JACK ROUSH, Car Owner -- No. 99 Claritin Ford Fusion WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS. YOU HAD TWO GUYS ON THEIR ROOF THIS WEEKEND, YOU WON A RACE AND YOU LOST ONE RIGHT AT THE END? "This is the hardest place to race that we go to and it's fast, the car's...
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner -- No. 99 Claritin Ford Fusion
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS. YOU HAD TWO GUYS ON THEIR ROOF THIS WEEKEND, YOU WON A RACE AND YOU LOST ONE RIGHT AT THE END? "This is the hardest place to race that we go to and it's fast, the car's handling is not an issue, it doesn't separate handling. Most places that separates the cars. The cars don't separate themselves. The only way you go fast is to push. NASCAR talks about the aggressive driving zone being all the way around the race track and everybody saw the same thing today -- you see some drivers that push all day and cause multiple wrecks with no sanction and no recourse, and other drivers then when they push and do things that should have been controlled in the earlier stages, then you have something like this occur. The cars are so close. The drivers push trying to get an advantage. What happened to Regan Smith was just terrible last year. He won that race and they decided that he couldn't pass below the line, even though he was looking at the start-finish line, which was not the way it was in the truck race, but, at any rate, it's NASCAR's deal and I think everybody that's here enjoys being part of it, and when they throw a race at Talladega or Daytona or one of these places that are not our popular places in terms of the team being able to manage the risk, so we come and we race because we have to, but it certainly not what we'd like to do if we had some say about how the race track was configured."
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE TO THESE CARS TO LESSEN WHAT WE SAW TODAY? "The race tracks were build in the fifties and they were built to the aero configuration of the cars and the tires of the fifties and the cars today are way different. If they were building race tracks from scratch today, they would not be configured like this. I'm sure neither Daytona or Talladega would be configured as they are, but they're such pillars and such anchors to the sport and set such an expectation of the fans, I don't know if they can ever be changed. Certainly Bill France made it clear he didn't intend to ever change the configuration of the race tracks, but you go to the restrictor plate, you go in a situation where you have to run wide-open to preserve your momentum and where the advantage of having cars tied together aerodynamically is more of a benefit than anything else you could do to change the performance of your car, so you run stuck together. And if you get separated, you get stuck together again because it's almost like a magnetism that pulls them together. So then they're rubbing on one another, they're pushing, the people that you push -- like David Ragan won a race yesterday in the Nationwide Series and he got pushed into winning that race. He didn't win the race because he was faster. He didn't win the race because he had a better strategy. He won the race because he got pushed. Carl got wrecked today and he was in a position to win the race because he got pushed and he wrecked because he got pushed. It's just what we do."
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT PEOPLE GETTING KILLED HERE OR SERIOUSLY HURT? "I am worried about hurting somebody on my team, about hurting somebody -- and I'm talking about pit road and our crew men and mechanics -- I carry a great burden, a great responsibility to keep my people safe and, in a broader sense, I feel a responsibility to do no harm to the spectator public. But this is a high-risk environment here."
CAN YOU PUT INTO WORDS WHAT YOU FEEL WHEN YOU SEE ONE OF YOUR CARS GO UP IN THE AIR LIKE CARL DID TODAY? "My heart is in my throat until he gets out of the car. The cars are safe from the point of view of the way the roll cages are configured. They're heavy. The race track is configured that under normal circumstances they anticipate keeping the cars out of the stands and that all worked today. Everything worked the way it was supposed to. We had a horrible wreck. It was real exciting at the end. Nobody got hurt. And I guess there will maybe be some greater interest in watching the next race like this for the fact that somebody else may get caught up in a situation where it looks like they were not gonna win a race, and they win one and that's a happy thing -- like what happened to David Ragan -- or they looked like that they would win a race and then in the last one-sixteenth of a mile it all goes under."
-credit: ford racing