FLORIDA DODGE DEALERS 250 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY HOMESTEAD, FLA. SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2001 POST-RACE NOTES: TRAVIS KVAPIL, ...
FLORIDA DODGE DEALERS 250 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY HOMESTEAD, FLA. SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2001
TRAVIS KVAPIL, #60 CAT RENTAL STORES CHEVY SILVERADO, rookie (second behind
Ted Musgrave's Dodge, first rookie):
"After coming out of Daytona with a disappointing finish we were pretty excited to finish second here. This team worked hard to put me there. The Silverado with the new SB2 motor ran flawless all day long. The pit stops were great; we picked up spots every time. It was a whole team effort, that's for sure. The Cat team did a great job with me."
ON PITTING ON THE LAST CAUTION:
"On the last caution we stopped. We knew were in our fuel window. We wanted to get all the fuel we could because we thought it would be green like that (to the end). Once we got the fuel we weren't really concerned with charging up front. We knew some of the guys in front of us would have to stop and get gas."
SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE THIS DRAFTING BUSINESS HANDLED?
"I think so. Today was a big learning experience for us not only on the track, but with live pit stops; it's all fairly new to me. We had a good day, kept it straight and narrow all day long and came out with a good second place finish."
ON THE ROOKIE BATTLE:
"The Raybestos Rookie of the Year title is an awesome achievement, so we were working real hard to try and be the top rookie of the race. Once we pitted and Ricky (Hendrick) didn't we knew we had a great advantage there and we knew he had to come in and pit."
DID YOUR TRUCK SPUTTER?
"It never coughed or sputtered. I was definitely paying attention. I knew we didn't have a chance to run Ted down; I just rode in the second spot as conservatively as I could. The Last five laps I really kept my eye on the fuel pressure gauge. Off the middle of the corner it was five to nine pounds, down the straightaway it was down to three pounds. It was definitely starting to lose fuel. But it never coughed or sputtered, but there could not have been that much left."
RICKY HENDRICK, #17 GMAC/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO, rookie (fifth
-- pitted under green for a splash of fuel with 14 laps to go):
"The Team GMAC guys did a great job today. We just had to experiment with a new Silverado. A top-five finish isn't bad. I will take that every weekend. The big goal is the championship. It's a little disappointing not to be challenging for the win, but it was not our day today and hopefully it will be in Bakersfield."
YOU SAID PIT STRATEGY WOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT TODAY:
"We had tiny problems in the pits. It's something we will have to go back and look at. Everything is a learning process. The guys are learning, we're building for the future. We have the big picture in the distance, but we are getting closer and we're not there yet. Lance (McGrew, crew chief) made good calls all day."
ON THE DODGES RUNNING SO WELL IN THE BEGINNING, AND OF COURSE AT THE END:
"I don't know why. It did seem like the Dodges had a little advantage here. It's kind of the same way it was in Daytona and here. Maybe NASCAR will look at it and do something about it."
JACK SPRAGUE, #24 NETZERO/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO (third
-- pitted from the lead under green for a splash of fuel with 14 laps to go.
Sprague opted not to stop during final caution period on lap 105.
Unexpectedly, the race continued under green to the finish, 167 laps):
"If they made this race 15 laps shorter I would have won about three of them, or maybe 50 laps longer." ON MUSGRAVE: "He was good at the end of the race; he was better than I was. It would have been a good race; my Silverado was good at the end. We were running 38.20s and 38.40s the last 10 laps. The rest were running 39-second laps. He had a good truck. It would have been a very good fight. It would not have been as easy swapping the lead as it had been earlier. It was going to be a good fight. He was certainly the one I had to beat to win this race. I think it would have been real close."
DID THE WIND HAVE ANY EFFECT?
"It didn't bother me a bit. I thought it would have coming off (turn) 4, but I didn't feel it a bit."
WHEN YOU SAW RUTTMAN RUN OUT OF GAS ON THE LAST LAP WERE YOU THINKING THAT
MAYBE THE OTHER TWO IN FRONT OF YOU MIGHT?
"Logically they should have been. The Dodges don't get as good gas mileage as the Chevrolets do. Travis was probably pretty much out, Ruttman was out, Ted had some in his pocket."
"It was a great, clean race for me. I didn't scratch the Silverado; that's rare for me."
RANDY TOLSMA, #61 TEAM RENSI MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO (sixth):
"The crew and the Silverado worked well so early that it helped move us from 14th to the top six or seven most of the race. We just made adjustments. Craig Huartson (crew chief) did a great job, the guys did a great job, always giving me great track position. The Team Rensi Silverado was good. We hadn't been able to test this truck, we hadn't tested as a team on the flat tracks, we unloaded behind the 8-ball and we had a lot of work to do. We worked hard last night on our notes and put our heads together as a team and came here today with a completely different setup than we had all weekend. The hard work paid off and gave us a sixth-place finish."
DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH FUEL?
"No. We were one of those that had pitted (on the last caution) so we were in good shape to make the distance. We came in on a gamble on the last stop for fuel only and no tires. We knew the short stop would help us in track position. And it did help us."
DAVID DONOHUE, #16 TEAM RENSI MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO, rookie
(35th -- out after eight laps with loss of oil pressure because of an oil
"I was just kind of biding my time; I made up a couple of positions, I was following Tolsma (teammate) and I just bided my time not getting all anxious over anything. I felt we were in really good shape. Our Silverado may not have been the best, but it certainly seemed better than anyone around us. We had no idea where we would have ended up, I was far enough back. Until you get with the guys who are pacing the field you don't know how you are going to fare. It's a shame because we had changed a lot from Happy Hour to today because we were not pleased with it in Happy Hour. The changes were effective, but we will never know how much."
* Chevy Silverados led 56 of 167 laps (Sprague 53, Michael Ritch 3) Margin * of victory was 10.588 seconds Six caution flag periods for 21 laps 14 * lead changes among six drivers Ricky Hendrick holds on to second in * points championship * Five Silverados in top 10 in points: 2. Hendrick; 4. Tolsma; 5. Sprague; 9. Lance Norick; 10. Coy Gibbs