Indianapolis: Ford teams race quotes

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus "We had a really good race car. It's a shame we ended up getting torn up like we have. We were running sixth a good part of the first part of the race and we had a carburetor linkage problem.

RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus

"We had a really good race car. It's a shame we ended up getting torn up like we have. We were running sixth a good part of the first part of the race and we had a carburetor linkage problem. Something happened to the carburetor and I only sort of had half-throttle there. We made the decision to change the carburetor under yellow and they did an excellent job. They were able to change the carburetor and even though we lost a lap, we got it back with the lucky dog. I had to start at the tail end of the longest line and then they had a wreck in turn two. I don't know who it was behind me, but they ran right over the top of me and knocked us out."

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus

"We had a better car than that, but the problem was is we were set up for long runs in the beginning and it just killed us. So then we made the adjustments we could for short runs. We knew we'd be in good shape. We got it where it would take off and run short runs and, boy, we were looking good for all of those cautions that they always have at the end of the races, and then we got long runs. So we didn't get to show the potential of our car because we never had it right for the kind of racing conditions that we had. The car was a little better than that, but it was a good day for us. It was an awesome team effort. The guys are just giving me championship stuff right now. If we just keep honing on our deal here, we'll be championship contenders come the chase."

YOUR THOUGHTS ON TONY WINNING. YOU'RE A TONY FAN AREN'T YOU? "Yeah. I'm happy for Tony. Tony is today's ultimate racer. He's the ultimate racer of this era. He's pretty excitable, but he's very fair. He's given me more respect than I deserve. He's great to race with. He's one of the best ones out there. I wish I could have made him earn it today, but it was Kasey that was making him earn it instead."

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus

IT WAS A TOUGH DAY, ESPECIALLY ON PIT ROAD. "Yeah, it was. We were gonna have a great finish - a top 10 for sure. The car was running really good. We had terrible inconsistency in the tires today. Just for our car, I'm not sure why, but I was really, really loose at the start of the race but fast. Then really, really tight going backwards, and then I couldn't get it, couldn't get it and then all of a sudden it was way too loose again and we were losing track position. But Kenny Schrader ran us in the fence at the end of pit road there. It's the second time we've gotten wrecked on pit road this year, so we're just gonna have to make sure the last 10 races somehow or another that we make sure we don't get wrecked down pit road. He didn't do it intentionally. He's pulling out of his pit box, but you have to be aware of the cars on the outside that are coming and are up to speed already running 55 miles an hour. If you're coming out of your pit box, you've got to give way to those guys. I had to to Bobby Labonte and a couple of others today just because they had momentum. If not, we were gonna have a wreck like we did."

WHAT ABOUT THE POINTS SITUATION TODAY. "It was a tough day for us. I was 17th and then we were probably gonna get back in the top 12. We had a fast race car and then I made a mistake and hit the cone at the end of pit road and had to start at the back again. I ran all the way back up through there. Some of those guys were tough to pass. The guys we tangled with earlier today cost me another couple of spots because they wouldn't give us a break, but that's the way it goes. We'll just keep charging until we get to the chase and then we'll just do the best we can."

IS THIS A TIRE FRIENDLY TRACK NOW? "I think so. They reduced the amount of rumble strips down there and we didn't have any tire troubles today. We stayed off the rumble strips and I think that's the key to not having tire trouble here, Pocono or anywhere."

ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus

"I don't know what to say. I thought I had a tire going down. I don't know if it was or not. I guess not. I don't know. It's just not our year. It's not meant to be. The guys gave me a great car and it's just not meant to be."

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus

ABOUT 50 LAPS INTO THE RACE, YOU PROBABLY WEREN'T THINKING ABOUT A TOP-15 FINISH AND MOVING UP ONE SPOT IN THE STANDINGS, CORRECT? "I wasn't sure we could finish in the top 40 to be quite honest with you. I have no idea what happened to that race car. That wasn't anything like what I had driven here in two days of a test and Saturday. I don't know. We've got to look at what we're doing and see if there was something happened there. But, we worked on it, made big adjustments, things you don't normally do during a race, and we got the car respectable and then got fortunate there at the end, some others had some trouble and we made some gains and got a top-15 out of it. That was pretty incredible. It wasn't what I was thinking that we could do but it kept us in the battle."

WITH FEWER RACES LEFT UNTIL THE CHASE, ANYTIME YOU HOLD YOUR POSITION OR GAIN A POSITION HAS GOT TO BE A VERY GOOD THING. "Our chances get better as the races wind down. We said that we absolutely couldn't finish out of the top 15, we needed some top-10s, and we managed to accomplish that, so we're one step closer."

MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Taurus

"It was good. It was kind of like vintage 17 team. We had a good, solid car. It wasn't a winning car but we got a top-five out of it. I was happy to get a good finish here and come home with a top-five. And, that's real cool for Tony, being his home state, close to home."

THIS TEAM IS STARTING TO LOOK LIKE THE OLD 17 TEAM. "If you go back the last eight or nine races, you take the two Poconos out of there and we've had mostly top-10s - 11th, I think was our worst finish in quite a while, and that's what this team has always been built on and that's what we need to do. We haven't had cars that quite challenge for a win, but our cars have been much more competitive and we ran a solid race all day, so that feels good."

YOU MOVED FORWARD AND DIDN'T BACK UP ALL DAY. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THE RACE PROGRESSED FOR YOU? "Everything just worked out right pit strategy-wise and on the race track. We had two tires and needed to and got up front and held our position, and everybody got four the next time and we kept our track position. Everything just worked out right for us to get a decent finish. That's about the best as we were as were then. We just couldn't quite get the car to be just right, but, yeah, that was a good car."

ON TRACK POSITION. "It was difficult to pass. The one time we did get up front, we did drive away a little bit and had a real car, and you saw that in a lot of cars today. It was a good day, it was a fun race, it was good, solid run for us. It's kind of what we needed. We haven't been like that a lot in couple of months - if you take the Poconos out we've been doing a lot better, so I feel good about our finish."

WERE YOU CLOSE ON FUEL AT THE END? "We were a half lap short, or something, then we had that last caution. Then we were good."

DID YOU HAVE A CAR THAT COULD STAY UP THERE ALL DAY? "I didn't have a car as good as the 9, the 19. Actually, all the guys who finished ahead of me had a little better car. But, we had a decent car. The one time we did get two tires to get up front, we could stay there, nobody could really gain on us a lot. It was a lot to do on where you were on the track. But, our car just wasn't quite right. It was pretty good, but it wasn't quite right to stay up there."

ON THE TOP-FIVE. "Any time you look at the scoring pylon and see our number, that's a good thing for how things have been going. That feels real good. I feel like we're starting to get a little bit of out consistency back and we just got to keep working on our cars, and our guys do a great job on pit road and it showed today."

CAN YOU POINT TO ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR IN REGARDS TO THE TEAM'S RECENT SUCCESSES? "Yes and No. I think we're getting our cars a little bit better. I think we're just doing everything a little bit better. The team has always been there, we had just been on a bad streak, and this thing's like a big circle: you run good for a while and you run bad for a while, and you just have to get back up to that top end again where we can run competitively."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte