DieHard 200 Quotebook WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 4, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series DieHard 200 at The Milwaukee Mile: MIKE BLISS No. 2 Team ASE Ford "I feel so good right now. It's...
DieHard 200 Quotebook
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (July 4, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series DieHard 200 at The Milwaukee Mile:
MIKE BLISS No. 2 Team ASE Ford "I feel so good right now. It's been so bad. This just feels so good, being injured and then coming back and winning. This team has always been there. Robert Yates gave us great motors. The ASE team just needed a break and we got it today. I just feel so good right now for the guys, my wife (Sue) and me. My wife has taken a lot of bs from me. You know how wives are. They take all the bad stuff. The truck was real tight at the first of the race. We just took a little bit of air pressure and track bar, and that ASE Ford was going right to the front.
"Yeah, it was probably one of the easiest races we ran all year, looking at our past. I didn't realize I was in the lead at half-time. Jack was up front and the 99 was up front, and I didn't know what happened to them. The second half the truck was just flawless. It would do anything I wanted it to do on the race track. I think that was the big key.
"The first half we were just really, really tight, and for the second half we made some air pressure adjustments and track bar adjustments, and that made it better. That was the key, and it turned really good off the corner.
"We always ran good here, but we just haven't finished good in the past. We run real well on flat tracks, but for some reason we've run into bad luck at a lot of places. You bring on your own bad luck, like running out of fuel. But that's dumb stupidity, not luck, so you just have to learn from the past and go on."
"I'm in more pain taking a shower than I am driving the truck. It has healed up really good. I broke my shoulder blade, the bottom of the shoulder blade on the right side. It's been a month, but I've also changed seats since then. I went to a Randy LaJoie seat which holds you with the shoulders instead of your rib cage.. I wouldn't have made it through the race with a rib support because the shoulder blade would have been hitting right on the back of that seat, right where I broke it."
"The first half Jack (Sprague) just took off, and I figured he just had this race. We were trying to figure out what we could do better with the truck to get it to run as good as Jack's. For the second half we just adjusted, not a big move, just little adjustments. That's all it takes, and maybe the track conditions changed in our favor too.
"It is big. At Bristol we had Dave Rezendes drive the truck. I drove just to get some laps for money and points. I did not like seeing the 2 truck running out there without me. It bothered the hell out of me. So I wanted to come back and win the race. I wanted to come back strong. I knew I could win a race. Everything just had to click right. It all went in our favor today. Part of winning is a little bit of luck. It takes more preparation before the race. Our guys have been working really hard, and they haven't given up on me. I really respect them.
"Oh yeah, especially when you say Milwaukie, and you don't finish it saying Oregon, and they say Wisconsin? And spelling is a little different. I came here with the champ cars when we ran her in 92, or something like that. I've always liked this track. I love flat tracks and it is a perfect laid out track, and I'd really like to see us run more than just once up here. I was really disappointed when they ran just once here and then canceled it. The midget race and Silver Crown were a lot of fun."
JIMMY HENSLEY No. 43 Cummins Dodge "Our pit strategy, you know, we stopped early under the first caution. Thank goodness we had enough gas to last. We got track position and there was only one truck who was able to come up there and get us, you know, that was Mike. He was hooked up pretty good. Other than that, I noticed Jack was coming on strong there at the end, but he ran out of laps, so it was a good day for us. I know it's my best finish here. I've run third here back in the '80s, and second today was by best finish here."
RICHARD PETTY Owner, No. 43 Cummins Dodge "They had a good run. They made a pit stop for gas, and they made it a little bit early, and that put him in the position up front. The truck ran pretty good, it was just not handling as good around for us. The truck pushed a little bit behind people, he couldn't get close to them, but when he got in front, he was okay."
JACK SPRAGUE No. 24 Team Hendrick Chevrolet "The Hendrick Chevrolet was pretty good today, just a little loose. But I cost us the race. It was my own stupidity, my own fault. I messed up and got slapped down. This one's going to bother me for sometime because I messed up. Running against Hornaday was a lotta fun. He raced me good.
RON HORNADAY No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet "Our NAPA Chevrolet ran best in the race. It was a little tight but I'll take it. Sprague got by me there at the last couple of laps. I was doin' the best I could just to hang on. We made a lot of changes coming here and we learned a bunch. We'll just put it in the record books. We know how to come back. I had a blast racing with Jack (Sprague). I hated to see him go to the back that way but Carelli did that at Watkins Glen and it's fair for everybody. I did the same thing at Bristol and they put us in the back. Jack came a long way to come back and finish third. I was just happy to finish behind him. We've been having some good fun racin' against Jack but he keeps finishing higher and getting those five points on us but we'll be all right. It's a long, long way to go in this championship yet."
GREG BIFFLE No. 50 W.W. Grainger Racing Ford "I wasn't trying to be overly cautious today, but I wanted to get a finish. We really had to be patient. I really thought we might be a little better, but I had to give up a lot of track position late in the race to some daredevil moves. I just didn't want to be involved in that. It was a long green at the end, and we could have run up there with Sprague and Hornaday, and they might not have got up there to us. But I'm happy to be fifth and have all the sides on the truck. The team did a great job. They moved us up three spots on that last fuel stop. We've just had some bad luck, and some stupid moves on my part. We're leading at Watkins Glen, we were leading Texas, and we had a really good truck at Bristol and I wrecked on the 17th lap. We've had a good equipment, and we've been leading two of the prior races coming into this so we know a win is not far off. But we didn't come into this to win. We just needed to finish."
RICK CARELLI No. 6 RE/MAX International Chevrolet "We came from 27th and ran with a lot of guys. We were better than some and not as good as others. We had a little brake problem the brakes wouldn't stop that well or I think we would have went farther up to the front. It was a new truck we tried this weekend and we liked it and it ran well. I think if it hadn't rained we might have qualified better because we were really set up yesterday before the rains came."
JOE RUTTMAN No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford "No matter how bad it is, that's a giant, a bunch better than I've ever run here. Matt (Chambers, crew chief) told me what was going to happen, and I'm not saying I don't believe him, but I thought we had adjusted enough that in the second half it was just wrong. Matt told me what the problem was, what was going to take place. That kind of messed us up in the second half, but the first half was pretty good. All in all, we picked up a bunch. If maybe we hadn't had to come back up through the traffic that would have put us a spot or two forward, and we could have picked up something in the points. But if I passed the pace, then I did something wrong. We tried to adjust, and I think we went the right way, but we just didn't adjust enough."
MIKE WALLACE No. 52 Purolator PureOne Chevrolet "How do you say you're satisfied and but dissatisfied at the same time. I'm tired of just running in the top-10. I want to win a race. I feel we can win a race we just got to get the consistency. We can get our Chevy trucks to run fast, we just got to get them to run fast every lap. Timmy (Kohuth, crew chief) says we need a different truck so let's unload one and we'll see if we can get the job done."
RON BARFIELD No. 35 Ortho Lawn Chevrolet "We had a pretty good day. You know we didn't have a real good set-up there the first half. We really took a lot of gamble there at he halfway point. We changed a lot there. The we ran pretty good there and when our gas window came up we went ahead and pitted. The guys did an excellent job. Ortho and New Holland, our sponsors, make it possible to go ahead and do both series. I'm looking forward to goin' to Nazareth next week."
STACY COMPTON No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford "Man, I think it's pretty obvious we had an awesome truck today. This Royal Crown Ford was as good as anything I've ever sat in. We had to run so hard to get our lap back. It wore our stuff out. Trying to get by Bliss, and then once we got by Bliss trying to get by the lapped trucks we just wore our stuff out. If we could have been right up front leading like we were I think we would have something for them. We running on the average quicker than the leader, but when you are mired back in traffic it's tough to get back up through there. Last year we didn't run very good here, but I think this is about as good a run as we had at Portland if you look at the way ran. I hate that we didn't finish any better than we did. I just wish we hadn't worn our tires out trying to get back by Bliss. But we were in a situation where you had know choice. You've just got to go. I had a pretty bad aero push when I was behind somebody. When I was in front the truck was awesome. When it was just Mike and out there and ahead of everybody I could tuck the nose underneath Mike and actually get a little downforce that way, but behind somebody we had a pretty bad aero push."
Source: NASCAR Online