RaybestosÂ® Rookie Contender Post-Race Quotes For The Samsung/Radioshack 500 Nascar Winston Cup Series Race At Texas Motor Speedway, April 7, 2002. JMMIE JOHNSON, No. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet, Finished Sixth And Was The RaybestosÂ® Rookie Of The Race.
Raybestos® Rookie Contender Post-Race Quotes For The Samsung/Radioshack 500 Nascar Winston Cup Series Race At Texas Motor Speedway, April 7, 2002.
JMMIE JOHNSON, No. 48 Lowe'S Chevrolet, Finished Sixth And Was The Raybestos® Rookie Of The Race. Johnson Scored His Fifth Top-10 Of The 2002 Season And Collected Top Finishing Rookie Honors For The Third Time (Atlanta, Bristol, And Texas). This Is The Fifth Consecutive Race Johnson Has Finished Seventh Or Higher, Dating Back To The Las Vegas Event In March. He Leads The Raybestos® Rookie Standings By Nine Points (100-91) Over Ryan Newman.
"It was an awesome run. The pit stops were solid. The car was solid all day long. We had some adversity thrown at us with being put down a lap and we were still able to come back through it all and dodge the wrecks and be there at the end when it counted. When we got down a lap, that didn't bother us. We knew we were on the tail end of the lead lap and everybody was going to line up behind us. The frustrating part came when we were racing the 10 car (Johnny Benson), down a lap and had a huge hole behind us and wouldn't give me a break. The six car (Mark Martin) caught us, the 24 (Jeff Gordon) caught us and he let them all go and then he sat there racing the heck out of me. I guess that's part of being a rookie."
TALK ABOUT THE NEW SURFACE. DID THE SECOND GROOVE WORK IN?
"The second groove on the exit started coming in, it was just real hard to get in the turn and keep enough air on the nose to keep it turning. I think it's better than what it has been in the past. The second groove on the exit was working but not enough there in yet to get in the corner on the outside of somebody."
YOU GUYS PLAYED A LITTLE PIT STRATEGY THERE AT THE END OF THE RACE.
"There at the end we put four tires on and everybody else put two. We were hoping it would come back to us but it's so hard to know what the masses are going to do. Sometimes it's two, sometimes it's four. We just wanted to make sure we came home with a good solid finish and four tires was the decision we needed to make."
DID YOU EVER GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO TAKE A SHOT AT TONY STEWART FOR FIFTH POSITION AT THE END OF THE RACE?
"I was working on him pretty good. You're just stuck behind somebody aero-wise and the fact that we were able to hang with him let's me know that we would have probably been faster if we would have had the track position. That's the story of one groove racing."
SHAWNA ROBINSON, NO. 49 BAM RACING DODGE, FINISHED 36TH. THE NEXT RACE FOR ROBINSON WILL BE AT TALLADEGA ON APRIL
"We learned a lot. Anytime you can run like that you learn so much on every set of tires you put on. There are totally different ways to drive the racecar. That's about the best I can get out of the day is that we learned a lot. My pit crew had some good stops. We had a spring coil up at the end which made (the rear of the car) feel like it was up on air so it was really wanting to come around. I'll have to look at my notes to see when it happened but every change we made didn't fix it. We knew something was wrong but we just tried to hang in there and stay out of trouble."
RYAN NEWMAN, NO.12 ALLTEL FORD, FINISHED 40TH. NEWMAN LEFT WITH RACE AFTER COMPLETING 252 LAPS WITH ENGINE FAILURE.
"We blew a motor. You can't do a whole lot about it. It's just a mechanical failure. We'll have to go back and see what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again."
DID YOU HAVE TO CHASE THE TRACK ANY TODAY?
"We were really good, really happy all day. We made some adjustments but we were really happy. We needed track position and we finally got that and then that yellow came out and put us at the tail end of the lead lap and that hurt us. Overall, I think we had a great racecar."
"The setup that we started with was virtually what (teammate Rusty Wallace) tested with, if that tells you anything. We were on the radio during the race talking back and forth. This (engine failure) probably would have happened yesterday in practice."
MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF NO. 12 ALLTEL FORD:
"We lost the motor. We're not sure why yet. We'll tear it down when we get back to the shop and find out. It's just an unfortunate deal."
NEWMAN AND RUSTY WALLACE WERE BOTH STRONG TODAY. DID THE TEAMS EXCHANGE INFORMATION TO HELP ONE ANOTHER?
"We swapped quite a bit of information. They tested here (Wallace's team) and we used some of that information and we used some of our information from our Atlanta race. We came up with a combination between them and a couple of adjustments during the race and we weren't too bad."
HOW BIG OF A FACTOR WAS THE WEATHER? DID YOU CHASE THE TRACK ALL DAY?
"Not really. We were fighting the same condition all day, just a little bit loose at the beginning and a little tight at the end."