NAPA 250 Saturday quotebook MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 26, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPA 250 at Martinsville Speedway: JAY SAUTER No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet "I'm ...
NAPA 250 Saturday quotebook
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 26, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPA 250 at Martinsville Speedway:
JAY SAUTER No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet "I'm telling you, these guys are terrific. They made the calls. They knew when to pit and they gave me tires so I could be where I needed to be at the end. We had better tires and we just had to be smooth with it.
"Goodyear gives us an awesome tire and (crew chief) Todd Berrier, there's no body better at race strategy than him. They looked at all the tires when they came off and they made the decisions and they were the right decisions. By far I had the fastest truck in the race there at the end.
"When you've got better tires and you've got an open race track in front of you, you can drive easier, and believe me, at Martinsville you slow down to go faster. When you're in third you can't slow down. When you're in front you can take it easy and set your own pace. My hat's off to Chevrolet trucks, GM Goodwrench, RealTree and all those guys."
RICHARD CHILDRESS Owner, No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet "These guys were doin' a great job and I really feel good about what they are doin' and Jay has done an excellent job and the pit crew got him out. Todd Berrier made some great calls and it was a good day."
JIMMY HENSLEY No. 43 Cummins Dodge "On that first restart, Hornaday just raced me right from the drop of the flag. That second restart, he raced me hard into the corner. He said that he hit the curb and jumped into me in one and two, and when he took me to the wall in Turn 3 we were just racing hard. Racing hard is what Martinsville is all about, and that is what happened at the end of the race today. Ron and I have the utmost respect for each other. We're in this for the racing and the show, and today we put on a heck of a show for the Martinsville race fans.
"We had some brake problems in the middle of the race and dropped back to try to save the brakes. We got caught up behind some traffic and that put us back a bunch of positions. We did get back to the front and the brakes were good the rest of the race."
RON HORNADAY No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet "Racin' hard. I thought we had a great truck today. I'm glad that Sauter won, you know, Jay has just done an excellent job all year and had a good truck today. We were tight and (crew chief) Fred Graves loosened it up and then we were just loose up off the corners. Jimmy (Hensley) pushed up and I got underneath him and got a good run down there. I put some front brake in it and I skidded my front tires and hit the front curb and got into Jimmy. Hate to see that 'cause Jimmy runs me clean. It might have been his race and I messed him up, who knows. The NAPA Chevrolet was awesome, that's all I can say."
STACY COMPTON No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford "What can you say about this Royal Crown Ford? These guys, every time I came in the pits they got us three or four spots. To get a lap back at Martinsville is absolutely unreal to begin with, and then to come back and finish on the board was unreal. We had a great truck, and I think we had something for 'em, but we ran out of time. Our pit strategy was absolutely unreal. Every time we go race, they amaze me more and more. We struggled when we got here, and kept digging, and kept digging, and we ended up with a fourth place. It was a great run for us. The competition in the Craftsman Truck Series is getting tougher and tougher every week. I don't know how it can get any tougher."
RICH BICKLE No. 15 Turbine Solutions Ford "The guys did a good job on the team. We had a problem. The air cleaner broke, the throttle was sticking. We had about three-quarters throttle, and we lost a lot. I screwed up in the pits. I run the right front tires' air hose over. Then I came from the back. A lot of these guys don't give you room when you are on the outside. I guess they don't expect you to run on the outside here. We had a good truck. I just had to come from 15th and I used the stuff up coming to the front. Then I got up in the marbles, and lost four or five spots and that just killed us. But I had a good day."
DENNIS SETZER No. 29 Mopar Dodge "This Mopar Dodge team gave me an awesome truck with a strong motor. We just got loose toward the end of the race. I had a lot of fun in that truck today, it just started to get real hot there toward the end. We know we can win and run up front all day, now we just need a little bit of luck to get our time in Victory Lane. The race fans really made today great. I have raced late models here in the past and many of the fans remembered me and showed their support. It was just a great day for the Mopar Dodge team."
TONY RAINES No. 19 Pennzoil Ford "Today's hot temperatures caught me off-guard. I asked the team to look into a relief driver, but I decided to stick it out. We had a good truck, but if we had come in for lefts, it may have been the thing to do for the win."
(Raines was treated in the infield care center following the race. His team spokesperson reported he got oxygen when he left the truck, and then was administered an I.V. with saline solution.)
GREG BIFFLE No. 50 W.W. Grainger Racing Ford "We started out really good. We just don't quite have a handle on the truck yet. The Grainger Ford is running really good. I think we hurt the tires there a little bit at the beginning. It's just the way we've got the chassis set or the way I'm driving the track. I just need to learn these tires and the setup a little bit more. That's part of being in your rookie season. The first half it was too loose. The second half was too tight. There at the end, it was about half and half, and I couldn't do anything. I got some passes there on the outside. But you know, eighth is great for us. A top-10 is what we were after."
RANDY RENFROW No. 61 IWX Trucking Chevrolet "I'm tickled with that run. The truck was god a the beginning of the runs and it just got better and better that's why we stayed out so long at the beginning. We led a lot of laps and had the lead at halfway lap as a bonus.
"During the second half someone was losing oil or grease or something. I went 40 laps where I couldn't see the curb or make out the truck in front of me. Once we got the windshield cleaned up, we got back up there and I'm proud that this is my best truck series finish. I would like have that 40 laps back when I could see."
JACK SPRAGUE No. 24 GMAC Financial Chevrolet "It was just hot when you're fightin' a setup like that. The guys did a great job and made a great recovery. This thing was tee-totally out to lunch when the green flag dropped. I couldn't even keep it on the race track. (They put in) some 20 rounds of bite and track bar and air pressure and they actually got it to where it was decent. If I coulda got to the front, I think I could have led. But track position was so critical and hey, to come back to 10th after being back in the 30s, I guess that's a lot to be thankful for. It was a lot better than I thought we'd do."
MIKE BLISS No. 2 Team ASE Ford "The 16 (Hornaday) got into the 3 (Sauter) in three, and I guess I panicked. I hit the brakes hard. I got into the curb a little bit, and it spun me. I guess I just can't do anything right this year. It's really frustrating. I might have won the thing. Look at the 3. We were better than him. It's just the way it goes."
RICK CRAWFORD No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford "Let's start off with this Circle Bar Motel & RV Park/Big Daddy's BBQ Ford F-150 was hot. It was in the hot sauce today. To sum it up, we raced 250 laps here at Martinsville, and I burn everything up I had, including me, and I lost one position. So it was not a total disaster. Everything is still running, so now we're off to Sears Point. But like I said, everything in the old blue truck is burnt up. We had to abuse it all day, but she hung in there and gave me a good finish. When we get to Sears Point we'll give them a hard time on the road course and try to stay on the road."
TONY ROPER No. 55 Icehouse Beer Ford "It was really good, and then it started getting not so good, and then it got really bad. We were good at the start. We passed a lot of trucks. We were strong. We were really strong. I was very confident. We didn't pit, and we should have. It was a bad call, but we're still learning. I had to race a long time on old tires, and the truck was getting loose as it was. It was all I could do to hold on. I tried my best not to get in the wall. We got tires on finally, but we got a lap down. With the new left side tires it was definitely a lot better. I felt like we were a top-10 truck all day. But things just didn't work out that way, and then at the end we dropped a cylinder or a valve spring broke."
JOE RUTTMAN No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford "We hit the wall early on in the race, and knocked the toe out, so we went a lap down. We worked hard at getting our lap back, but we couldn't hold on to it. We got together with the 31 at the end and knocked the radiator out. Then we started overheating and just tied to finish as many laps as we could. It was really frustrating because we thought we had a good enough truck to work our way up towards the front."
Source: NASCAR Online