Ford Racing Martinsville II race quotes

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 43rd) -- "I think we broke a brake caliper or something because when I went off into one it didn't have any brakes. The thing just took off up through there and I had to slam it up into third...

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 43rd) -- "I think we broke a brake caliper or something because when I went off into one it didn't have any brakes. The thing just took off up through there and I had to slam it up into third gear. I think something broke. It's not a brake problem, but maybe the brake line got crimped or there was something rubbing."

WHAT HAPPENED? "I was sitting there riding around and the car was great. I went off into the corner going into three and I got a funny feeling with the brakes. When I went into one on the next lap I guess the front hub broke and the rotor came loose because I didn't have any brakes. I just had to shove it up into third gear."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "I think we just over-engineered ourselves. We're trying to hold a different brake system and I can't slow the car down. I can push as hard as I want to on that brake pedal and it will not slow down. It's a shame because we've got a great handling race car. That thing is really awesome, but there's nothing I can do about it. At Martinsville, if you can't slow down for the corners, you're in trouble."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 39th) -- "I'm not really sure. Something let go in the motor. We had a really good race car. The Texaco Havoline Ford was really good. Earlier in the race we got up to about fourth or fifth and made a scheduled pit stop and ended up with the lead, but it hung in third gear and I couldn't get it out of third gear. We had to come back in and work on it and fought our way all the way from the back and got back up to the front. We were ready to go and challenge for the win and then, all of a sudden, the motor let go."

IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO END WELL FOR YOU TODAY? "It really was. It looked like we had things going our way because we had just took on four tires and the 55 car was sitting there with two tires. I felt like we had things under control, but there's not a whole lot you can do about this."

WHAT WAS IT LIKE OUT THERE. "We actually stayed out of pretty good trouble all day. We had a transmission problem that hung in one gear. We had to come back in and work on it and, luckily, we didn't lose a lap but then we had to come from dead last back to the front again. It took us a long time to do that without tearing up the race car and we're pretty proud of that. We had a car we could go and race until the end, but we didn't get a chance to do that."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 36th) -- "I think we just broke a rear-end gear. Everything was going fine and then we just broke a gear up off the corner. We weren't running good enough to pass the cars and get up front by ourselves, so we tried not to pit a couple of times just to try and get ourselves in position. I figured we could have finished 15th or 20th if we would have pitted with the leaders, so we thought we'd stay out and roll the dice and maybe hang on to a top 10 or top 15." HOW WAS THE RACING? "It wasn't bad for Martinsville. I only got spun out once, so it wasn't too bad."

RICKY CRAVEN --32-- Tide Taurus -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW -- YOU'RE A WINSTON CUP WINNER. "I've worked all my life to hear you say that. I began racing in 1982 with the idea of getting to Winston Cup and winning a Winston Cup race and I've got to admit, the last couple of years I wasn't sure I'd ever get that chance, but here we are. We won at Martinsville, Virginia, one of the toughest tracks on the circuit and I want to thank everybody that supported me along the way. I want to thank Dale Jarrett for being such an awesome gentleman and being one of the first to thank me, even though I used him up a little bit there at the end. I thank God, thank everybody on this team, thank everybody for everything they've done for us."

YOU WERE THIRD BEHIND HARVICK AND HAMILTON, WHAT ABOUT THE PASS FOR THE LEAD? "Oh my gosh, it got real rough but that was the window of opportunity that we needed. I'm not sure I could have beat Bobby straight up because we were so even. There was one slip. He and the 29 got together and you don't think about it, you just go. We came out on the winning end of that deal and we just fought on to the end."

YOU TOOK TWO TIRES AND JARRETT TOOK FOUR. DID THAT CONCERN YOU? "Absolutely, it certainly did, but I found comfort with it knowing he was in my mirror because the guy is a gentleman. He wouldn't rough me up. I knew he'd race me hard, but I knew he wouldn't rough me up. We just won a Winston Cup race. I don't think I'm gonna sleep. My biggest challenge is getting some sleep before Talladega because this is what I've worked all my life for."

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE YEARS IT TOOK TO GET HERE? "I'm tougher today than I was two or three years ago and I truly believe that everything you do is for a reason and today you had to be tough. We had to match Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Hamilton door-to-door all day and, by God, the Tide team came out on top. This ought to give us a lot of strength."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 2nd) -- "It was exciting. Ricky did a great job there. I thought I might have something for him. I got up on the outside and I could tell he was really loose off, but he did a great job. On the restart I thought I had something for him. I knew that Ricky only got two tires. I thought I had my tires really cleaned off good, but, man, I was really loose on that start. Ricky got out away from me a little bit. I thought I was gonna wreck a couple of times. I finally started catching him and I could tell he wasn't gonna give up the inside. I certainly wasn't gonna spin him out, so he gave me the opening to the outside and I thought I'd give it a try. I had a good run off of two. I got beside him. We kind of got together back there. I was kind of against him and the wall, so I didn't have much room, but he did what he's supposed to do. He ran me up high in three and four and got off of there better, so congratulations to him. He did everything right and I'm really happy for him. Ricky Craven is a great guy and it's nice to have him as a Winston Cup winner now."

WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HIM WHEN YOU LEANED IN THE CAR? "I just congratulated him and told him he did a great job because he did. He did exactly what he's supposed to do."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 17th) -- "That's pretty cool to run on the lead lap all day. We led some laps. I wish we could've gotten tires there at the end -- I think we would've finished maybe 14th or 15th. I'm pretty happy. I think that's good. Anything can happen out there. We got in a few fender-benders and could've finished 30th, so I'm happy with that."

WHEN YOU DID GET TO THE FRONT, YOU STAYED THERE FOR A WHILE. "Yeah, that was pretty fun. That's the most fun I've ever had here at Martinsville. I never thought we'd ever lead a lap here, and to lead 30 or 40 or how many laps we led -- it felt like 100. That was pretty cool. I'm happy for the guys. That's a great race car and we'll have to get it ready for Phoenix."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 5th) -- "This car wasn't as good as the one we had yesterday or the track changed that much, I don't know which it was. We've got to be happy with a fifth because we never made a lap on this car and we missed a lot of wrecks and dodged a lot of stuff. We've got to be happy with that."

WHAT ABOUT THE STRATEGY OF TODAY'S RACE. DID IT WORK IN YOUR FAVOR? "We had good pit stops today and that helped us again, like it did last week. I thought we had the right strategy. We gave up some track position early in the race and raced our own race and didn't worry about what other people were doing. That hurt us a few times, but later in the race it paid off for us. We weren't very good on long runs. That's just not being able to fine-tune on the car you're gonna race, that's what that's all about. We had a pretty fast car most of the time on short runs, but on long runs we weren't good enough. Fifth place, though, after not making a lap on the car and a good, hard fight -- that's a microcosm of what our team is all about and what our year has been like."

MIKE WALLACE --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Finished 8th) -- "I think it was a great finish for us. Of course, when you get that close you always hope for something better -- a top five or whatever -- but, again, the team did a phenomenal job. The car was good all day, we were just a little loose at the end and couldn't hang on. We did the best job we could in a short period of time. We raced hard and we did what we get paid to do. We tried to protect every position we could and got jumbled up there at the end a little bit with Sterling and the 24 car, but we were able to hang on and get an eighth-place finish. If you stop and think about what we ran last week at Charlotte, if we hadn't had a problem it probably would have been a top five or at least a top 10, so you add this top 10 with a new race team and the great job this whole Mobil 1 team is doing, you can't ask for much better."

YOU OPTED FOR TWO TIRES ON THE LAST STOP. ANY THOUGHTS OF STAYING OUT? "I just listen to Peter (Sospenzo) and the guys tell me what to do. I used to try to second-guess everybody and I learned that didn't work. We had to have tires. We were pretty bad. We needed four tires, but we knew some guys were gonna go four. We practiced the two-tire strategy in practice, so we knew what they would do. We just ended up with more on our left sides than what we needed to be, but I think if you look at it, we might not have gotten through traffic if we put four on and might not have gotten in the top 10. I think everything that went on today was a perfect call, perfect strategy. We came in and put four on early when other guys didn't and then they'd all come in and that put us back to the front of the back and cycled us back in our pit strategy. I don't think we could ask for a whole lot better in regards to the way the strategy of the race was called, the performance of the car, the brakes were there all day. We didn't tear the front of the car up. We got the hell beat out of the back of it. It might have got a little wide sliding around and all that, but we hung on and I can't say enough about it. This is an opportunity I've looked for my whole life. I was watching Ricky Craven and how emotional he was winning his first race. I'm just thrilled to have this opportunity and maybe we'll be able to be in victory lane before the year is out."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 7th) -- "That makes three top 10s in a row and that was as fast a car as I've had here, at times, ever. We just got behind again after halfway on a set of tires, but got it back fast at the end like Charlotte and managed to crawl our way back up a little ways. We had a very competitive run today. I was real pleased with the whole team's effort."

THE LAST 10 LAPS YOU WERE SAWING THAT WHEEL. "We were just racing hard. You had two guys out there hogging the track on two tires and that was bad, but we got one of them and just didn't have enough time to get the other one."

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Ricky Craven