JEREMY MAYFIELD PRESS CONFERENCE -- Mobil 1 Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd) DID YOU HAVE ANY YOU HAD A LONG WAY TO GO TODAY. "Yeah, I mean if it wasn't up and down I'd think something was wrong. That's the way the whole year has been and every race...
PRESS CONFERENCE -- Mobil 1 Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd)
DID YOU HAVE ANY YOU HAD A LONG WAY TO GO TODAY. "Yeah, I mean if it wasn't up and down I'd think something was wrong. That's the way the whole year has been and every race we're in is like that. Again, everybody saw today how strong this Mobil 1 team is and, man, this Penske Racing team has been awesome. We just keep fighting back and that's been my story every time I come in here and talk to the media. I'm just real proud of this race team. Man, we stuck together. I'm not going anywhere. How could you ever leave a team like that? I want everybody to know that. I've been reading a lot of stuff and I plan on staying there. We'll go from there, but I wanted to make that clear right up front."
HOW DID YOU GET A LAP DOWN? "Everybody kind of pitted and we were gonna pit a couple of laps later than them, and we thought we had plenty of fuel left in the tank and we came down pit road and it ran out. What happened was it just wasn't picking the fuel up and that put us down. From there we had to fight our way back. Early in the race I thought, 'Man, this is gonna be cool.' I was sittin' there ridin' and thought I was gonna be in good shape and then I had to work my butt of the rest of the day after that, but, still, it was a good day for us." HAS ANYTHING CHANGED AT THE 12 TEAM SINCE THE MOVE? "Walt is the president and he's been spending a couple days a week down there. Roger has been heavily involved and just kind of seeing how the operation runs. Michael used to run the day-to-day operations and Roger just kind of sat back. He's been down there and both of them have been down there to look at it themselves and see what's going on. They've learned a lot about our race team and, other than that, that's pretty much all that's changed. We've gained a couple new employees that we were gonna gain anyway, so, other than that, it's still the same team." IS THIS A BOOST? "It's definitely a great boost. It was a great day for us. Anytime you finish second, of course you want to win, but second is pretty good when we've had a streak of DNFs and a lot of bad luck. If you look, since Roger has bought Michael's half of the team, we were second at Charlotte. We went to Talladega and were running good and had some engine trouble. We dominated Rockingham and should have finished first or second there. We came back to Phoenix and finished second and had a chance to win, so we've shown improvement already. I think just the confidence in myself and the team and everybody involved has picked up tremendously." WAS THE FUEL LINE THE PROBLEM? "I think we had plenty of gas in there. There was probably like another half-gallon or a gallon left -- enough to get us in to be safe. I guess that wasn't picking it up and they found out when they refilled the car that it wasn't picking it all up." WHAT ABOUT PETER SOSPENZO'S UNFORTUNATE FAMILY SITUATION. "Peter Sospenzo, our crew chief, his grandmother passed away early in the week and he ended up going home for the funeral. Unfortunately, he had a new baby Monday and his grandmother passed away a day or two later. Then they went to the funeral and he was gonna be here Saturday and on his way back home her son, which was Peter's uncle, got killed. So he lost two family members. He gained one and lost two, so it's been a sad time for the Sospenzo family. We felt bad for Peter, so we put our car chief in charge (Steven Lane). He and I and Roger Penske and Walt, if you heard the radio I think everybody was crew chief today so it worked out pretty good. But we might not have run out of fuel if Peter was here (laughing)." WAS THE CAR GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN? "I think it was gonna be between the 99 and the 12. I was leading and he was following me and finally we pulled away from the 2 and the 99 and all of them. So I have to sit here and say it was a winning car. If you watched it, it handled great all day. It's a pretty good confidence boost. It seems like week-in and week-out now we've got a dominant car. It's just a matter of time. Once we get our consistency back up where it needs to be and get the points situation straightened out when we start from ground zero come February, I think we're gonna be in good shape. We're working harder than we've ever worked. Everybody is still there, nobody is gonna leave. None of the crew members, as far as I know, don't have any plans to leave. It's a great place to work. When you run like this, man. "The question I've got to ask myself is you hear a lot about Rusty and I talking about chassis and trying to come to a common chassis, but if you look through the garage area and ask any car owner or anybody out there and say, 'What would you change in the 12 car?' With the way we're running you don't change much. That's the way I see it. Hopefully, the people will still be there and the chassis will be there and everything will work out." DID YOU THINK RICKY WAS GONE? "Ricky's luck has started to look like our luck. I mean, leading the race and getting in a wreck. Like at Charlotte, he was leading and we were running second. He was gonna win there and four (tires) put him in the back, but he looked good. His car ran good all day and he got out front. Track position was so important today, which it's that way every week, but it seemed like today it was very important. When he got out front he took off and I think he was definitely gone."