JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram) "Well, I'm happy with how the truck handled. Our pit stops and everything were great. Everybody at Ultra Motorsports did a great job, and we got the truck handling good, but it just won't run. We...
JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram)
"Well, I'm happy with how the truck handled. Our pit stops and everything were great. Everybody at Ultra Motorsports did a great job, and we got the truck handling good, but it just won't run. We can't qualify anymore, and we can't race up front. The last four races have been terrible for us. We've just got to find some speed and do our homework. It's getting a little disappointing. We were in the contention to win every race up until a few races ago. Now we've lost some speed somewhere."
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram)
"That Mopar Dodge has no luck this year. We've been fast - actually Mike Bliss was probably quicker today, but I think I just riled him up enough and wore his tires down at the end. We were just trying to use our experience to wear the guy down. We thought we had a shot to win it, but we cut a tire down on the backstretch. It wasn't worn out, and it wasn't a manufacturer problem or anything. We must have just run over a piece of steel or something, and it cut the right front tire down. That's just the way our luck has been this year. We've got a good team, a good Dodge truck, great sponsors and great people, but we just don't have the luck this year. If we get the luck we could be back in victory lane. I thought we were going to get it today, but it just didn't work out."
What went through your head when you experienced problems with less than 10 laps left?
"I think a bullet should go through my head right now. I want to kill myself. We just cut a right front tire. It wasn't a blister, not a manufacturer problem, not a wear problem, we just ran over something sharp and the tire went down on us on the back straightaway with about four laps left. Unbelievable. That's just kind of how the Mopar Dodge luck has been. We've been really good. Mike was better, but we wore him down. I riled him up, wore him down and got his tires hot, trying to use a little strategy on him. We're just trying to win a race for Dodge in the Manufacturer's Championship and for this team, for Mopar. It just doesn't seem like I've got Rick Crawford luck or something. I don't know. We'll just keep trying. We may be out of the points championship now, but it's not due to the fact that this team hasn't tried. It's nothing like that. We're just going to have to work harder and show them that we can still keep our heads up and win some races."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 NAPA/Orleans Dodge Ram)
"Our backup Dodge was fast today, and that's thanks to Orleans Racing and to Dodge. One of the things we said at the beginning of the year was that we had to stay with our primary trucks because we didn't think that we were a good enough team to have a backup Dodge that was as good. This was the Dodge that we call 'Old Faithful.' It's basically our oldest truck, and it's run all of five races. It performed beautifully. We were at the worst a third place truck. I think we were faster than the top two. Dodge has helped us out a ton, and we're happy to run with them. NAPA is gone, and American Racing Wheels is getting bigger. I've got to take care of the guys that are taking care of me. We're out on the West Coast and we pulled a backup truck and we're in the top-10 - I'll take that any day.
"On the last caution the No. 60 truck didn't want us to get our lap back. I was trying to be nice and let the No. 14, 46 and 60 have their own battle. I could have gone by them a couple of times. Rick Crawford has done a ton for me in my career and so has Dennis Setzer. So, I was just sitting there and letting them battle. I didn't want to interfere. I knew it would hurt us with the leaders getting away, but they're friends and they'd let me go. The yellow came out, and I went to go by, and the No. 60 truck pulled down in front of me. He didn't want me to get it back. I swerved to miss him, and I missed getting my lap back by about 100 feet. I had to downshift to third to get going again. That's just one of those things. He's battling us for points, so apparently he did the smart thing."
ROBERT PRESSLEY (No. 18 Dickies/Square D Racing Dodge Ram)
"On our first set of tires, man we were just awesome. We came all the way up to third place there, and we could go about wherever we wanted to. Then with the second and third set of tires - I don't know if it was a mismatched set or what it was - but we just couldn't get going on the second and third set. We're pretty sure what we've got to do about it, but I just can't say much about it."
CARLOS CONTRERAS (No. 43 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram)
"Yesterday the truck was really good all day long. Our middle entry into the turns was our best setup so far this year. Our Dodge ran good. We had a little bit of a problem in turns two and four. We were a little tight off, and then loose off. I think the track changed a little bit as well. We lost some positions on the restarts because I don't like to run them with sticker tires. I was mad when I saw the first yellow flag because if we ran all green today, then we would have finished in the top-10 easily. The restarts killed me, but we still finished 13th, and I'm happy for that. So we'll take this truck to California, and probably to Phoenix and probably Homestead."
BILL LESTER (No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram)
"We wanted a top-10, and we didn't get it. We gave it all we had though. The truck essentially was just too free in the middle of the turns, and too tight off. We pretty much corrected for it all day, and towards the middle to three-quarters part of the race I thought we were running pretty good. Then the truck started going away from us again, and started becoming a little tight off. We just didn't have anything for them today. I'm just glad that we brought this Dodge back in one piece.
"We had a little ordeal here with, I think, the No. 29 in turns one and two. I mean, the air was off the rear of my spoiler. I was already free in the middle of the corner, and when I went underneath him I just had nothing on the rear end. I basically did a tank slapper all through turn two. I thought I caught it - I was just chasing the wheel. Basically, I got caught behind the steering and spun it. Then what really got us was that we knew we flat-spotted our tires, we were already committed to pit road, and they said that the red flag was out. We got penalized for coming down pit road even though we didn't stop. That basically just broke our hearts. It put us back at the end of the longest line, and all we could do there was fight to get back. We wound up 17th, we're bringing home the truck in one piece, and we're pretty happy about that. This is our favorite Dodge. Now we're going to our next high-speed track in California, so we want to have this truck for it. So, we'll just keep on digging. It's our rookie year, we're learning and we're gelling together. Nobody is giving up on anybody else. We're just hoping that we're building a good foundation for next year."