RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "I don't really know what happened yet, to tell you the truth. All I know is I was going straight and somebody got me in the back end. I think it was Steve Park, but I don't know if he...
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 40th) -- "I don't really know what happened yet, to tell you the truth. All I know is I was going straight and somebody got me in the back end. I think it was Steve Park, but I don't know if he was on the outside of me as I was coming down the back straightaway or I just got hit from the back. I'd like to look at the tape and see what did happen. I don't know."
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA OF WHAT HAPPENED? "Not really. On the start of the race, the 48 just didn't get a good start. I passed him going into one and everything was fine. I went through one and went through two and I came down the back straightaway and, all of a sudden, I just got nailed in the right rear quarterpanel. I don't know what happened to tell you the truth. I went into the wall and that was it."
IT'S TOUGH FOR SPOTTERS AT THIS TRACK ISN'T IT? "Yeah, you can't really rely on your spotter. You're supposed to drive the race car yourself. I can't put the responsibility on the spotter. Evidently, they're telling me that Steve Park had a run on me and as I was coming down the back straightaway and fading up towards the wall, he had a good run on me and got his nose into the right side and just wedged himself in there and that was it. There's not much you can do about it."
RYAN NEWMAN --12-- ALLTEL Taurus (Finished 5th) -- "We had a great run today with the ALLTEL Ford. We struggled at the start and had to fall back to ninth on that first pit stop because o]f track position, but we fought our way back. The guys did an awesome job in the pits and the car was a top five car all day and we showed it there at the end."
YOU GOT CLOSE TO THE 88 AT THE END. "I caught him, but I just couldn't do anything with him. It's so tough and so equal. It's just one of those things."
MATT KENSETH --17-- DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 8th) -- "At least we had a respectable finish out of it. It was a tough day out there. Our DEWALT car wasn't too bad. We probably had a top five car if we had the right track position, but it was the worst I've seen it as far as passing. It was just really, really difficult to pass. This is the same car we had last time and it didn't seem that bad, but this particular car on this day, I couldn't get within four car lengths of certain cars. It would quit turning and I couldn't pass anybody, so it was really difficult out there to get ahead all day."
DID THE TRACK CHANGE A LOT AFTER THE RAIN? "Our setup wasn't too bad, but the problem was you'd be so tight in traffic that you'd get your car so loose and then when you got out of traffic, you'd be really loose, so it was a tough balancing act today. It was hard to hit it on the head and it was hard to get a car to turn behind somebody and make a run and pass someone. It was a really difficult day to pass."
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 10th) -- "We just weren't that good. I don't know, we just missed it somewhere. We pretty much finished right about where we ran most of the day. That's about all we had today. I can't say we really had a major problem, we just didn't handle good all day. They tried different things, but we just couldn't get a hold of the track. They could change the push and looseness of the car, but we still couldn't get any grip in the corner. It wouldn't stick."
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 4th) -- "Yesterday we weren't that good in practice, so we had to make a lot of changes and didn't get a lot of time to work on it today, but things went well for us."
IT STARTED TO GET DARK THERE. "Yeah, it was getting pretty dark out there, but NASCAR did a good job of making everything happen here today with all the circumstances."
YOU SEEMED TO HOVER IN THE TOP 10, BUT NEVER GOT ALL THE WAY TO THE FRONT? "We could get to the top five, but there were at least four guys that were a good bit faster. The 99, I don't know if he had a flat or what, but he was another one. We just weren't any match for those guys. They just killed me off the corners. We just got out-geared and we're gonna have to look at changing that." WHAT WAS YOUR DAY LIKE? "We've got good horsepower, obviously, but we got out-geared there with these guys shifting twice. We're gonna have to look at our program and see if that's something we can do next time here."
WHAT ABOUT COMING FROM 15TH? "The car handled good. We were just a little bit tight throughout the day, but, again, the extra gear they had off the corner is where that difference really was, but it was a good day for us."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 21st) -- "Man, we definitely had a top-10 car -- one of the best cars I ever had here. It's a shame to come home 21st, but that's what happened. Pit strategy killed us today, plus the lugnuts came off the left rear. It's nobody's fault, it's just the way it plays sometimes. We just got the car a little tight there at the end, and we just can't run our car tight. We've got to have it free to keep it wound up on the straightaway, and we got it pretty neutral and that just killed our straightaway speed. So, we just gotta work a little harder for next weekend. It's just a shame to have a good car like that and finish like we did."
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 2nd) -- "We stayed on the lead lap today. It was a great effort by all the guys. It was something where we had an ill-handling race car and we just kept working on it. We stayed on the lead lap and there were no penalties and no flat tires. It was almost an uneventful day to finish in second place. I'm real proud of the guys. It's just like Newell Rubbermaid, they're coming up with innovative ideas and that's what we're doing. We're coming up with ways to set these cars up and go to the front. I'm really proud of everybody in the organization."
WHAT ABOUT THE PASSES YOU MADE TO GET TO THE FRONT? "We were wheeling as hard as we could, but we just couldn't pedal as we needed to. Mark Martin finished second here in the spring and we finished second here. We're just missing a little bit and as soon as we find it we'll be good."
GEOFFREY BODINE --26-- Discover Card Taurus (Finished 34th) -- "We were real fast and I guess I got a little aggressive when running against the 48 for position. I hit the wall and from there it went South. It pushed and that was it. I thought we had at least a top 15. We came in that last stop to make sure nothing was rubbing and we went back out. We picked up a few spots and then it blew up. I had fun and I'll take it to Indy."
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Pennsylvania 500, Page 4
July 28, 2002 Pocono Raceway
RYAN NEWMAN RAYBESTOS ROOKIE PRESS CONFERENCE -- DID THE DELAYS CAUSE ANY PROBLEM FOR YOU? "Driver-wise, it doesn't make much difference. The biggest thing, I think, was just the track changed a little bit. It went from being pretty cool and humid to just plain humid when it was raining. Then it got warm again and cooled off later tonight. I think that was the biggest change and just drawing it out made it definitely a physical race for me anyway." HOW WAS VISIBILITY IN THE CLOSING LAPS? "I've driven on dirt before, so it doesn't really matter how dark it is when you've got your shield full of mud. You can see through just about anything as long as you've got your mind on it and you want to."
KURT BUSCH CONTINUED -- ON VISIBILITY. "I was just looking at the board making sure that 175 came as quick as it could. There was no big factor in there." HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CARRYING THE BANNER OF THE YOUNGER GUYS IN THE SPORT? "It's great to be considered in that class of the young guns, so to speak, the ones that are going forward. There's a lot of hype with it and there's a lot of media this way and that way with the drivers. Old guys and young guys alike, we're all out there racing just as hard against one another. It's great to be classified within that group. I'm 23 years old, 24 next week, and I'm just out here racing away. I've learned as much as I could in a short amount of time and we're just classified in that group because we're young, so to speak. The older drivers might not like that. They might not like the media attention that's headed our way, but coming down to it, we're the ones winning races. Bill Elliott got into victory lane today. It's been a great year for young drivers and I think there's been a great changing as far as the way setups have gone. It takes more of an open mind to understand what setups take and what ideas are needed to get around what race tracks. It's just a matter of throwing away the notebook sometimes and going after it."
NEWMAN CONTINUED -- ON BEING A YOUNG DRIVER. "Last week Ward Burton won and this week it's Bill Elliott. Next week it could be anybody. It's just close. Without a doubt, it's good to be considered one of the up-and-coming NASCAR racers, but, to me, it doesn't really matter. I race as hard as I can every lap no matter how old I am or how old a guy is next to me, and I'm sure everybody else does the same thing."
BUSCH CONTINUED -- YOU PICKED UP SOME SPOTS IN THE POINTS. "It seemed like we could never get a jump on the points. We'd have a top 10 finish and we'd stay ninth. We'd have a 30th-place finish and we'd drop back to 15th. It's great to have a jump in points, but you can't really focus on it too hard. Your sole objective is just to run competitively every week and, for us, we've been in the top 10 in the last five out of six races -- excluding Daytona. You add a little tussle there and we're gonna keep moving on. As long as we keep having smooth days like we had today, where we had no altercations that really set us back. It was kind of an uneventful day. We just kept plugging away and picking off cars one at a time and to have a great day like this is really satisfying to know we can put together a good finish anytime. We've just got to keep doing it and doing it. Roush Racing has really made the turn this year and I'm real proud of everybody in the whole organization for putting their heads down and working together."
NEWMAN CONTINUED -- WHAT ABOUT RACING NEXT WEEK AT INDY? "I definitely have a lot of fans, I think mostly because of growing up and racing around that area. But, to me, it's an awesome race track and it's got a lot of history. A lot of legendary drivers have raced there, but it's just another stop on the schedule and I think that's how everybody really treats it. You go there and do the best job you can as a team and then you walk away and that's what you get. I guess that's pretty much the same everywhere."