Las Vegas Pontiac Racing Sunday Notes

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 LYCOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (6th): "That was really good. We had one little 'slow-up' deal that held us back a little bit. But we kept coming and kept coming. I would have liked to have seen 10 more laps to try to get an...


"That was really good. We had one little 'slow-up' deal that held us back a little bit. But we kept coming and kept coming. I would have liked to have seen 10 more laps to try to get an orange (No Bull 5) spoiler on this Pontiac, but it didn't happen. We'll take a sixth and walk out of here with the points. We're real happy with the way the car ran this weekend. James Ince and all the guys at Tyler Jet Motorsports have just done a great job. We've just been working and working and working hard. We're just doing the best that we can. James put a good set-up under this car. I always felt that I could get around here pretty good, with a fourth place finish here before. I've had some pretty good race cars and had some pretty good runs. All-in-all, Tyler Jet Motorsports has just put a great race car together."

(ON HIS SEASON SO FAR) "Can't complain. We wanted to go down to Daytona, just gather some points, get rid of it and get out of there, and had an opportunity to almost win the thing. As the week went at Rockingham we thought we were going to be a little better than what we were, but still we walked out of there 14th. Today we really felt we had a top 10 race car. I would have liked to have seen it go a little longer, but we'll take sixth, get out of here and go on to Atlanta."


"We've got a really good race team and Johnny Benson is driving the wheels off. We've got to be very happy with that right now. I guess the good part for us is that we are still being conservative with what we've doing. We've got to get through Atlanta to get us in a position to where we can go back and race, and be comfortable with where we are in the points. We're points racing right now like we would at the end of the year, but this is an awful strong race team.


"Our weekend got off to a really bad start. But the team worked really hard as you expect all teams to do. Nobody ever gets down. We had a good start to the race, and then we got driven into in the side and it bent a fender. We lost a bunch of track position getting it back out on that first caution. It is just so hard to pass. When they got single file on the next restart we were so far back that it was only going to be a matter of time if it stayed green for a long period of time. We worked on the car, and it was decent but not great. If we were great we wouldn't have been lapped." degree. My car was driving good, but I felt like we are a little down on power, like we made a wrong choice on the tailpipes today. I'm not sure we had a lot more to gain. But you are more worried about the other guys being able to gain more than we could gain. This early in the season to come out of the last two weeks with two top fives and to leave here with a second place finish - it's the best I've run here in any kind of car that I've been here in except for the Silver Crown car over at the dirt track. It gets us in the top five in points again and that's really where we want to be right now."

(NO BULL 5) "That's very important. If you're Jeff Burton, it's vital I guess because that guy has made more money in No Bulls than I'll probably make this year and last year combined. It's great. It's a great opportunity to be able to run for extra money. It definitely adds some excitement to your day. Charlotte is typically one of our better tracks. It's better than the opportunity that I had in Darlington. If we can get the car dialed in at Charlotte like we had in the '660' last year it will be a pretty exciting opportunity for me."


"We really made a lot of progress on it today. Obviously we weren't happy with it Friday and Saturday, but they made some really good changes on it this morning. We had gotten up to 17th after the first round of pit stops. That's what we were trying to do was get to the top 15 first and then go from there. As it turned out, after that run we ran out of fuel at the start finish line and that was about 28 seconds longer than it should have been. That got us a lap down. But had it not been for that we would be on the scoreboard. I think we would have been somewhere between 10th and 13th pretty realistically - not giving ourselves anything. With what we had done all week I would have been pretty happy with that. We just kind of messed ourselves up there a little bit."


(HIS CAR ON LONG RUNS) "I don't think we really picked up speed. We just didn't slow down as much as everybody did. We were a little bit tight still. But I found some things during the run that were helping me get the car turned in the center where I could get back in the gas quickly. I was able to run more consistent lap times where some of the leaders, after about 15 laps, started falling off a little harder than what we did."

(THE AFFECT OF WEATHER) "We knew with it being cooler the car would probably be a little tighter and the track would have more grip in it. Greg (Zipadelli) made a lot of adjustments. I just saw the sheet of all the things he changed last night. I'm glad I didn't see it before the race started because he changed 13 things on the car. I wouldn't have rolled it off in there that hard the first 10 laps when I was knowing what I had. But it was the right things. That's what I like about Greg. I was pretty up tight about the way my car drove in 'Happy Hour' and he didn't really seem that concerned. He goes, 'I'll fix it.' When you come here the next day and it drives the way it did today then you've got to trust the guy because he knows what he is doing. He made a lot of changes that really helped out today."

(IS A RACE CUT SHORT LIKE THIS INCONCLUSIVE) "I think everybody knew going into today what the concerns were with the weather and everybody had the opportunity to adjust their strategy accordingly. I don't think it was a big strategy day anyway to be perfectly honest. We had the first red (flag). Everybody came in, made pit stops and went back out on their way. So I didn't feel like strategy was a factor at all in today's race."

(JEFF BURTON'S LUCK IN THE RAIN) "He's just got that luck. Not only has he won three times due to rain he has won two Winston No Bulls because of it also. Whatever he's doing, I'm going to go rub up on him, touch him, rub his head or do something."


"The last run we were a little bit loose.  I wish we could have re-started
it because we could have gone farther up.  But it was fun.  It's a long ways
from where we want to be.  We have to get out of that starting in the back."


"We had an OK day. The main thing is that I ran all the laps and I learned a bunch. We weren't bad. We were kind of right in the middle and ran some good laps. At a certain part of each run we fell off quicker than we should of. Every run about 30 laps in we fell off. But overall I learned a bunch. Sure I would have liked to have gotten a top 20 out of it. But like I say we learned a lot."


"We made a lot of great progress today. We put some great motors into the cars (43,44) that really adhered well to our chassis set-up and the track. We started moving ahead right away. I think we would have kept climbing if it hadn't been for the rain. It would have been good, and it will be good in the future."


(ON WEATHER) "I don't think it made much difference. We were kind of fighting the same things today that we were yesterday. We just couldn't seem to get a hold of the racetrack as good as we'd like to. We were definitely better than some other cars. But we were just trying to fine tune on it, trying to get the magic little touch to make it better and we weren't able to do it."

(DISAPPOINTED THE RACE WAS SHORTENED) "It goes both ways. We would have liked to have gotten better, but I'm not sure that we could have. Were we maxed out on improvement to our race car? We might have been, so this may been better than where we would have finished if we had run the whole race. The fans paid for a whole race and we would have liked to have run the whole thing. But Mother Nature took care of that."

(STRENGTH OF THE ROUSH CARS) "They were very good yesterday in practice and the same thing this morning. It was no different. Unless something would have come about where their car just went away on them for some reason or another I think they would have been in the top three or four."

(COULD HE HAVE BEATEN THEM) "I didn't really get close enough to even look at them to see what I had. We just didn't quite have enough and lost a little bit of ground. We stayed the same with them, but just a little further back."

(ASSESSING THE PARITY BETWEEN THE MANUFACTURERS) "How do you judge it here when it is only one piece of the pie. NASCAR is doing what they do when they take them to the wind tunnel and those are the results. This is just a small slice."

(ON ASSUMING THE POINTS LEAD) "We're enjoying that right there. We've gotten some good consistent runs out of the first three races. We're just trying to make it through. Making it through today with a top five is great. There are still 31 races to go. If we can just keep digging then hopefully it will pay off."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Johnny Benson