Ford Racing Texas race notes

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 43rd) -- "I came off of two and the 25 car checked up and I checked up. That's when somebody hit me in the back. I'm not sure who it was, but they hit me in the back turned us head on. We...

ROBERT PRESSLEY --77-- Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 43rd) -- "I came off of two and the 25 car checked up and I checked up. That's when somebody hit me in the back. I'm not sure who it was, but they hit me in the back turned us head on. We were just sitting there riding. This Jasper Ford was really hooked up good. We got in that mess the first lap and had to come in and just check everything out. We were just gonna sit back there and ride and then everybody started moving around and we decided to take off. Something happened to Jerry. He got loose and when we got there somebody hit us in the back."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 38th) -- "It all started off when Ron Hornaday hit us and messed our car up. He must need glasses that's all. After that something just broke in the rear end and I backed it into the wall, but it happened on the first or second lap. He did it at Rockingham. He did it Bristol. He did it at Darlington and he did it here too. NASCAR needs to talk to him."

WHAT PUT YOU IN THE WALL?

"Something broke in the rear end. I went into the corner and it just broke loose."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Finished 37th) -- "That one wreck they had on a restart hit our fender and banged it up which made the car push. I had a hard time getting by Sterling, we were racing him for fifth. We had a patch made for it that we were gonna fix on the next stop. I think we actually had better than a fifth-place car, but we just didn't get a chance to race for it."

WHAT HAPPENED TO PUT YOU OUT?

"Something let go in the motor, but I'm not really sure what broke. It's a shame because we ran good all day."

TODD BODINE --66-- Route 66/Kmart Taurus (Finished 35th) -- DID YOU HAVE ANY WARNING?

"It hadn't been running real smooth all day and it didn't have a lot of power, so I knew something was going on."

TO RUN IN THE TOP 10 MOST OF THE DAY IS PRETTY GOOD, RIGHT?

"Exactly. We didn't have a great car, but it was pretty good. We were a little down on power because something was obviously going wrong, so we're pretty happy with what we did."

KURT BUSCH --97-- Roush Racing Taurus (Finished 4th) -- WAS THAT FUN?

"That was too much fun. I got to go race again. That's what I'm used to -- running up front and racing the guys, racing clean, making pit stops. It was just an awesome job by the new crew chief, Ben Leslie, to feel what changes I needed. We just needed to keep digging after we went through the grass. Once we got through that I knew we were gonna be alright." WHAT ABOUT THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS AND PASSING GORDON?

"I saw Blaney coming in the mirror and he was really hauling. I didn't want to stand in the way of his first victory, but we had our opportunity arise today. I don't know what happened to Gordon at the end, but it was great to finally finish as the first rookie."

YOU MADE GOOD ADJUSTMENTS ALL DAY.

"We were alright in the beginning of the race, I just sent myself through the grass to avoid a wreck. The Daytona 500 champion got loose or got tapped and we had to avoid that wreck."

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner --97-- Roush Racing Taurus -- "It was a great beginning and first outing for Kurt Busch and Ben Leslie. Buddy Parrott worked with them this week after we made our change and we got Kurt in some pretty average race cars -- nothing real special in terms of setup -- and the weird things that were bothering him went away. Kurt qualified well. They picked and pecked at the car without making big changes throughout the race and they did it smart. They took two tires at the end there and gained some track position and probably did as well as they might have, if four tires had worked for him but they hadn't been good on four tires getting started. Mark had a good qualifying effort. We were looking forward to racing good and just couldn't get the handle on it today. They had problems with having it tight and loose in a given tire run, so we didn't get that to where it worked the way it needed to. Matt Kenseth looked like he could be a factor and then he eventually brushed the wall, which was unfortunate, and Jeff Burton is struggling with this hard tire. He's just having trouble getting the feel for it."

WHAT ABOUT KURT AND GORDON AT THE END.

"He went after it and got everything he could. He's as mature as any 22-year-old you ever saw. He did a nice job."

RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 12th) -- "We got from 38th up to third at one time and I really honestly thought we were gonna settle in around sixth or seventh the way the car was running. I got into it on pit road and had a pit road wreck and I bent the fenders up and bent the toe in. When it did that, it pushed the front end pretty hard after that from there on out. That really hurt me, but, all in all, it was a pretty good day for as bad as we screwed up qualifying."

WHAT ABOUT THOSE LATE CAUTIONS AND YOUR STRATEGY?

"It depends on how your car is handling. I did two early and got a lot of track position, which was good. I got myself up to like third just from driving -- we went from 38th up to 17th -- and then we came in and got two right side tires and got up to fourth or something. Then, because of the tires, I fell back to about 12th so I thought that might not be the way to go. Everytime after that it was just four tires. A couple of those guys who really had a car handling real good and was balanced, they could put two tires on and do good but I wasn't balanced enough to do that."

THE PIT ROAD ACCIDENT WAS SCARY. "Yeah, it was scary -- no doubt about that. I just misjudged the 93, it was my fault. I came in and Sterling pulled off into his pits and when he pulled off into his pits -- I hadn't seen the 93 all day long and, man, I can tell you, I don't think there's a driver out here that's supposed to know where everybody in the world is pitted at -- and I hadn't seen him all day long. He was in front of me and I just peeled down low and when I peeled down low going into my pits, he came across and it was my fault. That's where his pit was and I didn't know it. He was a lap down all day long and that was the problem. I'm just glad everybody's alright."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 9th) -- "We hung all day. We didn't run good, but we ran good enough to hang onto the lead lap. We've got more work to do, that's for sure, but at least we didn't have any bad luck. We missed a lot of stuff that was right on top of us. We've got areas that we need to work on, but it's better than Darlington. We'll keep digging."

YOUR STRATEGY AT THE END?

"We might have even thought about no tires, but we gained a couple of spots on that. It worked well."

MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 20th) -- "I just made a mistake. I just got into the corner on the outside of turn one and got up in the gray stuff and spun out. Our car was pushing real bad up to that point and we made some adjustments to make it freer. We never could get it loosened up all day and it got loose on me there. It just got away from me. It was a tough day. I don't know what we're missing or what we're doing wrong. I don't know how we went to junk in no time after our first stop. I'm not sure."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 16th) -- "We're disappointed in the finish we had, but we ran good and people knew we were here. We had a top-five car, but it just wasn't meant to be. It didn't have anything to do with camber or anything, we just ran over something."

ANY IDEA WHAT IT WAS?

"No, something just put a hole in the tire. It wasn't meant to be our day. I'm okay, though. We'll check on the car when we get back to the shop. I really like that car and, hopefully, we can carry it to California."

WAS IT THE TIRE?

"There's nothing wrong with those Goodyears. We had a good car, a top five, and I just tried to stay out of trouble all day until right there at the end when I tried to make up some time. We just ran over something. It wasn't our day. We didn't lose much in the points. We were able to salvage a 16th and with everything we went through, we're pretty happy with that."

YOU STILL HAVE TO BE PUMPED UP?

"I am. I was actually disappointed that we were running outside of the top 10, so that's a good feeling to have. These guys have worked hard and they deserve these type of runs. Hopefully, we'll catch on to this kind of stuff. Hopefully, we can do this pretty regularly. We're gonna try and see what happens."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch , Ron Hornaday Jr.