Ford Racing Richmond II race notes

MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 42nd) -- "I don't know. I got off the corner and was probably a little loose. I'm not sure. I think I just lost her or I got helped a little bit. I tried to save it, but I should have just left...

MIKE WALLACE --7-- NationsRent Taurus (Finished 42nd) -- "I don't know. I got off the corner and was probably a little loose. I'm not sure. I think I just lost her or I got helped a little bit. I tried to save it, but I should have just left it spin, but it went around and hit the wall. It's hurt pretty bad. If we can get back out there and salvage anything good out of it, we'll do it otherwise we'll park it."

HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT? "It's very frustrating. Anytime you run the race car it bothers you a lot, but we did the best we could. We just didn't get it done tonight."

BRETT BODINE --11-- Ralphs Supermarkets/RedCell Batteries Taurus (Finished 43rd) -- "All streaks have to come to an end sometime. We had a decent car. We worked on it and finally broke free of the traffic and kept ourselves on the lead lap. That was a real struggle, but it looks like we broke the water pump or something like that. It looked like all the water leaked out and it cooked the motor. It's unfortunate. The motor shop has done a great job all year and this is just one of those deals. Parts break and there's nothing we can do about it. We'll just get 'em next week at New Hampshire and start a new streak there."

NOTE: Bodine had the longest active streak of consecutive finishes where he was running at the end of a race snapped this evening at 31 after suffering engine problems on lap 100.

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 35th) -- "I guess Ron Hornaday ran into somebody, he usually does, so I guess Buckshot was his victim this week. They came sliding down the track and I tried to get through on the bottom, but they slid right down in front of me and I couldn't get stopped."

THIS KIND OF TYPIFIES YOUR SEASON. "Yeah, we've had some bad times this year. I don't know if it's bad luck or bad driving or what, but we put ourselves in this position. When you take provisionals every other week and start in the back you're in a bad position and you've got a real good chance of getting in a wreck. We've just got to get this thing turned around and get our performance up to where it needs to be so we're not in that position."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW --

WHAT ABOUT THE PASS FOR THE WIN? "It really started before that. I was ahead of Kevin and the restart before that he kept bumping into me and racing me up in the straightaway and sort of got me ruffled a little bit under collar. Finally, he got into me and about turned me around on the backstretch. I did everything but wreck. I should have wrecked, but I was just lucky I got it gathered up. I didn't know if I was gonna catch him or not. I knew we had a better race car at the end of that race. I got to him and sort of obliged the favor." IS IT HARD TO CATCH UP LIKE THAT? "It's hard when you're really hot-headed like I was back then. I was pretty steamed up and I had to be careful not to drive the wheels off of it. You've got to worry about overdriving the car and I overdrove it a couple of corners. I didn't know if I was gonna catch him in time or not."

WHAT ABOUT YOU, RUSTY AND KEVIN? "Well, the battle got pretty intense after that restart. Rusty all night was fast, but he wasn't fast on restarts. It must have been the way he set his tire pressure, I'm not really sure, but that pack was coming. You had Dale, Jr. back there chomping at the bit, Harvick and myself charging up there. Rusty, at the time, had track position but he didn't have the car and he was holding everybody up. He was driving it so hard, he was breaking loose off every corner. I thought he might have lost it the corner before and he gathered it up. Finally, it just got out from under him. Nobody touched him, but, again, he was driving it hard trying to hold us up. He knew if he could hold us up for about three or four laps his car would come to him and we probably would not have been able to beat him."

DID YOU THINK THE CAR WOULD BE THIS GOOD? "I didn't know we'd be that good. I knew early on we were a top five. Yesterday afternoon I thought we were a top 10. I didn't think we were much better than that. These guys changed a bunch of shocks and springs, I don't know what they changed. Fatback (Michael McSwain) was telling me a while ago if I wanted to know what he changed because I've got a big thing about not changing a lot from happy hour, but they changed the whole race car around. It was a better car tonight. A top five when we got going there and I said, 'Man, we've got a top two or three car,' and we went out and led a little bit. Rusty was pretty fast. The thing about Rusty was he would get track position and he would get that outside groove. I tried to work him low and I couldn't get by him. If you stayed low, it would just eat your tires up and you'd go backwards so Rusty had the advantage of track position all night. He had a fast car, don't get me wrong, but I think our car was close to being as good."

DO YOU FEEL YOU'RE BACK IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT? "We've said all along that Jeff has had a phenomenal year, don't get me wrong, he's dominated races and he's been the man to beat. But what took us out of the points championship was some mechanical breakdowns almost two races in a row. We were 30 points behind Jeff before we had our problems. Jeff has had a major problem tonight. He's still got a big lead, but we've still got 10 races left. It's not over till it's over. You could see how wild this finish was tonight and we've got another short track to run next week, so you don't ever know how it's gonna turn out."

WHY SO LONG TO WIN ON THIS VERSION OF RIR? "I don't know. It's almost 20 years later to get here. The last time I won here I was banged up from Daytona. I had rib jackets on and all kinds of problems. Maybe I drive better when I'm banged up. Tonight, I guess I was hot under the collar and I drove a little better tonight I guess."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 5th) -- "It just happened. I put some air in the right-rear tire on that last pit stop and it just killed me. It just made me so loose that I couldn't get it going. Before that, the car was perfect. I should have never touched it but I did. It was a little tight throughout those last runs and I said, 'Well, I'll put some air in the right-rear and make it turn better,' but all it did was make it looser. It didn't make it turn any better."

WAS THERE CONTACT WITH RUDD? "No, no, he didn't hit me. It just went up in smoke. I got loose up off the corner and when he got behind me it just caused me to spin the rear tires. I got lucky saving it because I almost hit the inside wall."

IT MUST BE DISAPPOINTING. "To lead both of these races -- lead the most laps and come away without a win is very disappointing. I'll just have to quit messing around with the air pressures there at the end. It's frustrating to have led all those laps and come up short. It's just unbelievable how much difference that one pound of air made."

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 4th) -- "We had to work our way back first and then we worked our way up. I tell you, it was a long night. We passed a lot of cars. We tried a little something new this time with our setup and we were really way too loose to start with. As much adjusting as we made, it's incredible we were that loose to start with but Todd did a great job -- he and Brad (Parrott) working with the tires and making the right adjustments. We finally got to where we could run with them at the end, we just didn't quite have enough for them."

WHAT ABOUT CAPITALIZING ON JEFF'S PROBLEM? "That certainly helped. I hate to see him have bad luck, but we've had our share so I guess it should be spread around. It was nice that we could take advantage. It looked like for a long time we weren't gonna take advantage of that very much, but we gave up some track position early in the night to come in and work on the car a couple of different times, and that paid big dividends in the points for us at the end of the night." DID YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME AT THE END? "They were awful dicey up there. I thought for a minute that things might work out for me pretty good, but they did a great job. I wish I'd have been a part of it. I'd like to have been the last guy in second, but Ricky did a great job there of kind of making his move. That was fun to see."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 8th) -- "We had a good car. We had a top-five car. At the end there we lost our transmission with about 150 laps to go and only had high gear. That really hurt us on the pit stops and restarts. Then the official made a call that really cost me a lot of spots. He said I was over the line and I wasn't over the line by any means. I feel like he made a bad mistake and that mistake cost me a top five finish in the Winston Million (No Bull Five) because we were in the top five all night long. Our pit crew was awesome all night long and the official made a mistake. NASCAR corrected it, I give them credit for that, but they also gave me 11th place and I should have been third or fourth or something like that."

WERE THEY SAYING THE REAR END OF THE CAR WAS OUT OF THE BOX? "I don't know. They just told me to calm down. I didn't say anything. They said they were gonna handle it and Donnie (Wingo, crew chief) showed them our pit stop camera and it clearly showed our car in the box totally. I just don't think the guy understood the rule quite well."

WITHOUT THE TRANSMISSION, TO FINISH SO WELL IS GOOD. "The transmission broke with whatever it was to go and that hurt our pit stops the rest of the night. It just hurt everything about the whole program. We had a really good car. I felt like we had a top-five car and right there towards the end we made a couple of adjustments and, as luck would have it, where we started we got back up to seventh or eighth (eighth)."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 31st) -- "The 66 just got in the back of us. I don't know where he thought he was going. We were lined up, I don't know where he thought he was going. We were nose-to-tail, didn't have anywhere to go and he just ran in the back of us. I don't know why. He tears up a lot of equipment each and every week and it happened to us again. We just got in the middle of it -- just got in his way I guess."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 15th) -- "We were pretty bad at the start and then got the car adjusted to where it was good. We got two mismatched set of tires and we just couldn't go. I wish we would have left that next-to-last set of tires on. We only had a couple of laps on them, but we were afraid that after I spun down the front straightaway that they might have flat-spotted." YOU WERE ABLE TO RECOVER THOUGH. "Yeah, we came back out in front of the leaders and were running two-tenths quicker than Rusty and everyone else. Then the caution came out, which was good because we were able to gain a couple of positions that way."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus (Finished 9th) -- "It's a shame. The worst we ran was the last run. I don't know why. We put that set of tires on and we put air in the rear tires to free it up and it pushed worse than it had all night. That was real disappointing because the run before that we by far had the best car. The car drove great that run and the worst it drove was the last run and we ended up ninth. But we were very competitive tonight. We had a chance to win this thing and if you put yourself in that position, you'll win your races. The key is that we were in position tonight. We fought hard and raced hard and it just didn't work out for us."

AS USUAL, PIT STOPS AND STAYING OUT OF WRECKS WAS KEY. "The tires have made pit strategy so different than it used to be. It used to be you'd just pit every chance you got. Now, it's really not much benefit. We pitted early twice and both times, looking back on it, we probably shouldn't have done that, but that gave us an opportunity to make two more changes on our car that other people didn't make. That's what we were looking to do because we haven't handled like we usually do this year. We were looking for as many opportunities as we could to make changes on our car to get it where we wanted to be. So, again, we ran good. We were really competitive and I really thought we had a chance to win. They dropped the green flag and I drove into one and I knew we were in trouble, but that's just the way it goes sometimes."

-Ford Racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr.