DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 40th) "Something happened to the engine. I came off of turn two and it quit running. It's unfortunate. We had a great race car, but things like that are gonna happen. It's part of it. If you're...
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 40th)
"Something happened to the engine. I came off of turn two and it quit running. It's unfortunate. We had a great race car, but things like that are gonna happen. It's part of it. If you're gonna be in this business, things are gonna happen like that and you just have to forget about it and move on to the next race. Mike did a really good job of giving me something I could race with. We weren't as fast as those guys on new tires, but our car was really good on the long runs. He's got a good outlook on things and we'll get ready for them in a couple of weeks in Vegas."
DO YOU WORRY ABOUT DNF'S WITH THIS NEW SYSTEM? "It's no different than it ever was. For the first 26 you race the same way. You don't want them, but you're gonna have them so you just have to minimize the mistakes."
THERE WERE TWO ROUSH PROBLEMS LAST WEEK. DOES THIS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE ENGINE ALLIANCE? "I have no idea what it has to do with. You'd have to talk to the motor guys."
YOU JUST HAVE TO STAY POSITIVE AND MOVE ON. "Yeah, we were running well. We have very few engine problems, so this is rare. You just forget about that. We had a good race car and that's the main thing. We know we can compete."
KENSETH GETS FORD BACK IN VICTORY LANE
* Matt Kenseth's win marked the first for Ford since Kurt Busch won the night race at Bristol (Sharpie 500) in August - a winless stretch of 13 races.
* Kenseth's last victory was at Las Vegas, which happens to be the next stop on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series tour. Today's triumph snapped a 34-race winless stretch.
* Roush Racing has won 11 of the last 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races for Ford dating back to the 2002 season, including each of the last seven.
* Ford now has 545 all-time wins in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, most among manufacturers.
* The win also signified the 75th series triumph for Taurus.
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus
VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW -- "I was doing everything I could. Kasey almost got me in one and two one time. I didn't know whether to protect the bottom or the top, so I tried to protect the middle and get a good run off the corner and not overdrive the corner. The last lap, I had been loose off of four and I got up as high as I could to get a run down off the corner as good as I could and he got a good charge on me there. It was a close one."
CAN YOU FEEL HOW QUICK THE PIT STOPS ARE IN THE CAR? "Yeah. They were on top of their game today. I think they wanted to come out and win the race today and show those boys on pit road what they're made of too. This is the second year that these guys have been together as a group and you can really feel it. They've got the experience and they've got the enthusiasm. These guys are ready to go and tear it up this year."
WHO MADE THE CALL TO CHANGE TIRES ON PIT ROAD WHEN THE CAUTION CAME OUT AND WERE YOU SURPRISED YOU STAYED ON THE LEAD LAP? "We were already changing tires. The first time (on lap 131) we didn't have a choice and the second time (with 43 to go) I almost messed it up. They were going around and doing four and, luckily, they didn't listen to me and did what they were trained to do. It worked out good. We knew we were ahead of the field when they froze it, but it I still didn't know what they were gonna do when we pulled off of pit road. But I knew we were ahead of the field. We were further ahead the second time than we were the first time."
DID YOU MAKE A LOT OF CHANGES? "We made some. I probably should have made more of a change the last couple of runs. I probably should have listened to Robbie a little more to tighten it up a little more. I was just too loose off the corner the last two runs and had to do everything we could to keep our DEWALT car out front. It was a handful at the end. In the middle of the race it was just on cruise and it was awesome, but we lost the handle just a little bit at the end."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Finished 8th)
"We had a good enough car for a top five, kind of like last week, but we just didn't come out with the result. We got caught on pit road when that last yellow came out. Do we pit or do we not pit? That's the thing with the new rule. When the field is frozen, what's the penalty for pitting while the field is frozen. So we have to understand that. The 17 did a great job by making the right call, but we could have finished second today. That was just a tough call at the end. It gets so tight when you're back eighth or ninth because with lapped cars on the inside at the end of the race, you can't make up positions. All in all it was good day for the IRWIN Ford. We were here again, we just didn't get the result."
HOW WAS THE RACING? "It was fun. We were sliding all around. You're gonna have to work your butt off this year. We're all gonna earn our paychecks."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 12th)
"Everything went wrong. We lost our track position and then we got in a wreck. Then we fixed all of that and was fixing to rebound from that and then got caught on another caution."
DID NASCAR THINK YOU WERE TRYING TO BLOCK AT THE END? "I don't know."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 SKF Taurus (Finished 37th)
"They all got bottled up and I didn't even see what happened. You can't see through these cars and I couldn't see around anybody. We're leaving and the 97 had to check up because something happened in front of him and I ran into the back of him. I couldn't see through the 97's car, so I have no idea what happened. His rear bumper brace went right through the middle of the radiator and from then on we were just trying to make laps. And then the oil pump belt came off of it and broke the motor, so I feel like right now we just can't do anything right. The tide will turn though and when it does, they'll know we were here. We had a good car. We started 28th and Matt and I drove up to 13th or 14th and we had a good car. Unfortunately, it is what it is."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 23rd)
"It was just one of those days. Me and my teammate ran into each other on pit road and that bent something in the front end. It was a long day after that. Burton bounced off of me and then I got out of the way, but I'm not sure what happened there. That's just the way it goes."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 19th)
"We pitted early and that caution got us another time. We long-pitted, but we didn't long-pit long enough and the caution got us. We came in and then the caution came out two laps later. We were a 20th-place car and that's about where we finished."
ANDY HILLENBURG - No. 80 - Commercial Truck & Trailer Taurus (Finished 34th)
A LOT WAS MADE ABOUT THE SO-CALLED FIELD FILLERS THIS WEEK, BUT YOU RAN THE WHOLE RACE AND WERE COMPETITIVE. "We're trying. Were we the best car today? No, not even close, but we tried our hardest. I don't think anybody tried any harder, so now we have a starting place. We actually had a couple of flat tires under green and that made it look even worse than it was, but I felt like we were out there and hopefully the guys can see that we're trying. They were all back here at one point or another, so hopefully a few guys will give us a hand and give us a few ideas."
THE END RESULT IS A 34TH-PLACE FINISH. "Wow, alright I'll take it. I didn't know it was that, but all I can say is we're trying our hardest. Stan has one employee and the rest were volunteers. Hopefully now for Vegas we can get two or three employees."