Ford Racing dominates at Phoneix

Jeff Burton's win in today's Checker Auto Parts/DuraLube 500 marks the ninth time a Ford has won at Phoenix in 13 all-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at the one-mile facility. Burton also became the 12th different driver to win at...

Jeff Burton's win in today's Checker Auto Parts/DuraLube 500 marks the ninth time a Ford has won at Phoenix in 13 all-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at the one-mile facility.

Burton also became the 12th different driver to win at Phoenix and keeps Davey Allison as the only driver to have more than one NASCAR Winston Cup victory at this track.

The win was also Ford's 14th of the 2000 season, most of any manufacturer. Pontiac has won 10 times while Chevrolet has posted eight.

MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus (Finished 42nd) "I guess something broke underneath the 4 car and started spinning Bobby out and then we ran it over. It popped the right front, so it's just bad luck. It rolled right under the right-front, I heard it blow out and I just went straight into the wall."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 37th)
WHERE DO YOU BEGIN TO DESCRIBE THIS FRUSTRATION? "Well, it's kind of been like that all year. It seems every time we have a win shaping up something happens. We should have three or four, maybe even five wins this year but at least we ran really good. The wreck at the end of the race, I don't know, it seems like other people's circumstances dictate our finishes too much, but there's not a whole lot you can do about it, you just pick up the pieces and go on."

HOW DO YOU GO ON? "It could be worse. We could have been running dead last. Last year I was back in the back somewhere and this year we're out front. We wreck leading the races. This is a position I haven't been in before, but, I don't know. I think that was an accident. I think a flat tire or something caused it, but, heck, I don't know what to do -- just keep on going." FRUSTRATION THE WORD? "Well, I can't exactly say I'm tickled to death to be sitting here talking to you finishing about dead last when we had a winning car, but what are you gonna do? Just keep trying and sooner or later maybe we'll knock two or three in a row out." CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED? "All I could see was I guess the 14 car had a blown right-front tire and he was headed to the outside fence. I'm not really sure how the 27, it looked like he didn't even see it happen. Everything was gonna be cool and the 27, I don't know if his spotter didn't see it or he didn't see it or what happened, but all of a sudden at the last minute he saw it and he just ran right in the back of the 14 car. I saw the momentum was sweeping right and the next thing I know he runs right in front of me." YOU FIGURE YOUR LUCK HAS TO CHANGE? "Well, you certainly hope. I keep thinking it can't get any worse, but I hate to see it because we had a really fast race car. The guys really worked their butts off and we don't really have a whole lot to show for it, other than we had a top five in the points until today. I don't know where that puts us."

DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Finished 10th) "I thought we could get to the top five. I don't know. The middle part of the race we got pretty good and we started trying to adjust and we got the car really bad. We adjusted back and got it better at the end, but we never could get it right. We just could never get through the center of the corner all day and if you can't go through the center here, you're not gonna be very fast." DID THE CLOUDS IN AND OUT CAUSE PROBLEMS? "It seemed like we were better when it was sunny, so I'm sure some of the tightness came from the cloud cover and we just never could adjust it back that much."

RYAN NEWMAN --02-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 41st) "The race was a case of highs and lows. We started up front, but the balance wasn't good at the start. We had something mechanically wrong in the car and it just took us a while to figure it out. We made a lot of changes to the car and it had no affect, so that's why we think there was something mechanically wrong -- either like a rear-end gear or something like that, a transmission or something with the steering box. It was something that physically lost feel. The car just didn't have the grip that we thought it would. We had similar problems that we had yesterday in happy hour and we had all the reasons to believe we fixed them, but obviously we didn't." WHAT PUT YOU OUT? "The balance itself and then we had a piece of plastic cover the nose and the motor overheated and pushed all the water out. We came in and we recirculated the water and I think we must have hurt something when we did that, just getting it so hot." WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE OUT THERE AGAINST THOSE GUYS? "It was neat, but it wasn't fun trying to stay out of their way. I know we were capable of a lot better finish today and I know we were capable of finishing, so we'll just look forward to the next opportunity."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 4th) "Jeff was real strong and I was hoping that if I put right sides on it would be enough to hold on for 10 laps, but it was just too much to ask for. The car was just too loose on me. It was a good run for us. I'm really happy with the team. We gained a lot of points on Rudd and Stewart and some of the guys I'm racing to get back in the top five in points, so it was a good day." AFTER THE RUDD ACCIDENT DID YOU HAVE RENEWED HOPE YOU COULD WIN? "I thought I had a renewed shot and I thought I could get it, it just didn't work out. But I really felt like I could have won the race." WHERE WAS THE CAR OFF? "It was a good car all day long, we led a lot of laps, but we were a solid top three, top four car all day. But I just needed more right-rear spring. I probably had too soft of a right-rear. I kept taking weight out trying to make it turn better, but to make it turn better it started making it loose off so you fix one problem and you screw up the other." YOU HAD A GOOD BATTLE WITH JEREMY. "Jeremy was really strong throughout the day. He came from way back to the front and way back to the front, and I had a little battle with Steve there, but with 10 to go and right side tires I thought I could have held 'em off, but, man, they were just too tough for me."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus (Finished 6th) "The track really needed to be cleaned up a little bit more and if I could have gotten them to clean it a little bit more, it would have been darn close. I wanted it real bad and I didn't have the car to do it, so we went for it. It was my call. I felt like where we were sitting that we had more to gain than to lose and with five to go we were still leading. We weren't running good and I wanted to win real bad. We got the lead and I drove it as hard as I could. I'll take sixth, that's a nine-spot improvement from where we were when the caution came out and we were looking better than that with right down to two to go, but I just couldn't handle 'em."

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 2nd) DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA YOU WERE GOING TO RUN OUT OF GAS? "No, not at all. We thought we had plenty of time to come down pit road and about the time I entered it, that's when it ran out. It didn't give any warning, it just went out and that cost us a lot of time. We got a lap down, but that shows you how strong this Mobil 1 Penske Racing Ford Taurus is. It's awesome. I'm just real proud of these guys. The engine shop did a great job and maybe we've got that monkey off our back now." YOU HAD TO BATTLE BACK. "It was tough. Track position was everything and once you get a lap down, man, it's hard to fight your way back up there. We just kept going and kept digging and this is a strong race team here. I'm proud of 'em."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW "We did loose track position every now and then. We broke a jack in the pits and then we had a lugnut hang up one time. We just didn't have a good day in the pits, not because we don't have good guys but because it didn't work out for us. I thought us and the 12 car were the fastest cars for sure. This is a good day for us. It feels really good to get Citgo SUPERGARD in victory lane. I feel bad for Ricky Rudd. He looked like he was in good shape. We were gonna catch him, but catching him doesn't mean you're gonna pass him. Ricky is obviously a great race car driver, his wins will come again. He's showing everybody that he can still do it, there's no doubt about that." SO YOU FELT YOU COULD CATCH HIM? "Well, we were gonna get to him. I'm not saying we were gonna pass him. Catching Ricky Rudd and passing him are two different things. We were certainly gonna get to him, we were a little bit faster, but that doesn't mean we were gonna win. He was in great shape, but I thought the two best cars for the majority of the day finished first and second. I felt bad for Jeremy too because he got a lap down, made it up and came back to finish second. That's two weeks in a row he and I have run really great and had things happen to us that hurt us, but this time we overcame 'em." ANY THOUGHT ABOUT FOUR TIRES ON THE LAST STOP? "Not at all. We saw Jeremy put on two early in the race and he really went fast on 'em. We put on two and went really fast on ours. There was no question what we needed to do. Frank made a great call. He wanted to put on two early in the race and he put on two and I didn't want that, but come to find out that was the right thing to do. It taught us what we needed to do for the rest of the race." HOMESTEAD IS SIMILAR. ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC? "We are optimistic. If you look at the last four months how many laps we've led and how we're running in the front, we're real proud of that. We struggled in the middle part of the year but we've overcome that and we're running better now than we've ever run, so I'm really proud of guys for not getting their heads down. We've worked really hard. I'm really tired right now. We've tested a lot. We've worked really hard. This has been a team effort -- all of our engineering support, everybody, has worked real hard to get us back in line and I'm real proud of the team effort we've been able to put together."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets Taurus (Finished 20th) "It was a good, solid run. It was unfortunate there on the last yellow. We were pitting ahead of Tony Stewart and he was only taking two (tires) and he blocked me from getting in my stall and we went from 17th to 21st. That was unfortunate. I'm glad Tony and I didn't wreck, but it was a good, solid run. The guys did a good job getting this car ready. These flat tracks have been our strong point this year and we finally got to finish one and show everybody that we could run decent, so I'm real proud of the team and looking forward to Homestead."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 31st) "We started out pretty good, a little bit loose. We tightened it up and then we were tight the rest of the day and never got back to where we started. The good thing we can take out of this weekend, though, is that we had a good qualifying run. Now we've got to go to Homestead and we've got to turn this whole deal around. Whatever you do here, you can pretty much back it up at Homestead, so we're gonna go home and regroup."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Tony Stewart , Davey Allison
Teams Team Penske