Ford Racing Richmond race notes

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus -- WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't know, Geoffrey Bodine came out of nowhere. That's probably one of the stupidest moves I've ever seen in racing, trying to pass two cars on the bottom at Richmond. This was a brand...

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus -- WHAT HAPPENED? "I don't know, Geoffrey Bodine came out of nowhere. That's probably one of the stupidest moves I've ever seen in racing, trying to pass two cars on the bottom at Richmond. This was a brand new race car. It's an idiot move. I can't believe somebody like that would do that, but it totaled that car. It's a brand new Roush car, totaled that. We were gonna run it at New Hampshire next week, but we can throw that in the dumpster. It's a bad deal for all the Virginia Tech guys and we'll try to get 'em next week."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Big Kmart Taurus -- "The 11 car just hit me and spun me right out. I don't know what's the matter with him, he must have bad vision or something. We were running really good. We had a lug hang up in our air gun and we went from running like 10th spot there on that pit stop to about 30th and then we worked our way back up through. We were in really good shape and the 11 car just, I don't know, he's a lapped car again. He just hit me from the back and spun me out. Everybody is gonna have a different side to their story. I'm very upset with him right now, but I guess I'll have to address it away from the race track."

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus -- "There's a lot of rubber out there and I guess what we did is just run over something and threw it up in the radiator because after that it just started getting hot. It's just one of them deals. We'll have to come back."

THIS MAKES FOUR STRAIGHT WEEKS. "I know, but we dodged a lot of bullets early in the year. The thing is we know we're competitive right now, but the thing is we've got to run the whole race."

HUT STRICKLIN --90-- Hills Brothers Taurus -- THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU MADE THE RACE. "Yeah, it really is. We put a lot of effort into qualifying and wanted to do everything we could to try to make the race and kind of missed it a little bit on the race setup. We didn't really get to practice any of that, but it was a good effort for us. We got to run a pretty good while today and found out what we had wasn't as good as we would have liked, but at least we've got a start to build from and we at least feel like we're on the road to recovery. I feel pretty good about things, really. Like I said, we would have liked to have been a little bit better in the race and stuff, but, really, for the most part, we didn't tear the car up and at least we've got something maybe to take to Loudon and see how we can do there."

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus -- WAS IT JUST A CASE OF BAD LUCK TONIGHT? "Yeah, but we make our own bad luck. We make a lot of it ourselves. We beat ourselves every week. We've got a fast car, everything's there, and we've just got to start beating ourselves. That's the bottom line."

WAS THERE SOMETHING SPECIFIC YOU GUYS DID TONIGHT? "All I know is I had the fastest car here in happy hour. We cut a right-front tire down and that rubbed the swaybar arm off and it was just one thing after another, but we will get it right."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus -- "I tell you what, I couldn't believe it. We had a problem last week up at Darlington and today we just had a car that was fast -- man was it fast. We were able to lead a bunch of laps and were checking out on the field and broke a rocker arm or something. I kept limping around and still we were sitting there running 20th or 22nd on seven cylinders and I hoped I could bring it home and save some points, but then something let loose and it blew up big time then."

DID IT GIVE YOU ANY INDICATION AT FIRST? "No, not at all. I was sitting there leading the race going into turn one and all of a sudden it just went down on seven."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE FRUSTRATION? YOU HAD A GREAT CAR. "We had a great car. I'm really excited about getting it to Loudon. I'm gonna use this same car next week and it's frustrating when you have something like that, but, man, I've been doing this for a long time and I'm not gonna let it get me down."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DeWalt Tools Taurus -- "We were real good. I don't know for sure what broke. Something broke inside of the engine and mixed the water with the gas or oil or something. I don't know what happened for sure, but we had a good car. We had good pit stops and I think we were gonna get a top 10 out of it, so too bad but you'll have that happen once in a while."

NO VISIONS OF A MILLION DOLLARS? "We were never good enough to win, but I was hoping we could get a top 10 out of it and gain some points back. The last two weeks we've had some dismal finishes and was looking to get one back."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline Taurus -- WHAT MEANT MORE THE TIRES OR THE CHASSIS ADJUSTMENT AT THE END? "Both. The tires made it possible to come up through there and the chassis adjustment made it good enough to almost get by Dale there. Just a few more laps and we were in good position. We didn't have the car to win with tonight, but the Valvoline team dug in there and we made it exciting there at the end. It was a good job."

DID YOU THINK YOU MIGHT CATCH DALE? "I might have got him, but I caught lap traffic one lap. One more and I had a crack at him. He was really fast on that last set."

YOU RAN ON THE BOTTOM MOST OF THE NIGHT. "I had to run the bottom. I tried to run high -- we were junk. We made adjustments, got on the bottom, and came on and moved up some."

JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus -- "At the end I just could go like I needed to go. We gained some points on the 18 and gained some points on the 88. We lost some points to the 3. Again, a car not even in the race comes close to winning just like last week and had some misfortune, but you lose some points to a guy that didn't run with you all night so that kind of hurts."

YOU HAD A GOOD PIT STOP AT THE END. "We had great pit stops. I'm real proud of my guys. All night long they did a really good job. We struggled at Darlington and they just stayed at it and worked hard and did a good job. They did as good of a job in the pits as anybody and sometimes did it better than everybody."

IT CAME DOWN TO A DECISION TO PIT OR NOT TO PIT. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT IT? "Well, it was a tough call. The guy that won didn't pit and we were leading the race, so we did the right thing. We gave ourselves the best chance to win by not pitting. If I could have gone like we were going before the caution came out, Gordon would have never gotten by me. That was the right thing to do based on the situation that we had. It turned out not to be the right thing to do, but with all the information we had before the pit stop it was the right thing to do."

A GOOD WEEKEND. "It was a good weekend for us. It was a little disappointing. Like I said, we got beat by some guys at the end of the race there that didn't race with us all night, but that's the way it goes."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "We really didn't have much to do out there. We finally got some track position and we came out seventh and then the next stop we came in and I guess they rolled a tire across pit road and we had about a 10-second penalty or something. That's about what we had today. We might have had a seventh, eighth place car, that was it."

NEITHER GROOVE WORKED FOR YOU TONIGHT? "That's the car that ran in the top five here last time, qualified sixth, and in hindsight it got destroyed at Pocono, it really did. We should have just left it in the trash can, but we tried to bail it out because it was a favorite car and it's not right. I don't know what's wrong with it." WILL IT BE A SHOWCAR FROM NOW ON? "It could be. It'll be one of my favorite show cars."

BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus -- WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END? "We should have put tires on and just got beat. We should have stopped and didn't."


HOW WAS THE CAR? "I wasn't good right off the bat and I knew if that thing started and stopped I was dead meat, but I was good on long runs. My best deal was from 50 laps on."

WHAT WENT INTO THE DECISION AT THE END NOT TO PIT? "I just didn't come down pit road, I should have. I didn't see that pit road was open. I saw Earnhardt peel and I thought, 'What's he doing?' I didn't realize that it was open."


CASEY ATWOOD --19-- Motorola Taurus -- "I've just got to thank Ray, Motorola, everybody on this team for giving me the opportunity. It's gonna be great. We've got a lot of learning to do. That was my first race and I feel like that was pretty good. I think we're gonna be good one day, it's just gonna take a little bit of time. We made good adjustments on the car all night. We just started off a little loose and it got us a little behind at the beginning, but at the end we were running fine. We were running in the top 10 and that's all we can ask for."

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU DID AGAINST THIS TYPE OF COMPETITION? "I thought it was good. I was having a ball. I was a little worried about the extra laps I had to run against the Busch races. It's twice the laps and I was a little worried, but I was having a great time racing against Bobby. I started right behind Bobby Hamilton and he's one of my heroes. I think he fell out or something, but I just had a great deal racing with everybody I grew up watching. I can't wait to do it tomorrow."

DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- DID THE TIRE GIVE ANY INDICATION YOU WERE HAVING TROUBLE? "No, I ran over something but I didn't think it was anything to cut the tire. It's just one of those things."

BOBBY HAD SOME TROUBLE TOO, SO IS THIS A PUSH NIGHT AS FAR AS POINTS? "No, it looks like we lost still. It's just not a good night. These are kind of things you can't have happen if you're gonna win a championship, but we'll keep trying." DOES THIS GIVE HIM SOME BREATHING ROOM? "We've still got nine to go and anything can happen as we saw tonight."

WAS THE DECISION FOR TIRES YOUR CALL OR THE CREW'S? "That was my call. I thought we should pit, but, really, Dale coming in was the real key to me coming. Really, you logically would have stayed out, but I was wanting to come and when I saw Dale make a move I was Johnny-on-the-spot there and told them I was coming. As it turned out it was the right thing to do. We made a great chassis adjustment and our car was real strong on the short runs and we really had something there at the end. We just ran out of time, but we made up a lot of track position based on where we ran all night."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Geoffrey Bodine