GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Post-It/National Guard Taurus (Finished 14th) HOW DOES IT SOUND TO BE THE NEW POINTS LEADER? "It sounds really good. I tell you what, this team has really worked hard. We wanted better than a 14th-place finish here and ...
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Post-It/National Guard Taurus (Finished 14th)
HOW DOES IT SOUND TO BE THE NEW POINTS LEADER? "It sounds really good. I tell you what, this team has really worked hard. We wanted better than a 14th-place finish here and think we deserved it, but it was just unfortunate that caution came out toward the end. We lost about six spots because of that, so that might have moved us into the top 10 - probably eighth - but we were off a little bit today. We just had to work on our race car. I put a bigger rear swaybar in it before the start of the race, so that kind of hurt me, but I just did the best I could. I stayed on the race track. I knew fuel mileage was gonna be an issue, so I was light-footing it on the throttle and let a couple of guys go because of the big picture. We needed to make it."
DOES IT MATTER TO LEAD THE POINTS? "Yeah, it does because we wanted to lead the points. Even if I only lead it for a week, I wanted to be the point leader. This team has worked really hard towards being the points leader. We've had two or three bad races and we've been able to bounce back from them. Today we didn't have that great of a car. We finished 14th, but we could have finished a lot better than that if the caution hadn't come out. We had a great pit strategy. I went off the track at the beginning of qualifying and that certainly hurt our track position all day, but I can't be happier for the team. They've worked hard for being the point leader and we are."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DAYTONA? "Pretty good. I'm taking my Bud Shootout car there, so anybody that saw the Bud Shootout race, I mean, it was a really good race car. We're ready to go back. We like going to Daytona. It's a big place with a lot happening there with it being the Fourth of July and everything so we're ready."
YOU WANTED THIS POINTS LEAD. WHY WAS IT SO IMPORTANT TO YOU? "I think just because the eyes and the focus is on you. We had won five races, but weren't leading the points. Now we're leading the points and we've won five races. We wanted to lead. We want them to talk about us and write about us a little bit and now we're on top for a little bit."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Crown Royal Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"It was a solid job. Ricky Rudd did an awesome job. To finish third to him and have Tony as the fastest car, we did a great job with our Crown Royal Ford. We had a great setup and it's good to bounce back."
YOU WERE STRONG ALL DAY. "Yeah, we had a plan to just stick with our strategy. Some guys gambled a little bit on fuel so then we had to pass them. Our Crown Royal Ford was good, we just didn't have the solid turning ability of the 20 car, but we had a great run and I'm real proud of my team."
A GOOD POINTS DAY AS WELL. "Yeah, we're still under the gun because there are still nine or so races to go, so you've got to run hard."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 6th)
"It was a great day. Todd had a great gameplan and we stuck to it and it worked out for us, so I'm very proud of my guys to come home sixth and for Dale Jarrett to come home fifth. It was a great run for the Wood Brothers to finish second, so, all in all, it was a great day for everybody."
YOU SAID AT THE BEGINNING YOU JUST WANTED TO STAY ON COURSE AND YOU DID. "Yeah, just stay on course and I knew my guys were gonna give me great pit strategy, so I just conserved fuel from the start of that last green flag run all the way to the checkered flag. I didn't race anybody all day long. I let 'em go. I saved my fuel, saved my transmission and saved my motor and it worked out great for us."
A GREAT POINTS DAY AS WELL. "It was a great points day. We didn't lose anything to the leaders and I don't think we lost a lot to the guy who was 10th in points, so this was a big hurdle for us to come here and run as good as we did. It's a great points day for everybody, so it was a great, great day for us."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Air Force/Motorcraft Genuine Parts Taurus (Finished 2nd)
HOW CLOSE WERE YOU ON FUEL? "We knew it was gonna be within a lap of making it or not making it, and then it started surging and popping and snapping before it finally ran out."
YOU DIDN'T GET BACK TO PIT ROAD. "We knew all along it was gonna be close. He said, 'It's within a lap, but it could be one way or the other. We might not make it.' Then we got that late caution and we needed another lap of that caution to really think that we could go the distance. He wouldn't tell me, so I knew when he was silent about it. He didn't say, 'Just let it go.' He said, 'Really guard it. Guard it every lap right up to the end.' It actually started running out the lap before and Kurt was able to catch up to me. What happened is the motor was cutting on and off anywhere you would rise up over a bump and then the motor would cut off. Then when I would downshift, it would snatch the rear wheels loose and I got really ragged on the last lap and Kurt nearly got by us, but I'm really happy for everybody on this Motorcraft/Air Force Taurus. We've done a good job all year, we just finally got some results that the team deserved. The pit strategy was unbelievable. We had a good car, but we needed track position and they gave it to us."
WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE WITH TONY? "He was coming really fast. At first he was just inching and inching, but my tires went away. We needed one more chassis adjustment, but with the way the pit road cycle system works here, you can't go to pit road and get an adjustment and get tires like you normally do on an oval track, but we were one air-pressure adjustment away from being a really great car. We ended up second. I'd say in practice we kind of knew what we had. We chased Tony around and Tony was doing the same thing to us in practice. He would inch up on us every corner. He could get more forward bite off the corner than we could. Our guys changed the car around last night and it made a big difference. Our car was better, but not good enough to beat Tony."
YOU NEEDED THIS. "You can keep telling everybody all year, 'We're running good. It's coming. We just can't get any luck,' and finally we had a day that goes our way. We've had some top fives all year. I don't know about any wins, but we had some good, solid top fives that snuck away from us, but this is really the first time we've had any results like the team has been running at times. I'm just tickled to death for these guys."
DOES IT REJUVENTATE YOU? "Not really. Last year was a little different because we ran poorly last year. We didn't run good and we finished poorly, we finished in the twenties, and that was hard to take. Now coming out this year and having a competitive car, to me, I'd rather run good and break than to just run poorly, so it hasn't been that bad. Still, it's nice to look in the newspaper and see where you finished."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 5th)
"Things worked out really well. Thanks to the guys at Bondurant in Phoenix. Elliott had a good run out there. He was a good teammate out there, I cut him off on that one restart a couple of times. I felt like my car was little faster, but it was a good day for us. I really wanted to try to get to fourth and get by Rusty, but the main thing was to bring this UPS Ford home. This Herbie Full Throttle paint scheme needed a good day and this was it."
WERE YOU CLOSE ON FUEL? "I knew as much as they were hollering about twice a lap that we had to be pretty close. It's a fine line out here - trying to run hard enough to stay in front of those guys and then save fuel, too. If you're on an oval, you can kind of know what you're saving. Here, it's a little more difficult but it worked out."
SOME GUYS HAD TROUBLE TODAY AND YOU WERE ABLE TO GAIN SOME GROUND IN POINTS. "You've got to be able to take advantage of that and we were able to do that. It doesn't do any good if they have problems and you have problems, too. We just need to keep a little bit of momentum."
A GOOD WAY TO CAP OFF THE MONTH. "Yeah, things didn't go exactly as we had planned, so it was a good way to finish it off."