Chevy Trucks 150 Sunday Quotebook PHOENIX (April 19, 1998) Selected quotes following the Chevy Trucks 150 at Phoenix International Raceway: RON HORNADAY No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet "Fred Graves and this whole NAPA team is just...
Chevy Trucks 150 Sunday Quotebook
PHOENIX (April 19, 1998) Selected quotes following the Chevy Trucks 150 at Phoenix International Raceway:
RON HORNADAY No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet
"Fred Graves and this whole NAPA team is just awesome and our Chevrolet was awesome, too. I don't know if we were able to save our tires for the end we saved them and we didn't. Sprague set a terrific pace. The first half I got tight 'cause Jack and I got into each other going into three. I told them all we had to do was pull that fender back out at halfway and we'd be good. It started getting loose in the second half and I said 'Oh, no!' so I started driving my old line and makin' the thing push.
"When I saw Jack slip and I said 'it's mine.' We got to the next corner and I starting to get loose. We got side-by-side and that got him loose and that was it.
"He set a heckuva pace ... that's why he's masterful at this race track. It was a heckuva race all day. Jack and I turned each other sideways more than once. I got into the ripples once, he didn't like that and got back into me. He's tough to beat here but we came out on top today.
"We had a few altercations. I think I'm one or two up on him (Sprague) maybe. I got loose in the side of him and hit him pretty hard coming off the rumble strips on the backstretch. We both got sideways several times. P.I.R. is slippery when you run three races on it. I had to keep my truck tight so I ran harder to get my front tires hot so that I could get loose. I'll be the first to admit I hit him hard last race. When I ran Sprague's line, I was tight and when I ran down low, I was loose. P.I.R. puts on a great race. We came here and tested and it paid off. It's tough to beat Sprague here." (About Sprague passing him after halfway break.) "He came up under me in the corner and I decided to let him go. I may have waited too long and when they told me there was 30 to go, I started moving. Lapped traffic worked in my favor and it probably hurt Sprague."
JACK SPRAGUE No. 24 1-800-MARROW2 Chevrolet
"I was loose the first half and we tightened it up and I got loose again in the second half. I was probably lucky I didn't wreck the thing. (Turns) 3 and 4 were my strong point and (Turns) 1 and 2 were my weak point. He knocked me around in 1 and 2 and I couldn't get him back. I fought with all I had and came in second. Not bad. The track was as slippery as I've ever seen it. The last 20, I got terrible loose. Second ain't bad.
"We got too lose and I couldn't hold him off."
About 'rubbing' with Hornaday.
"That happens all the time. Any time you get around him, you know that could happen. I was moving up the track at the end to try to get a hold of something but the truck was just way too loose. It didn't turn out all that bad. Of course, we much rather would've won it. He got underneath me somewhere here and we went in there with three or four to go and he (Hornaday) knocked me into the stay dry and I couldn't get him."
Did slower traffic have any effect at the end?
"I was fighting for all I was worth to keep the thing under control. They did a good job of getting out of the way it's not their fault that I was loose, you know what I'm saying?"
STACY COMPTON No. 86 RC Cola Ford
"The first half was a good practice session since we didn't have any Happy Hour yesterday (Compton was on-line to practice when the session was closed). Jack got inside me. I knew better than to race him. I just waited until halftime. We made some good adjustments and they got away from us. We caught them a little when they were battling it out. Third place ... we'll take it. I was hoping to get up between them while they were battling. We'll take a third and we'll build on that going into Portland. Andy Houston was giving me some pressure. He was better than us in (Turns) 1 and 2 and we were better in (Turns) 3 and 4. We were both saving our tires. Andy's a good driver and he realized what I was doing. The track was really slippery. A sixth last race, a third this race -- you better keep your eyes on this Royal Crown Ford."
ANDY HOUSTON No. 60 Addington Racing Chevrolet
"It was a good day for us. We were really shooting for a top-five or top-10. I had to get a good finish. The truck was just a little tight up off the corner. I think that was the difference today. I think Stacy (Compton) was the same way. Hornaday and Sprague were both really tough. Hornaday, he gets down to late in the race, and it looks like he just dug down deeper and pulled something out. We'll take it and build on it at Portland and see if we can do it again."
RICK CRAWFORD No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford
"We were running them down at the end. If it had been 167 laps like it was at Homestead I think we could have won another one. We're really proud of this Tom Mitchell Circle Bar Ford F-150 team. Two top-fives in a row. Maybe we'll be back in winner's circle before too long. That's what we're looking for."
JOE RUTTMAN No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford
"Considering we kind of struggled all day long, we're going to take it and go away. We are not where we want to be, but I think we came away with some input. I can't understand why we didn't run better. It's a shame that the other truck (Biffle) didn't run longer because it might have given us an idea of what we needed to do. But we can't complain. We started kind of deep in the field. I was a seventh place truck. That was the best I could have done. It's a lot better than 22nd. The points are paramount in my mind. I just wish I hadn't screwed up in Homestead. We'll just carry on and learn something. We kind of over-adjusted from the first half. The second half we were loose, and we went a tick too far and it made it tight. We just over-corrected. But now we can go back and digest what we've done. It might had made a couple positions difference if we had adjusted just perfectly. If our teammate had kept going -- he had a different set-up under his truck, and that would have given us an idea maybe. We had deliberately gone different than what they had so we could get the input from the two trucks. It just didn't work out. He would have had to run maybe 15 or 20 laps then we could have digested their set-up."
BRYAN REFFNER No. 66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford
"This is probably the first time we've gotten to finish one of these races." (Team manager Emory Donaldson said the team had used today's truck six times and this was the first race it finished.) "I knew the track got greasy at the end of this race, but I didn't know how much. We were a little tight, and we tried to compensate for it. Then we were just a little too loose at the end of the race. We adjusted for it, but we didn't go far enough because we didn't know. But it was a good feeling that we got to finish, and we got to finish top-10. We ran up front all day, so it's a good feeling for me and the team. If we can just keep going from here, we'll be in good shape."
TONY RAINES No. 19 Pennzoil Ford
"It was a long one (race) -- I know that. We were afraid of a really tight race track. We made quite a few adjustments before the race, and we got pretty loose off. We made a small adjustment at half-time thinking that the track would get tighter, which is what has happened to us in the past two races, but that didn't happen so we were still a little bit loose. I don't know for sure where we finished, ninth or tenth, but maybe that will get some momentum going. The last few races we haven't had much luck finishing well. This isn't where we want to be, but it's a start."
TONY ROPER No. 31 Big Daddy's BBQ Ford
"We didn't change one thing at half-time because we really felt like we were coming on like gang busters at the end of the first half. The second set of tires just wasn't quite as good. The other thing was that some of the lapped trucks kind of ran me hard a little bit there on the restart, and I think I got the right rear hot, and that probably doomed me for any more positions. Still at the end, I tried my best to save the tires. Hey this Ford F-150 finished today, and we're excited about it. If we'd had a little more time, we'd have been in the top-10, no doubt. Hey, that's the way it goes. That's one in a row, and we'll look for two in a row next week."
JIMMY HENSLEY No. 43 Cummins Engine Co. Dodge
"Team-wise, I think we made major gains today. The Cummins Dodge team made some changes yesterday that we didn't really get to try, but they really helped us out. We've been struggling a little bit this year, but hopefully today we got past that -- we'll see if we can go to Portland and duplicate or improve our performance, and keep improving."
DOMINIC DOBSON No. 78 MCI/Mopar Dodge
"We came here to qualify and to finish, and that's what we did. I'm really pleased for MCI, Dodge and Mopar, and for the team -- they deserved a finish. This series has been a challenge for us from the beginning, but we've had great support from MCI and Dodge, and the guys on the team have done a great job of getting us ready. Every lap is so important to us at this point -- we learn something every time around."
BUTCH MILLER No. 18 DANA Corporation Dodge
"You hate when this sort of thing (blown engine) happens, but you've got to go on -- put it behind you, make sure nobody loses any confidence, and go on... We missed something on the handling, and I couldn't tell you where. The truck faded faster than it should have. The engine seemed pretty good until it blew up."
BOB KESELOWSKI No. 29 Mopar Performance Dodge
"There's not much you can do when things go wrong like this weekend did. You just try to learn from your mistakes. We'll go up to Portland and get ready for that one.
"There was nothing wrong with the Mopar Dodge after we went back out. We were down so many laps, we decided to use it as testing -- take it back out, make a few changes, and see what they do for us. It couldn't hurt at that point."
MIKE BLISS No. 2 Team ASE Ford
"We lost a motor. We lost all the oil pump belts. We tried to put them back on and go back out, and the motor just seized up. That's (the string of no DNFs) a good deal, I guess. The biggest thing is that I hate to not finish any race. We've been fortunate to go without motor problems. This was just one. There's nothing you can do about this."
LANCE NORICK No. 90 NHL Dodge
"Something was wrong from the green flag -- we knew we were in trouble. It was not a good weekend. The throttle stuck for sure -- something internal failed, and we couldn't keep going. Sometimes you have these kinds of weekends. I'll be looking for redemption next week at Portland, and the No. 90 team will be ready to go."
GREG BIFFLE No. 50 W.W. Grainger Racing Ford
"There was a little bit of pushing and shoving going on. We were real tight together. We were coming off of turn four over here. I got too high or got up into the marbles coming off the wall.. It cut the right front tire or something. I thought it was fine. I thought the truck was all right. I didn't hit anything too hard I don't think. I just scraped it, and it must have cut the right front tire enough to take the brake line off, and the right front tire was flat. I went into that corner (Turn 1) and I had no brakes."
Source: NASCAR Online