back, but there's a lot of grip down on the apron. That Yates horsepower would really get rolling down around the start-finish line and we'd use that apron to get by a few cars. I'm not sure what happened on that restart. Somebody missed a gear and they all jumbled up and I had nowhere else to go but down to the grass to get by everybody."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 13th) --

"We ran over something and a tire was going flat there at the end -- that's why we couldn't make up any spots in the final laps. We tried the two-tire deal early in the race and it didn't work for us. That's why we went with four on that late pit stop. We had a top-10 car here for sure today, but it just didn't work out that way. Our biggest problem most of the day was that we didn't have the speed we needed from the center of the turn out. I think maybe we had the chassis just too loaded up. Oh well, with some of those cats in front of us in the points having problems, maybe we did okay as far as the points go."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 4th) --

"We had a good car all day. The guys did a great job. The engine department, they're great. I just got a little tight there at the end. I just couldn't go through the center of the corner like I had been and that hurt me getting off the corner."

YOU MADE UP SOME GROUND IN THE POINTS TOO.

"Yeah, it was a good points day for us. Ricky had a good day, so Robert Yates Racing is right up there. That's what we're after."

DID A SECOND GROOVE COME IN?

"Well, the fast groove was on the bottom, but you could get up there if you had to and it didn't scare you to death. That was the good thing is that it came in enough that you didn't get totally scared if you got out of that groove a little bit." WHAT ABOUT YOUR STRATEGY?

"That was the key -- getting track position because the cars would get an aero push. You just had to do what you could. We got two tires there and made my car a little bit too tight."

DID YOU SEE GORDON SLOW?

"I saw him puff some smoke down the backstretch and he went on into three like he was alright, but then he slowed up. I saw that and thought, 'Well, here's a chance for us to take advantage of it a little bit.'"

DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE TO WIN AT THAT POINT?

"I was still running hard, but I knew my car was a little bit too tight, so I just couldn't quite get to where I needed to go. By then it was just a matter of getting all the points that I could."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 2nd) --

"It was a great day. I mean, you couldn't ask for anything better except to win. Our car was just terribly loose on new tires, but we just kept hanging in there. When we got within the pit window I said, 'We don't want anymore tires. Let's keep what we've got,' because they were faster than new tires."

THE CAUTIONS HELPED AS FAR AS MAKING IT ON FUEL.

"Right. We could have made it easily, but what we really needed was no cautions because we could have made it on fuel. Maybe the 29 wouldn't have."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 6th) --

"I thought we were gonna run second and then for sure I thought we were gonna run third and then we ran out of gas on the restart. It did pick back up, but I guess you're never satisfied. I sure would have been happy to get what we earned. We took a car that I don't think was competitive and put it in contention for second or third place. I sure am disappointed that we didn't finish there with it."

THE STRATEGY WAS WORKING FOR YOU.

"It was pretty good, but the 29 car was just so fast. Other than that, I just got beat on the restart. I got a great start, but the lapped cars and the way they wanted to race there, that let the 77 get by. We were strong enough to hold our track position. We played our cards right and we did good. We didn't have a whole lot to work with. We got up there once and then we got in the back and stayed in the back a long time and then we got up there again and were able to stay there pretty good. Sixth is a lot better than I thought we were gonna do, but third is a lot better than sixth."

TODD BODINE --66-- Blue Light Special/Kmart Taurus (Finished 14th) --

"We had a good car, but it went bad. The car was swapping around. We're doing something wrong on our shocks and we haven't quite figured it out. Our car got worse and worse and worse. I spun out twice and had no warning it was going to do that. It's just a bad day and yet we still finished 14th. We gained a lot of points which is what we had to do. It's disappointing to be on the pole and have good car at the start and then it just went to hell." DID A SECOND GROOVE COME IN?

"It was coming in, but it still wasn't all the way there."

KURT BUSCH, Raybestos Rookie --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 8th)

"It seemed like we were off sequence all day long with tires. Track position was vital, but we had a good Ford and that Roush racing engine had good fuel mileage. It was really good strategy by all the Roush cars to stick together. I just got bumped out of the groove by Spencer at the end. I was holding him up a little bit, but, all in all, it was a great day." HOW HARD IS TO HOLD ON TO WHAT YOU HAVE AT THE END?

"It's alright. It will come with time. The 29 car seems to be doing everything right. They had an advantage that nobody else had -- he was a great car today. It was wonderful to see a rookie go out there and win like that. Hopefully, we'll have our chance later on."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 7th) --

"That was a tough run for us. We rally worked on the DEWALT car all day. Every single pit stop Robbie and the guys did an awesome job. The car was tight early on and then it was loose and the car just kept changing. We used scuffs the whole day."

ROBBY GORDON --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 35th) --

"We had really good car, but there was no reason to push it after we got behind. (Two hose clamps broke on a water pump hose). I think we were good enough to finish 10th, 11th or 12th -- somewhere in there."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 18th) --

"We ran great. We had a right-front go down. Fortunately, it went down in a straightaway and didn't hit anything. It's unfortunate because we ran well all day. We certainly had a top four, top three car. We didn't have anything for Harvick, but I thought we could run with about everybody on the track. We just didn't get a good break."

WHAT ABOUT THE TIRES?

"There was a lot of tire trouble today. The track is real fast and very abusive on tires. I think Goodyear did a great job coming here and the fact we didn't have more problems is a big surprise. It's hard to build a tire for a track like this."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing