Ford Loudon race notes

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 40th) WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't really know. I know the 93 was under me and then I was under the 33. I thought I was gonna have a little room, but I guess I didn't. I must have run out of...

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 40th)


"I don't really know. I know the 93 was under me and then I was under the 33. I thought I was gonna have a little room, but I guess I didn't. I must have run out of room and I locked the brakes up trying not to hit the 33 and slid into him. It's my fault. I just thought I had more room than what I did, but it didn't work out for us today. It looks like we're done for the day. The Motorcraft Ford Taurus is probably done, so this is gonna kill us in the points."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 43rd)

"We broke a motor. I don't know what broke, but it seized up coming off of turn two. It's either a rod or a piston or something like that, but it blew big time. We're out for the day. It's a shame because the thing was running great, it handled perfect. I don't know what caused it, but the motor just went."


"Yeah, we were fourth in the points and now we're probably gonna drop back to about sixth again or something, but it's just tough luck."

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 39th)

"I was just driving around and it went straight. I don't know. It's a weird deal. I started getting a little tight and was sliding around. I was trying to be real careful with the car and just trying to be patient. I don't know what it's gonna take. The Mobil 1 Ford was running pretty good and we were just trying to make 300 laps. It seems like we're having trouble finishing races and we just wanted to be there at the end today and go from there. Something happened, I'm not sure what it is was. It's kind of weird. Yesterday in practice everything was good and, all of a sudden, something happens today. It seems like that's the way it goes every week. We'll just have to keep digging. This isn't gonna get us down I can tell you that. We're gonna keep coming back fighting it and go from there."

KURT BUSCH, Raybestos Rookie --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 42nd)

"I expected a little bit of a different outcome from this, but the Sharpie/Rubbermaid car was gonna be decent. We were gonna move towards the front, but from the get-go it just started pushing water. It had decent power and it wanted to race, but it just kept pushing water. I couldn't quite understand why, so we eventually had to come in and put water in it."



* Dale Jarrett's triumph in today's New England 300 was his 28th career win and gave Ford Taurus it's 50th NASCAR Winston Cup victory. * Taurus made its debut as the first full-time four-door entry in NASCAR at the beginning of the 1998 season and in three years has won two manufacturer's titles (1999 and 2000) and helped Dale Jarrett capture the 1999 points championship. * Mark Martin won the first points race in a Taurus when he captured the inaugural Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1998. * Not included in those 50 wins are three triumphs in the Budweiser Shootout, one of which was by Rusty Wallace in Taurus' 1998 debut race. In addition, Mark Martin won The Winston later that same season. * Besides being win No. 50 for Taurus, it also marked the 520th all-time win for a Ford-branded car -- most of any manufacturer in the history of NASCAR Winston Cup racing. * A look at which Ford drivers have won in a Taurus is listed below, along with an up-to-date list of wins by manufacturer since Taurus joined the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.


Taurus Wins By Driver Manufacturer Wins (1998-Present) Jeff Burton 13 Ford Taurus 50 Dale Jarrett 13 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 46 Mark Martin 10 Pontiac Grand Prix 24 Rusty Wallace 7 Dodge Intrepid 0 Jeremy Mayfield 3 Ricky Rudd 2 Matt Kenseth 1 Elliott Sadler 1

-Ford Racing

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 3 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus (Finished 38th) -- IT LOOKED LIKE YOUR STRATEGY MIGHT WORK? "Yeah, and the caution came out and put all those guys a lap down. It would have worked perfect. I don't know. I guess I need to start believing in luck because we sure have had our share of bad luck. But that's really the nature of the business. You just keep hammering away and hammering away and, if you run well, all the little problems are solved and we're running pretty well." YOU WERE IN A GOOD PIT SEQUENCE. "Absolutely. As it worked out, we were in great shape but, I don't know. I love it. I really love what I'm doing, but, boy, there are difficult days. Everybody goes through it, but we've still got a lot of potential." WHAT PUT YOU OUT? "It sounds like the camshaft broke." WHAT POSITIVES CAN YOU TAKE FROM THIS? "Right now it's plenty difficult, but, in reality, there are some things that we've learned and some things that we'll benefit from coming back. It wasn't exactly what we wanted and we've got to find a way to overcome some of this adversity because it's really stacked against us here the last month or so. It's very disappointing right now, but I guarantee you tomorrow morning life will be good again." WERE YOU AWARE OF WHAT HAPPENED ON PIT ROAD WITH WALTRIP'S CAR? "I wasn't aware of that. I'm always very concerned about my guys. I had one incident where the jackman -- we were doing a two-tire stop -- and the jackman came around the front and I nearly clipped him. I get pretty intense because I'm really connected with my guys. They're behind me 100 percent and I fight for them because they battle for me every week. I'm having fun. This is disappointing, but I'm still having fun."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 3rd) -- "We just weren't very good on restarts. It took us about two, three or four laps to get going. I tried to keep the tires as clean as I could, but we needed it to go green. We didn't need those yellow flags out there." STILL A TOP THREE. "Well, I'm disappointed because we should have won the race today, but we ended up third. What can we say, we'll just come back and try again next week."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 4th) -- "I got hit pretty hard from behind by one of those cars. I jumped up the race track and lost a bunch of spots. When I finally got back underneath them, I went down into three and Jerry Nadeau just started to come down and I was already there. I had the race track and we just got together. I feel bad for him, but, all in all, the Kmart team ran really strong all day. The pit stops were awesome. Donnie Wingo did a great job today. The pit crew did an awesome job. I can't say enough for Mike Egge, Steve Allen and all the guys in the motor shop. They did a great job too. We needed a little bit more there, but, all in all, it's been good. The last two weeks with two top fives is pretty neat." WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE? "Our car was tight. Yesterday in practice we got the car really good the second session and we were really pleased with it. We had discussed some things we should have done and I wish we would have earlier, but Donnie did a great job. He made some major adjustments there and we kept getting better and better and better. I think if we could have gotten the lead, I believe we had a shot at winning that race also." WITH ALL THE SEALER TALK WAS IT PRETTY MUCH THE SAME KIND OF RACING AT LOUDON? "It was Loudon. It's hard. It is so hard to pass on this race track and when you do get underneath a guy, you know what's gonna happen when you go to the corner -- you're gonna bump each other. It's not the greatest race track we race on."

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 4 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

HUT STRICKLIN --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus (Finished 35th) -- DID YOU HAVE TO BE CONSERVATIVE BECAUSE OF THE BACK-UP CAR? "No, not really. We tried the same setup and, I don't know, our camber wear on the front tires wasn't very good. We weren't getting but half the wear on our front tires and the car just wouldn't turn. I don't know what happened there at the end. I think we ended up breaking the timing chain. It just wasn't our day again."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Post-Accident Late In The Race) -- WHAT HAPPENED? "I hit the apron and got loose and hit the wall and hit right hard, wrung my bell a little bit. I feel okay. I hurt my (right) knee a little bit and I've got a headache, but we'll be okay. It's been a long day here at New Hampshire. I'm just glad the day is over with. I hit pretty hard that time. We'll just get ready for Indy (test) and go on to Pocono."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 18th) -- "We had a better car than that. I have to try to help 'em with some of the calls and I should have elected to stay out. I had the best set of tires all day on and I could make it. I had a car that could run top five, I'm almost positive, on that set of tires and I was dumb enough to pit because I was last on the lead lap. I thought I had nothing to lose, but if I would have stayed out I'd have probably been leading. I would have gotten passed, but we just mired ourselves back. That was a dumb move on my part. I should have been sharper than that. I've raced long enough to make better calls than that."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 1st) -- COULD YOU HAVE PASSED RICKY WITHOUT THE LAST CAUTION? "I don't know that I could have. Ricky's car wasn't as good right after a restart, but he was kind of like mine in that the longer it went the better it got. When you've got two Yates motors it's hard to pass one of 'em and I would have had a hard time passing him without that caution." WHAT HAPPENED AFTER YOU LED? "It just wouldn't go on new tires. When we came back in after the green flag stop, I just couldn't go. I was just too loose. I just couldn't get up off the corner like I wanted to and then the caution actually helped me." IT SEEMS THESE TEAMS RISE TO THE OCCASION WHEN POINTS ARE ON THE LINE? "Yeah, and that's because of the leaders that we have. Robert and Doug Yates and Todd Parrott do a great job organizing the group of people that we have, making the calls on what we do engine-wise, skill-wise and chassis-wise. Our guys back at the shop are building all of our cars now and they're doing a fantastic job. I can't say enough for this race team. Ricky's race team is great. Jeff obviously has a great race team too and, hopefully, we can get this down to where it's between Ricky and myself."

MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 10th) -- "It was a good day and a good run for us. We started 22nd and just worked our way up through there. Fortunately, we stayed out long enough there where the pit cycle worked and we didn't have to get a lap down. It all worked out fine. We did everything we were supposed to do." THIS IS TWO STRAIGHT STRONG RUNS FOR YOU. THAT MUST GIVE YOU SOME CONFIDENCE? "That's two top 10s. I felt I could do it all the time, it's just that you have to get everything to work right for you. If it doesn't work right you don't go. That's the way it is."

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 5 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus (Finished 13th) -- "We got all we could get out of it. The car ran better the last two runs and Mike made some good adjustments to make the car much better the last couple of runs. Man, track position. When you start in the back it's hard to get anywhere, but for using a provisional and going to a back-up car and the way the weekend started so bad for us -- to come out with a top 15 is a great effort. We just keep marching on. The team continues to show its fortitude and what it's made of and I'm just so proud of it right now." TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR? "This is the oldest car we've got in the works. It's a car that Bill Elliott drove for Junior Johnson and we have used it primarily just at Bristol and Dover -- primarily at Bristol -- and we've been carrying it for a back-up car because we don't have that many cars in our fleet. The old girl came through. The guys that were outrun should be ashamed to be outrun by a car that is probably, gosh, it's got to be eight or nine years old."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "I guessed wrong on the setup for this car and I hate it for the team, and I hate it that we ran that bad. It's a learning process I guess. I had to really search for a line to run because the rubber build up on the track was causing us to lose traction. It appeared not to hurt some of the teams because they could drive right through it. It hurt us a lot. If our car hit the rubber up front, then we were loose up front. If we hit the rubber from the rear of the car, we were loose from that end. We'll take what we learned here and re-think things for September."

RICKY RUDD POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE -- WHAT ABOUT THE LAST RESTART? "There's really not a whole lot to say. The results sort of speak for themselves. We were setup today, we didn't need cautions to come out and, unfortunately, this slippery old treacherous track brings a lot of cautions out. There's not a whole lot anybody can do about that, but the cautions didn't work out good for us today. We didn't need cautions. The more we ran the better we got and that was sort of the way we set our race car up was for the long runs. We didn't need the cautions to come out. We were in good shape. It looked like we were gonna win the race if the caution hadn't come out with about eight laps to go, so it was unfortunate for us. Our teammate, DJ, was good all day long on restarts. I talked to our crew chief, Mike McSwain, about it trying to figure out what he had that we didn't have to make him so good on the restarts. Once we got going we leveled off and were probably close to being equal speeds, but his car was exceptionally good on restarts. It must have been an air-pressure thing or something. Anyway, I tried to pinch him off through three and four. I had to virtually stop to get in the corner after the restart. The track had garbage all over it that really affected most of the cars out there, so we had to come to a stop to get in the corner. DJ did not and that allowed him to get a good run and he got on the inside of me. I tried to pinch him low and caved my quarterpanel in a little bit. There was contact, but it really didn't change the outcome." ANY CLOSE CALLS? "Not really. The track was in great shape as long as you ran on the bottom of the race track. That made it look real treacherous for the restarts -- having to restart and have the lead lap cars on the outside where the sealer was very slippery. I mean, every restart was a close call. I don't know any other way to put it." WAS THIS A PRELUDE TO WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN LATER IN THE YEAR FROM A POINTS SITUATION? "I think he sees me as just another race car out there on the race track with 10 laps to go and the feeling is obliged. It was Dale today and I'll do what I have to do to move by and get by him. Again, the teammate deal, if he didn't drive that hard to try to win races he probably wouldn't be on the Robert Yates race team. I don't have any hard feelings. I think he did exactly what he needed to do. He raced the car as hard as he could race it today. We raced as hard as we could. Like I say, we just couldn't do anything on the restarts, but there are no hard feelings.

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 6 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

RUDD CONTINUED -- "The Robert Yates cars were real good today. They were setup completely different from one another and maybe that's one reason his chassis was good on the restarts and we weren't particularly good. It was pretty interesting. His car was setup -- they were probably night and day apart from one another, yet they were pretty equal to each other." WHAT ABOUT THE FRUSTRATION OF HAVING A WINNING CAR AND LOSING GROUND? "Well, circumstances just didn't work out our way. If I let it bother me, I probably wouldn't have been racing for 26 years because this isn't the only time we've had a race slip away from us, but there's absolutely nothing we can do about controlling the cautions other than getting this race track to fix itself here. You wouldn't have so many spins, but I can't get bitter about the cautions coming out. Certainly I'm disappointed, but I'm not ready to quit or give up. Next week we come back and come back stronger hopefully, and that's pretty much all I can say. No one enjoys running second and nobody enjoys running third, but certain days you take what you can get." WAS THE LAPPED CAR ON THE RESTART WITH 30 TO GO THE DIFFERENCE FROM THE LAST RESTART? "That could have made a difference. I cleared the 19 going into the corner and then Dale and Jeff had to deal with him behind me. I was having to race extremely hard to try to keep him down, not so much to keep him down a lap, I didn't want him to be in front of me and me have to follow his dirty air. Like Jeff was talking about track position. That probably would have slowed me down a couple of tenths, so I raced pretty hard to stay in front of him. I don't really know if that made a difference, other than we ran another 15-20-30 laps on our tires and then we had a restart again. There was rubber all over the race track and the groove would actually move around virtually from lap to lap, so you had to be flexible and move your car around. It's almost like running down the highway when there's snow on the road and you've got a couple of tracks built into the snow. That's kind of how you had to race the race track. I don't have a lot to say about it other than we restarted that last time and it seemed like there were more gumballs all over the place when we restarted. All the way up the backstretch you could see where people had been buffing their tires and when you're the first guy down in the corner, that's not always the best thing to have when you have a treacherous situation like that. That probably didn't help any. I really don't have an answer as for why this last restart was different. I was slipping and sliding the restart before, but I had Dale and Jeff and a couple of them back there bottle-necked up racing each other. We didn't have that on that single-file restart that time." DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE COOKED ON THE LAST RESTART? "I knew it was gonna be tough. I really sort of wrote Dale off because he was very good earlier in the race and three quarters of the way it looked like all of a sudden he wasn't a factor anymore. It was something to do with the set of tires he got, and I don't think any of us got tires again and then I looked in the mirror and here he comes again. I'm not really sure. I knew Jeff, I thought he was just sitting back there waiting just trying to not stink up the show too much and cool his car down. I figured he was a factor and, like I say, Dale was a factor earlier and then he disappeared, so it surprised me that all of a sudden he came that strong right there at the end because he didn't do it that previous restart." WHAT ABOUT BEING PART OF A TWO CAR GANG UP ON JEFF? "I think that came from when we were asked if we could beat Jeff, and I think if you look at it week in and week out, which car is the more dominant car week in and week out, you'd have to look at it and say Jeff's car has been more dominant than we have been. If you take the two cars that we've got right now and the teammate situation at Yates, where we do things a certain way and DJ, they do things a certain way, and maybe some days when we're off we can quickly adjust and get good. Right now we have that going for us and I think that's a plus. It's gonna take both of us to catch up. Jeff right now, week in and week out, has been the toughest. I was real happy with the way both Yates cars ran this week. This was the first time. Jeff was gone in the beginning of the race and I still thought he was playing with us, but evidently he didn't because I know he didn't want to run second."

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 7 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

RUDD CONTINUED -- DO YOU FEEL THE BUMP FROM JARRETT WAS WRONG OR WAS IT JUST RACING? "I think you've got to go back and look at the tape and that bump was probably caused more by me than it was Dale, trying to pinch him off and trying to shut the door on him. I tried to slam the door on Jeff and he wouldn't have anything to do with that either, so all it did was scratch the left side of the race car up. Had that been earlier in the race, it might have worked, but it was basically probably as much of me coming down on Dale trying to pinch it off and shut the momentum down on him. I could see him in my mirror -- he had his nose under there. No, he didn't do anything. He had a good run and had good momentum and he did exactly what he needed to do. Certainly I didn't want to give up the lead, but I basically had no choice." IS THIS JUST A ONE GROOVE TRACK? "I think you just go back and watch the race. The only time you see much action at all is when people are slipping and sliding after a restart. That was pretty much the only time you saw the second groove work. They've got a problem with this race track. I don't know what to say other than I know what I would do if it was mine. I would keep the bottom groove like it is. I would go up and I would take out the entire second lane of the race track and re-surface it -- not put any sealer on it so you'd have two distinct different grooves and maybe you could race side by side. But I don't enjoy coming up and running single-file, follow the leader, and wait for somebody to slip to pass. It's not a lot of fun racing that way, but on the other hand, it was equal for all 43 competitors. It was the same environment, so you just look at it as another situation you deal with. The competition is dealing with it, so we have to deal with it, but that doesn't necessarily mean you enjoy it." MORE ON THE TRACK. "I slammed them a while ago, let me just say we had one groove of race track -- very treacherous on a restart for about three to five laps -- but after that the grip and adhesion is as good as anywhere you'd ever want to run, so you had one really good fast race track groove. Again, it made racing a little difficult because you just couldn't drive in there side by side with the inside guy and outside guy being equal and whoever the best handling car is goes to the front. You had one groove, but everyone was dealing with it and mostly everybody was fairly patient with it. I wouldn't say it made it just completely undriveable, it didn't, it made it where you could drive but it just made it where you couldn't pass competitively side by side." WHEN DID THE GUMBALLS START TO FORM? "We looked at the race track yesterday afternoon after the Busch North race -- we went out and walked on the race track -- and at that time that was the first time we had seen any signs that rubber had stuck. I think it had something to maybe do with the bias-ply tires. That might have contributed to it because we don't normally see that rubber build up and stick to that track. We've seen it a little bit at Martinsville, Virginia, but we've never really seen it here. This is the first time we've dealt with it. I'm not really sure, other than the fact that we didn't see it until after the Busch North Series. I don't know if that had something to do with it or not." COULD THAT HAVE AFFECTED A SECOND GROOVE? "No. I think it was slippery up there and you tried to find a set of clear tracks to run through where you didn't have to go through the rubber that much, but the rubber build up is not what affected the lack of racing on the top. It was just slippery up there. As a matter of fact, that rubber was sort of right where you run your right side tires. The track was pretty clean above that, so I don't think that was an issue."


FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 8 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

DALE JARRETT POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE -- WHAT ABOUT YOUR DAY? "It was a long, tough day. We had a great race car from the beginning. We were able to work our way up. Todd made a slight change on the car from yesterday's practice and it was the perfect thing. The biggest problem we had throughout the day was trying to go on new tires. Our car just liked the scuffed tires better. That was whenever I lost the lead after our green flag pit stop. Ricky got by me and then Jeff and Jimmy Spencer. All three of those got by me and I was a little concerned at that time, but the cautions actually played in our favor. It seemed the more cycles we got on the tires the better our car got. I don't know that I would have won the race, probably would not have won the race if that last caution hadn't come out. It was gonna be tough to pass Ricky. I mean, when you're trying to pass another guy that's got the same amount of horsepower you've got, that makes it difficult. His car was good through the corner. I could get through the center a little bit better, but you'd lose a little bit of that downforce on the front by being behind. It seemed the guy out front had a little bit of an advantage and it would have been tough. But when the caution came out, I knew that was gonna be my chance. My car, of the three cars that were really the best all day -- Jeff and Ricky and myself -- I could tell on every restart that mine was a little bit better. I could get hooked up a little bit quicker. Ricky really slowed down getting into three to keep it on the bottom, but he got back in the gas and kind of shot up the race track a little bit. I was able to keep my car on the bottom and get a good run. He got a little bit loose there and when he came off the wall we touched a little bit, but I was already up beside him then and we were able to hang on. It was a great race car. The pit stops were fantastic. Everything went well for us." ANY CLOSE CALLS? "None other than what I created myself a few times. We had a lot of rubber build up. The sealer that was put on was so tacky that the rubber was building up and it was right in the groove. You had to find your way around that and if you happened to get in the corner a little hard or a little high you would get into that and it would really make your car take off. That could be a little bit interesting at times. The two places it was the worst was when you entered turn one because it would really shoot you up the track if you weren't careful there, and coming off of four. It seemed that if you thought you had really good grip coming off the corner, the next thing you know the car was really sliding towards the wall so you had to be careful there." WAS THERE AN ADVANTAGE BEING SECOND ON THAT RESTART BECAUSE OF THE RUBBER? "Yeah, the guy in front -- and I felt that way whenever I was leading -- that there was a little bit of a disadvantage there because you just weren't sure how hard you could go in there. The guy in second can kind of judge off of him. I could really see that Ricky was having to really kind of tip-toe through the first few corners and I knew if I didn't take advantage of that in the first two laps after we went back to green, I wasn't gonna get a chance. I saw him really slow. It looked like he really tried to keep his car down where I couldn't get under him in three and he really got his momentum slowed down. I carried a lot of speed in there and was able to get back in the gas right on the bottom. It seemed when he got in the gas early, he kind of slid up the race track a little bit. So, yeah, I think it was probably an advantage for me being there." WHEN DID YOU BECOME A FLAT TRACK SPECIALIST? "When I met Todd Parrott. They kind of go hand-in-hand. We finally won at Martinsville and won here. That's the thing that I think really shows how much our race team has improved -- that we're able to be competitive and win at these places. Those are goals that we set out -- to win at places we haven't won at yet. He's trying his darndest to make me a road racer and I told him, 'I don't know if we'll get to that point before we retire or not, but we'll keep trying.' At least we've managed to conquer these two. It's great to win here. This is a tough, tough race track and you've got to have a great car. It takes a total combination. A good engine is important because of the long straightaways, but you've got to be able to use that and I was able to do that. It's one of the few times I can remember the Robert Yates cars being here and really being able to hook up that horsepower. That was a tremendous advantage and, as I said earlier, our pit crew did a fantastic job. I think they were the quickest all day long."

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES New England 300, Page 9 July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

JARRETT CONTINUED -- COULD THIS BE A PREVIEW WITH YOU AND RICKY AND JEFF? "I think so. The three cars that you saw that were the best all day are the three cars that are up front in the points. I think it shows you're gonna have to be on top of your game each and every week here and you can't make any mistakes. As far as the Yates cars, yeah, I think because we've been working well together, that we've got both cars running extremely well and we're gonna give each other a chance to win each and every week. As we said yesterday, I hope it comes down to the two of us at Atlanta."

TODD PARROTT, Crew Chief --88-- UPS Taurus -- DID YOU VOLUNTEER ANY ADJUSTMENTS TO RICKY'S TEAM DURING THE RACE? "No. We work close all week long. Before we came up here we talked about it over the telephone. Our cars, it's hard to explain, the two chassis setups were a lot alike today but they were different. They had different ways of going about it, but in the end the final result was real close. Both cars were really good. His car was good yesterday. We talked about it -- are we making the right decisions because Ricky runs so well and the 28 car has been so good up here. We've never won. We've run really good, but we've never won here, so me and Dale sat down. We tried some stuff and said all along that the last couple of years we haven't gotten aggressive enough on some of our setups -- trying some things -- and I think this weekend just proves to each other that we went out and tried some things we had never done before and here we sit again today."

JARRETT CONTINUED -- "To answer your question, they did know what we were doing, what we were discussing yesterday afternoon. After the final practice we all talked and they knew what we were discussing as far as what we were looking at doing to our cars, so, yes, they were privy to that information. Just like we knew what they were doing, and even in the middle of the practice yesterday they came over. We had made an adjustment on our car and it helped our car and they came over and we talked about that, so it's business as usual just like we said yesterday. We know everything that goes on with each other." DOES THAT MAKE IT TOUGHER FOR SOMEONE LIKE GORDON TO BEAT YOU TWO? "We hope. He's so good that it may take two of us to beat him, but that's what our plan is." DOES IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE ON THE RESTART WITH YOUR TEAMMATE IN FRONT OF YOU? "If I want to keep my job it better (laughing). Yeah, it does. Honestly. If that would have been someone else, I would have been ready to lean on him pretty hard to try to win the race, but I wasn't ready to do that with Ricky. I wanted to race him hard. If I could get a run on him, that's what I wanted to do but I wasn't gonna knock him out of the way. I hate that whenever I passed him, that Gordon -- I thought I saw he was able to get up beside him. I would have liked to have kept Ricky between us, but, yeah, it does make a difference. You think about things a little bit differently. You race everybody hard, but the last thing we wanted to happen to the Yates organization was to come out of here running first and second and the next thing you know we're running 25th and 26th. I wasn't gonna do that. I don't know what Ricky thought about the contact. I'm sure we all have different ideas, but the contact I saw was that he was out against the wall and as he came off the wall a little bit loose, I was right beside him. I wasn't giving him any extra room, but we did touch as he came off the wall. But I don't think the contact is what created the pass. I was already up beside him whenever that happened." WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CHANGE THIS TRACK? "I've said before I'm not in the track building business. I just go and drive the cars around what is built. Obviously, with 3400-pound stock cars and the horsepower that we have, some banking helps us. But, you just adapt to different situations. The road courses that we run at probably weren't made for our stock cars in mind either, so there's nothing wrong with that. You just have to find your way and make your way through there.


July 22, 2001 New Hampshire International Speedway

JARRETT CONTINUED -- "The Bahre's have spent a lot of money, time effort -- put a lot of sweat and blood into this place --- and they've built a great race track. They come into a lot of criticism in the last year and some of it may have come from me in a way that I didn't mean it as direct criticism. I was looking for way to make sure that the same things didn't happen, and I'm speaking of Adam's and Kenny's deaths. It wasn't a knock on the race track. I love coming here. I always have. I can remember the first time coming here in a Busch car, the very first race that we ran here and I wasn't anybody and they treated me like I was Dale Earnhardt at the time -- as they have everyone and that's the way they have always treated everybody. They deserve a lot of credit for what they've done here and what they've built. It's up to us to race on it. They've tried to improve it with sealer. You would think that would help bring in a second groove, but just a flat race track is gonna be tough. We just have to make our cars better and everybody has to work on their cars. You have to change your driving style. It's a difficult place. Yeah, I've gotten out of my car frustrated too finishing second, third, fifth or 10th here. It's difficult at times to pass, but let's not put that on the race track. They've built a great place here. The fans are probably the best that we have anywhere that we go. They're just so excited. They're out there doing the wave before we got started. I mean, that's incredible. They're ready for some excitement. Let's give some credit where credit is really due. They've built the place and, if at some point in time some banking could be added, that would probably help. If not, then we've got to continue to work on our cars and become better drivers around this place." YOUR CONVERSATION WITH KYLE BEFORE THE RACE? "I just stopped by to tell Kyle that I was thinking of him and that I hoped he had a great day. I knew it was a difficult time for him. I just wanted to let him know that we were praying for he and Pattie and the entire family."

PARROTT CONTINUED -- DID THE PIT CREWS SEE THAT BUMP DIFFERENTLY? "Everybody has an opinion. Like Dale said, it was a hard race. They were racing hard and Dale made a great move down there and got position. Those guys are racers just like we are. They want to win just as bad as we do. They want to beat us, we want to beat them, we want to beat the 24. That's just the first that Robert Yates puts in his race teams and I think that's something to be very proud of. To have two teams race that hard and fight that hard and just want to win. It doesn't matter what it takes to get there. They're all over there bragging and patting each other on the back because coming about two or three weeks they're gonna get two staples in their envelope and their paycheck. That's two bonus checks, so it was a good day. Sure, I'd love for them to finish second because it would have been a bigger bonus for us. It works both ways and at some point during the season the shoe is gonna be on the foot or the hand is gonna be on the other leg -- whatever you want to call it (laughing)." ANY CONCERN THIS MIGHT CAUSE STRAIN WITH THE 28? "Personally I don't think so. I don't think Robert Yates would let that happen. We can only pray that the good Lord would look upon us the last 17 races and have it come down to Atlanta and a situation like that. I think if it was a matter of something like that, Robert is a strong enough person with his people and his teams, he'd probably sit both teams down before we went to Atlanta and say, 'Hey, may the best team win. You all go out, race hard and do what you've got to do to beat each other because that's the way we got here.'"

JARRETT CONTINUED -- "We realize right now that our strength is working together. That's helped us to become better race teams and be more competitive with the 24 week in and week out and we have to continue that. I think we've all talked about it enough. We realize this championship isn't just between the two of us right now. There are at least three of us in the mix and could be more if things happened up front. Right now the best thing for us to do is work together and we've all said, 'Let's continue this,' and if it got to Atlanta that would be great. Let's continue to share the information. Let's go out on the race track and figure this thing out and see who wins there, and let the pit crews help decide it."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Jerry Nadeau , Junior Johnson , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler , Steve Allen , Mark Martin