Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Loadhandler 200 Post-Race Quotebook BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 21, 1997) Selected quotes following Saturday's Loadhandler 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway for : Ron Hornaday No. 16...
Report from Motorsport News International
NASCAR Public Relations
Loadhandler 200 Post-Race Quotebook
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 21, 1997) Selected quotes following Saturday's Loadhandler 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway for :
Ron Hornaday No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet: "That Chevrolet was tough, wasn't it? We got old Fred (Graves, crew chief) and he said he could make this old Chevrolet run like it did tonight and keep it together. I have to thank Dennis Fisher, who built our engine and Banjo (Grimm, body man/fabricator) and all the guys in the shop where we put these trucks together. You know we keep beating these Chevrolets up and they just keep putting them back together even better the next time. And thanks to Dale and Teresa (Earnhardt, truck owners) ... I love ya! This was the best truck I've had and we knew it when we came off the hauler yesterday. You're only as good as your team and we brought a master with us in Fred Graves. "All the truck guys love coming here -- they say it's our Daytona (500). Goodyear came with a good tire. We were trying to be careful not to burn the tires off it but after halfway they said go ahead we've got plenty (of tire) left. We didn't mean to stink up the show that bad but we had to do it for Fred Graves and to pick our team back up. I don't know what happened going into (Turn) 3. Someone spun and I tried to stop but nothing happened. I had to downshift the truck to keep from sliding the front end. Three or four trucks in front of me someone spun and hit the wall. I was lucky to get through that!"
Fred Graves Crew chief, No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet: "We were hoping it (first win with the team, which he joined for the Pennzoil/VIP Discount Auto Center 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway two races ago) was gonna be Texas but we had to wait a week! This is my first truck win (Graves has been in the NCTS since its inception). I was real close a couple times with Jimmy Hensley (in owner Grier Lackey's truck). We were dominant two years ago here with Jimmy and broke a motor about 40-some laps into the race. We put the same set-up under this NAPA Chevrolet and it worked! It feels really great! I've thought of this night many times. Every crew chief wants to get wins and we finally got one, here."
Rich Bickle No. 17 DieHard Chevrolet: "We had a good night and came back up after two bad races. We had a bit of luck here. It was too tight in the first hundred (laps) and too loose in the second half. We came from eighth to second here at Bristol and still have the fenders on it ... but there was no way we were gonna catch Ron (Hornaday). He was dominant tonight. That son of a gun was hooked-up. My hat's off to that team ... they've had a bad stretch, too. We added to the points lead and that's what we came here to do."
Jay Sauter No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet: "We had a great truck tonight and made the right adjustments at half-time. The guys really made it good. Bickle really protected the bottom. My hat's off to this GM Goodwrench Service Chevy crew! They made the right decisions and kept us in contention."
Rick Carelli No. 6 RE/MAX Chevrolet: "That was a good run for us. It was just way too tight -- we made some adjustments at half-time and it wasn't enough. We needed to go some more. We ran up front all day and unfortunately I could see em but I couldn't run with em off the corners."
Joe Ruttman No. 80 LCI International Ford: "We got lucky, but I feel we should have gotten a fourth. We had probably the third-fastest truck, but we got lucky in some of the scrapes. That made a big difference. The guys just put a super truck under us. The thing worked just really great and the tires stayed under us. I guess if we could have won, it would have been better, but we got back deep in the field, and it is really tough to come back from deep in the field in 200 laps here. I guess we'll take it away and be happy with where we're at. Before, I could take big leaps and get bunches, but the field is so close you can't do that any more. You just have to take one nibble at a time. It's like eating an elephant, there's a lot to eat and you just take one bite at a time."
Rick Crawford No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford: "I think we passed more trucks than anybody else out there. No doubt about it, I can drive Bristol, but you have to have a good truck and motor. I have to thank the Lozano Brothers for the engine and Roland Wlodyka and my whole team -- everybody. They hang in there. I knew 20 laps into the race, Hey, we can race here with this truck.' Thank goodness when they dropped the green we had something to race with. From starting 25th I only knew one direction, and that was to go forward. Thank goodness for sixth, and we'll go on to the next race now."
Jimmy Hensley No. 43 Cummins Engine Company Dodge: "Our hearts were beating fast several times in the race tonight. We are pleased with our eighth place finish considering how we qualified. If we would have qualified better we would have had a shot at the win."
Chuck Bown No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford: "It's just another wild one at Bristol. I just feel fortunate to have qualified so poorly and get a top-10 finish. It seemed like every wreck out there was right in front of me, and we were right on top of them. And the truck has quite a bit of body damage, but all the wheels stayed intact. We never spun or anything. We maintained track position all day and just kept gaining and gaining and gaining and finished ninth. We got a little loose at the end. I wish I could have made a little adjustment, but we couldn't lose track position so we just rode it out. But all in all the way qualifying went yesterday, it was a pretty good day I guess."
Bryan Reffner No. 66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford: "Our set-up wasn't very good in the first half. It was just a matter of staying out of the wrecks. I wish we could have been a little closer in the first part and stayed up there and held our position. But I'm happy with a top-10. That's what this team needs, and what I need, so it's a good deal."
Boris Said No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford: "It was perfect until half-time, then we made a little change and got it just a hair too loose. In the second half Sprague just drilled me from behind. There was nothing I could do. I've been pretty nice to those guys all year long. When my truck's been hurt I've pulled over and let those guys by. I always treat people the way I want to be treated, and once they turn on me, you know, pay backs are hell. He won't get any more room from me ever. The guys gave me a great truck. It's Bristol and at least I finished with all the fenders on it, kind of. I ran good for at least half the race so I feel positive about it. It's a tough track, so I think I was halfway respectable."
Butch Miller No. 20 The Orleans Hotel & Casino Chevrolet: (ON HIS TRUCK'S UNIQUE EXHAUST NOTE.) "It doesn't pull as many RPMs as it sounds (the truck's exhaust note was shriller and almost like a CART Indy car's in comparison to the throatier V-8s). It's a different design of exhaust pipes, which we felt was a little bit better. It's not actually something we thought of. Some other teams had tried it so we copied it and tried it on the dyno. I can't even feel the difference but it shows up on the dyno, quite a bit. Right from the top (end) to the bottom it picks up a few horsepower."
Tony Raines No. 19 Pennzoil Dodge: "We easily had a top-10, top-5 truck tonight. Our problems were on the restarts. We have a gremlin to fix this week. It's hard when you know you got a good truck but can't play."
Michael Dokken No. 18 DANA Dodge: "We were pumped up about qualifying in the top-10, we were running in the top-10, and we are bitterly disappointed that we were taken out. Next week we'll have a new motor for Nazareth, which will be a great improvement from what we have now."
Kenny Irwin Jr. No. 98 Raybestos Ford: "They said that someone lost a motor in front of us and I got into it. That's all I know. I definitely think we had something for Hornaday. I was just trying to keep the tires good until the last 15 or 20 laps and then make a hard run at him. We just didn't get the chance."
Ron Barfield No. 55 Tom Gloy Racing Ford: "We were running about 10th. It wasn't too bad, and we were just going to ride there. We were tight all night, and then we came up off the (fourth) corner and something broke and we went straight up into the wall. When I headed into the wall I braced up in the seat because I knew we were fixing to hit it. I hurt the truck pretty bad, but I'm all ight. We'll just get ready for the next one. (WHEN WILL YOU BE BACK IN THE TRUCK?) Richmond."
Mike Bliss No. 2 Team ASE Ford: (ON FIRST ACCIDENT.) "The 75 (Dan Press) was all over the place. He was loose, he was all over the track. I went to the outside because I couldn't get underneath him, I got loose coming off the corner (Turn 4) and I slapped the wall. That broke a shock off. Then I was just riding along trying to run a high groove. We were just as quick, but we were down a lap and you don't want to screw anybody up. I guess I didn't give enough room to one of the inside guys -- one of the faster guys. We got clipped and got tore up (after a lengthy stay behind the wall Bliss returned). Finishing 25th is better than 28th, you know."
Bob Keselowsi No. 29 Mopar Performance Dodge: "We weren't driving stupid tonight. We should have never wrecked. I just came up on Turn 3 and there was the wreck and nowhere to go."
Curtis Markham No. 32 Boomer's Team Heroes Chevrolet: "A couple of them got together on the backstretch. I was coming out of Turn 2 and I was waving my hand, slowing up for the wreck. Somebody run into the back of me and that eventually knocked me into the inside wall. It's put the Boomer's Heroes BBQ Sauce Chevrolet out for the night. It's unfortunate because we were running pretty good, just biding our time and keeping it in one piece until halfway. We'll get em next time! We could fix it enough to get it back out there but it wouldn't be up to full speed. We don't want to get in anyone's way and cause a wreck. Our next race will be at Flemington, N.J., but we're hoping for more!"
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