STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Winston Cup Dodge Intrepid R/T and No. 92 Learnframe Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series) NOTE: Compton passed Ken Schrader for sixth place on the last lap of Saturday's MBNA e-commerce 200 NASCAR Craftsman...
STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Winston Cup Dodge Intrepid R/T and No. 92 Learnframe Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series)
NOTE: Compton passed Ken Schrader for sixth place on the last lap of Saturday's MBNA e-commerce 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover Downs. Compton and Schrader were the only two current Winston Cup drivers in the race. Rain began immediately after the checkered flag, taken by Scott Riggs in a Dodge. It was Dodge's eighth straight truck series victory of the season.
"That was a lot of fun passing Schrader. He and I just got through talking about it. I set him up high and turned under him coming off turn four. Man, I hate it. This Learnframe Harris Trucking Dodge was good today. We had a shot at winning this thing. We had a little miscue in the pits, but the guys did a great job with the truck. To come here and not test and unload like we did, everybody had to do a great job to get the truck built and get here. This truck is owned by Harris Trucking and built out of the Melling shop with Joey Arrington motors. I think we had a shot at winning it, but we had an extra guy over the wall and had to go to the tail end of the longest line with about 40 or 50 laps to go. The tail end of the longest line with all this lapped traffic, we just didn't have enough time. We went back to 15th or 16th and got back to sixth. If we had a few more laps we would have been a little better. We had a truck to win. We made it up to third from our starting spot. Our truck on long runs was better than anybody's out there, but it just wasn't our day to win.
"This is the first time I've been in a truck for two years (last start was Oct. 30, 1999 in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at California Speedway. He started fifth and finished third in that event). It's just like riding a bicycle. When you've got good equipment it makes a world of difference. These guys built us a good truck and it's got great horsepower. We've got a good tire here, and it was a good day. We made gains in the pits all day. We just had one miscue when we had an extra guy go across the wall. We had part of the Cup crew and part of a crew we assembled for the truck deal. The rest of the Cup crew is still trying to work on that Kodiak Melling Dodge. We had a mixed crew. It's a brand new team we put together to do the truck races, and we've got a little learning to do. We'll be back and try again.
"The truck is owned by Jim Harris and Mark Melling. We're going to try to run four more truck races this year. We want to run New Hampshire and Richmond, possibly Indy and Phoenix. Learnframe has decided to stay with us the rest of the year. They're an associate on our Cup car. They decided they wanted to be a major and the truck series is a great place for 'em.
"The Cup cars and trucks drive a little different. We know the track is going to be a little bit tighter tomorrow. I certainly think that's going to help. It's going to help Sunday knowing two tires did this and two tires did that today. We had to do that in the trucks. We might not have to in Cup, but we may want to now. I think it'll help. Any time you can go out and get seat time on Saturday before the Cup race on Sunday, you're certainly helping yourself."
"My confidence is high. We've got to get our act together and put it all together on the Cup side. I know we can do it in Winston Cup. We can run with these guys week in and week out. It's tough competing against multi-car teams. If you're on a level playing ground, I think anybody in Winston Cup can win. Getting on a level playing ground is sometimes pretty tough.
"I think we're closer to a level playing ground (in truck series) as far as the resources people's got. I think we've got as many resources as any truck team out there. We had a shot to win it. We might not have quite the resources as a Joe Gibbs or Rick Hendrick in Winston Cup. We don't run like it. We're building. We're getting there. It just takes time.
"I guess Dodge tied Chevrolet today for the most consecutive wins (in truck series). Dodge has got a great program. They obviously have their truck program dialed in. It took five years to get to this point. It's encouraging for our Winston Cup team. Dodge is coming. There's no doubt in my mind. We've got some hurdles to get over. We're a new manufacturer in Winston Cup, and we've got some hurdles to get over, but it'll come in time.
"I guess we'll start 32nd Sunday. This place is so fast, you don't like starting back there that far. It ain't where you need to be, but Mother Nature isn't a race fan this weekend, so we're starting second. We didn't run very good in the two races here last year. I hope today will help. It shows we can do this on this track if circumstances are right. We could have won today, but Cup is a little bit harder. We've got 15 good trucks out there and we've got 43 good Cup cars out there.
"I don't think the competition is any tougher from first to eighth from trucks to Cup. If you have a bad day in trucks, you're going to finish 15th. If you have a bad day in Cup, you're going to finish 43rd. That's what we've been working to get to. We just don't need to have bad days. We've had a couple of bad Cup races and that makes it look real bad, but you before those bad races, we sat on the pole at Talladega and had four top 15s. That's better than this team has done in a long time. We had a couple of bad races in a row, but I don't think it's going to take that much to rebound.
"Dodge has helped us a bunch. We're really looking forward to aligning ourselves with the Pettys. We've met with them several times. We're going to align ourselves heavily with the Pettys. I think that's going to be good for us, and I think it's going to be good for them. I think we've got some things we can offer them, and they certainly have some things they can offer us. "Hopefully we can gain some of those resources we're looking for and be a competitive team. We're starting it now. We met with them last week and met with Kyle again yesterday. It's starting already. It's going to take a little while to put in place, but I'm pretty excited about it. We'll send one of our guys when they go testing, and they'll send one of their guys when we go testing. We're going to go to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully what we learn there we can let them know and it'll help them."