NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Texas Moto Speedway - Winning team press conference: Elliott Sadler and Todd Parrott, Robert Yates Racing. Part 2 of 2 ELLIOTT SADLER WITH 3 TO GO HE PUT THE SLIDE JOB ON YOU. HOW BIG WAS THAT? "A lot. I didn't...
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Texas Moto Speedway - Winning team press conference: Elliott Sadler and Todd Parrott, Robert Yates Racing.
Part 2 of 2
WITH 3 TO GO HE PUT THE SLIDE JOB ON YOU. HOW BIG WAS THAT?
"A lot. I didn't know he was as far up as he was. I was trying to pay attention on my line so much that I didn't realize he was running high in three and four and getting such a big run coming off the corner. I knew he wasn't there at the time, but I tried to move up slow in front of him and I clipped him and he hit the wall. Then I got a little space. I was like, 'Alright, I've got a little bit of breathing room.' But he was so fast he got right back on my back bumper again. That might be the reason why I'm sitting here today and he's not - not really the move on the last lap, but that particular move right there.
"Like I said before, he's a very clean racer. He could have done a lot of different things to me after I did that. Now I know how he's gonna race me, I know how to race him for the rest of our whole careers. He's definitely a great race car driver. He's gonna win a lot of races and they have set the bar right now. That car is the car to beat pretty much every week. We're just glad we had great pit strategy, great track position and it just really worked out in our way today. So it worked out good, but I think that move was more important than even the last lap."
TALK ABOUT THE DECISION TO STAY OUT.
"Before the caution came out? He was just telling me to conserve fuel, which I thought you told me pretty late actually, Todd (laughing). But he started telling me to conserve fuel, conserve fuel, and I knew what he meant - we were gonna try to make it on one more stop. I think some of the guys were gonna be really close in making it to the end of the race and we've been getting great gas mileage. Again, that goes back to Robert and Jack working together. We had great, great gas mileage again today and we were just trying to make it to the end. We were staying with the 24. He was gonna do the same exact thing. The 8 car, the 2 car - all of us were trying to do the same thing. When the caution came out, now with NASCAR's new rule, you can't pit the first time by. We were like, 'Oh, God.' And my fuel light was on. My fuel pressure was going back and forth. Robert was in my ear teaching me on how to save fuel with his motor, so it all in the end paid off. That's why you saw us riding around on the apron trying to keep all the fuel we could near the right-rear of the car. It just paid off for us. It was a great, great call on Todd's part."
HOW MUCH OF A GAMBLE WAS THAT?
"We were actually gonna pit the next time by when the caution came out, so, like I said, that was a chance that here at Texas I didn't really care that much to take because we ran Dale Jarrett out of gas leading the race in 2002. So, anyhow, I kept asking the guys, 'Can we make it? Can we make it?' We said, 'This is what we're gonna do.' I heard Robbie (Loomis) tell Jeff (Gordon) to pit in three laps and then the caution came out. I told Elliott we were gonna do what the 24 does and, like he said, the 8 and the 2 were gonna do that same thing, so it just worked out. We took a gamble and it paid off today."
WHAT ABOUT THE PARTY?
"Every Tuesday night at my house at home, my dad and I feed about 60 or 70 of employees and closest friends. Usually, when we have a good weekend or like after the Bristol race we won a couple of years ago, we have a good turnout - probably 150 or 160 people will show up. I just want everybody to know that was watching that we're gonna eat at the barn on Tuesday night. It's just a cool place to hang out behind my house at home in Emporia, Virginia. It's a great time for me to spend with all my family and friends. I love going back home. That's why I still live there and it's gonna be pretty neat. That's all I said, to remind everybody we are eating at the barn on Tuesday night."
IS THE ROUSH-YATES ENGINE PAYING OFF?
"I do. We had two cars on the front row at the Daytona 500. We won the Twin 125. Matt Kenseth has won a couple of races. Ask them how much they like the new motor deal. We've run good with ours. They've run good. I think it's a win-win situation. You take Robert's horsepower knowledge with Jack's fuel mileage and some other stuff he know with intakes and stuff, it's just really worked out great for everybody. It's a win-win situation. We feel like if we want to go to the 17 or the 97 or the 16 or whatever and ask them questions about gears or fuel mileage, everybody is shooting each other straight. It was a great decision on their part and Ford's part to put us all together because we needed to do that. That's the direction Dodge has been working in. That's the direction Toyota is gonna work in when they get here, so to give us a few years of practice and knowledge before that happens was a great, great decision on everybody's part."
"It's paid big dividends. It started at Daytona and to see Jack and Robert working hand-in-hand together on a weekend is something that's pretty special, especially knowing the battle and how much fierce competitors they were and have been through their whole racing careers. Now to see those two guys work together, smile, laugh, cut up and have a good time - even see Robert flying home on Jack's plane. It's pretty cool. Doug Yates and all those guys back at the shop have done a fantastic job. Doug has actually quit coming to the races. He's gotten so involved with his engine, which is something he loves doing. That's what Doug Yates does and that's what he's good at. He told me I was good at crew chiefing and he had a big part in me coming back as the crew chief on the 38 car. Doug Yates is good at building engines and not general managing, so he's doing what he does best and, hopefully, we can just continue winning races."
WHAT ABOUT THE AREA HERE?
"Everytime I've ever been here, since the first year I came, whether we're doing a PRN show at Billy Bob's or appearance stuff downtown in Fort Worth or any stuff we've done - the fans here have always welcomed you to the state of Texas. That's special to us. That means a lot to me anywhere you go. They're proud to have you here. They're glad to see this sport come here and it's just a great race track. Eddie and his guys do such a great job. Any problems or questions we've got, they're always right there on cue to help us with them. Everything we've ever asked this track to do to make it better racing for the fans they've done it. It's cool to work with people like that and tracks like that. Of course, their purse is great also. It's not only good for me, it's good for Robert and everybody involved - pay your tire bills and stuff like that. It's just a great place to race at. It's like an old pair of shoes that you like. Some tracks you go to, you might not like or you don't adapt well to. Some you do and I've just always felt very special about this track since the first time I ever laid eyes on it. It's a very fun race track and I'm looking forward to coming back here real soon."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WIN AFTER THE WRECK LAST YEAR?
"It's very redeeming. I've told everybody before I ever drove a NASCAR Nextel Cup car that my first win will come at Bristol or Texas. Well, I got my first win at Bristol and my second one is at Texas, so it's cool how that works out. To lead the most laps here last year, where we had a dominant car and to have the problems we had with the flat right-rear and wreck it and total one of our best race cars was very heartbreaking to all of us, so to come back this year and kind of redeem ourselves as a whole team is very, very special. The Goodyear tires we had this weekend were unbelievable. They never cease to amaze me on how good they can make these tires. No tire problems today. We went so many fuel stops and stretching fuel runs and the tires still stayed with us the whole entire time and enabled us to put ourselves in position where we were to win the race. I just commend everybody involved with Goodyear and this race track."
WILL TOMMY MADDOX BE WITH YOU EVERY RACE?
"I just told him that in victory lane. If you all know, Tommy Maddox was my special guest here this weekend - the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and just a genuine nice guy. He's one of the nicest guys I've ever met and a heckuva golfer if you ever want to play golf with him. I told him, 'Hey, it don't happen like this all the time.' That's what I told him in victory lane, but since I won - he has to go to work April 12 - that I want to come to Pittsburgh this year and watch him play their biggest rivals and they better win if I come up there. It was great having him here. We've made a great friendship here the last few days and I definitely have a new friend and definitely pulling for new team in the NFL. Hopefully, he feels the same way. It's pretty neat to have him here today and, also, Dale Jarrett had Rick Barnes, the coach of the Texas Longhorns basketball here, too, so we had a lot of special guests with us this weekend."