Chicago, Ill. - For the second straight week, Dodge Motorsports made history by winning their sixth race of the 2000 season, the most for Dodge ever in a single season of NCTS competition. Dodge also scored their third straight win in the series,...
Chicago, Ill. - For the second straight week, Dodge Motorsports made history by winning their sixth race of the 2000 season, the most for Dodge ever in a single season of NCTS competition. Dodge also scored their third straight win in the series, a first for them as well. Joe Ruttman came from the pole position with the #18 Dana Dodge to victory lane at the inaugural race at the Chicago Motor Speedway. Rookie, Jamie McMurray joined Ruttman in the top ten with a sixth place finish coming from a 21st place starting position. Randy Tolsma rounded out the top ten for Dodge with a tenth place finish backing up his win at Nashville Speedway just two weeks ago.
Joe Ruttman, driver, #18 Dana Dodge, finished first:
"What a great win for Dana, for Dodge and for Bobby Hamilton Racing. This team just gave me a rocket ship all weekend. They got me the pole and now the win. I just can't say enough about this entire race team and the job that my pit crew did. There at the end I was just protecting my position, I knew that Greg and Mike were back there and I was going to do everything that I could to make sure that they stayed behind me. This was just an awesome day with getting the bonus from Craftsman, getting the third straight Dodge win and now maybe I can talk Dana into giving me another bonus, then I'll just be rich."
Jamie McMurray, driver, #41 TKO Motorsports Dodge, finished sixth:
"After a qualifying run that we weren't real happy with yesterday, it was pretty great to come back today and be able to get the sixth position. We were really good getting into the corners and coming off, but the truck was pretty tight in the middle. That was the only place on the track that I couldn't pass and probably the place that I got passed the most. But the pit crew gave me incredible stops all day and they gained at least one position on the track with every pit stop."
Randy Tolsma, driver, #25 Citgo Supergard Motor Oil Dodge, finished tenth:
"It was a decent day for the CITGO SUPERGARD Dodge and it would have been an even better day if that tire hadn't gone down at the very end of the race. Something cut down the tire when we had the altercation with Steve in the corner. I thought I was clear and when I drifted up, Steve was there and we made contact. We had to work on the truck quite a bit during the day to get it where we wanted it because I think we might have been a little off on our gear selection. But the team did a great job today and we never gave up. Now we'll head to Richmond looking for another good day."
Carlos Contreras, driver, #12 Hot Wheels Dodge, finished 15th: "The truck was really good in the turns. It stayed on the bottom always and when I gave it gas the truck was really good. But I needed more power in the engine because the other trucks could pass me easily. I'm happy with the Hot Wheels crew, the setup was really good. In the last 25 laps we were not running on all eight cylinders. We finished 15th and I think that was good for the conditions. Doug George and my crew did a great job today."
Mark Petty, driver, #44 Dodge By Petty, finished 18th:
"Well we accomplished what we came here for and that was to make the race and then to finish the race. The truck was tight again and I just don't have enough experience yet to be willing to free it up as much as I probably should. And then I got into turn three a little too hot and got the truck sideways, then somebody else just didn't have anywhere to go."
Steve Grissom, driver, #43 Dodge By Petty, finished 24th:
"The truck was real good at the start of the race and I could pass people and run with Joe. But early in the race we had a hose come loose from the air cleaner and get wrapped up in the tire. We had to pit and that cost us a bunch of track position. Then we ran out of room in the corner and that is how we got the damage to the front of the truck. But those things happen and we'll just fix the truck and go to Richmond."
Dennis Setzer, driver, #1 Mopar Dodge, finished 29th:
"This was an unfortunate deal for this entire Mopar team, these guys worked so hard to give me a great race truck this weekend and then we lost a motor. Howard made a great call to leave us out for the first round of pit stops and gain track position. The truck was a rocket and I could pass almost anywhere that I put the truck. So to lose another motor after having a chance at the win is just a bad deal."
Scott Riggs, driver, #86 RC Cola Dodge, finished 30th:
"We broke a gear in the rear end and I think that's pretty ironic considering that since we have been at Chicago, we've changed as many gears as we probably could. I could smell the rear end grease and when I radioed in the team said that it was the #18 truck and about that same time the whole gear broke. Transmission selection and gear selection were so critical at this track with the long straightaways and tight corners and it just figures that we would put the gear in that would break during the race. But that's just the way things go and we stayed out on the first round of pit stops to gain track position and I think that was a good call because we were able to hang on to the track position. Our right side tire wear was great and I knew that there would be more cautions during the race and that I would have a chance to pit later in the race. The truck was really good, but we weren't able to hold off Biffle like I would have liked to."