Sears Point Post Race Quotes

Kragen/Exide 150 Sunday quotebook SONOMA, Calif. (Oct. 11, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kragen/Exide 150 at Sears Point Raceway: BORIS SAID No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford "These...

Kragen/Exide 150 Sunday quotebook

SONOMA, Calif. (Oct. 11, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kragen/Exide 150 at Sears Point Raceway:

BORIS SAID No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford

"These things aren't easy to win. That's for sure. I won in every kind of racing I've ever been in, and this is the toughest thing I've ever been in in my life. These guys at Irvan/Simo Racing gave me a great truck today. We had a lot of people from Federated Auto Parts today. It was a tough day because I saw Ernie (Irvan) crash really bad right before our race, and I couldn't get a hold of anybody. Somebody on the radio told me he's okay. He's just banged up. I'm glad he's okay. That's what I was thinking about in the truck -- I hope Ernie's okay because the other team owner Mark Simo crashed really bad yesterday. So it was a bad weekend for management, but the peons held up their end of the bargain. "We won this race finally. Winning the first one is definitely the hardest. This Ford F-150 was one tough truck today. The tires were great. The truck was great. I was banging off the curb. We've come a long way in a year, and hopefully we'll be able to win one of these things on an oval one day. That would be really big for me. This is a big win for me today. It's the biggest of my career so far. I've just never raced with such a depth of field that runs so close together. Of course I have an advantage on the road courses because that's all I've ever done. Hopefully, maybe some day I can win on an oval. This Ford today was really fast. We had something for the Chevys today. That's really good because Ford has been supporting me for a while. "We had a lot of people from Federated Auto Parts here. They are having a meeting Tuesday to talk about next year so this was a good time to win for me. We've struggled all year long, and most of that is because of my inexperience. I've always said the team is a top-five team with a top-20 driver. I've been making progress. I think we are getting closer to being competitive in this series. Today really proved it. We had the best pit stops. We had really good pit strategy. Everything went just right together. This is a truck that Irvan/Simo Racing designed and built completely in-house. We formed a company called Signature Racing Engines. That's in-house too for us so today the engine and the chassis was really good, and I think that shows a lot for the team. Dale Phelon, Ernie Irvan and Mark Simo got together and formed it. We had some bad luck last year with our engines. I was a little apprehensive going into it with three new guys, but we've had really good engine power, and I'm pretty pleased with the engine we had today."

HOW DID YOUR ASSOCIATION WITH ERNIE START? "When Mark Simo, the owner of No Fear, started a truck team, he partnered up with Ernie Irvan. At the time, I was racing for Jack Roush in the Trans Am Series, and just as a friendly thing I went to all of the races helping out in the management thing. It was interesting to me to learn about NASCAR and how it works. Before last year I'd never been on an oval before in my life. It was a good way to be around the series for a couple of years before I decided to actually make the switch from road racing to try to make it in NASCAR. I knew how hard it would be. Ernie Irvan talked me into doing it. It's pretty clear what the state of road racing is in this country. NASCAR is like the McDonald's of racing. Everything they touch turns to gold. They have a good formula and good management. They provide a series where people can make a living at it. It's viable for all the manufacturers. Unfortunately, the state of road racing has really been just a bunch of guys with money racing. For guys like me without any money that want to do it for a living can't, so you have to do this. "I used to race for Tom Gloy Racing so I've got a 1000 laps around this track. I think that's the difference when I go to a Martinsville, and these guys have raced there for years and have thousands of laps. This is home for me. I don't have to spend any time learning the track. It is just second nature."

WITH WHAT HAPPENED TO ERNIE TODAY, IS THIS SPECIAL FOR THE TEAM AND YOU? "I think so. When I went over to eat lunch I was watching the race, and he was doing really good. Then all of a sudden they were cutting the roof off a car, and it was Ernie. Ernie is one of my best friends. The other team owner, Mark Simo, crashed pretty bad in the BMW at Road Atlanta. I tried calling his (Ernie's) mobile, his wife's mobile and the trailer and I couldn't get hold of anybody for an hour. At that point it hurt my mind a little bit going into the race. But I figure Ernie would want me to do the best job I can so I just blocked it out. Then when we started the race, somebody said he was talking and alert so hopefully it will be good. He's a tough guy."

HOW MUCH HAVE YOU WORKED WITH HIM ON OVALS? "A lot. We are best friends and we talk on the phone every day. We're talking about something. I always pick his brain. I always say if you dig deep enough in his brain, eventually you'll get something good out of it. He doesn't know a lot about a lot of things, but he is one of the greatest race car drivers in the world. He has helped me a tremendous amount. I don't think a guy like me with no experience in this series could do as well as I have in two years without somebody like him teaching me."

HAS HE TOLD YOU TO BE PATIENT AND IT WILL COME? "That's a big thing. Especially this weekend was be patient and save the equipment. He just knows a lot about tracks and what I need to do with the truck so it is good for a long run. Braking, lifting, how much brakes. He's a good road racer, but personally I think now I can kick his behind in road racing. I got to race Watkins Glen, and I got to beat him, but he was parked in the gravel so it wasn't a fair fight. We have a pretty good rivalry between ourselves in road racing. I think this year we are going to race the 24 Hours at Daytona together so that should be pretty neat. We've got some side bets going."

WAS THERE ANY FALL-OUT WITH THE INCIDENT HERE WITH RICH BICKLE LAST YEAR? "Yeah, I got fined pretty heavily. But I'd do the same thing again I think. I feel like I respected him all year long, and I don't feel he respected me when I was fast. We had an incident. I drive with a lot of heart. Sometimes I say things I shouldn't say. That's just the way I am and the way I drive. I'd probably do it again."

MIKE BLISS No. 2 Team ASE Ford "There was no way I could get Boris. When we had 10 to go, I was thinking 'OK, second place is not a bad thing. Don't run off the track. Just keep it.' I looked in my rearview mirror, and I had a little cushion on Tony, and then all of a sudden he was right on me. The only place I thought he could get around me was in seven. When we went into 11 I just kind of blocked and he went out to the outside. Something good happened today. When I locked the brakes up we had to come in and get tires. That was about lap 20. Then when the yellow came out we were up front, so all day the track position came our way, and that is what the issue is here. This track is so tough. I learned a lot today following Hubert and Boris. It's tough when you're out there by yourself thinking 'Where am I a second off in the pace.' When you get right behind them, it's pretty easy. It's here, and here, and here. It just takes a 10th in every corners, and that's a lot with 11 corners. We were real conservative in practice, and didn't practice a lot. I knew the truck was good. I just wanted to race."

YOU MADE UP A LOT OF GROUND EARLY. DID YOU USE UP YOUR TIRES? "Yeah. I did that one time on Biffle. I kind of cut on it. He was probably two truck lengths ahead, and I locked the right front up. Early on I was good getting in there, but I locked it up that one time."

TONY RAINES No. 19 Pennzoil Ford "I thought we had a pretty good truck. We anticipated the truck getting a little tighter during the race, so I don't think we were quite as good as we could have been. For a while there during the race, it didn't seem like I could pass anybody."

HOW DID THE STOP AND GO PENALTY PLAY ON THE FINAL RESULT? "It certainly hurt us. It was a 15-second penalty. We came out right in front of Boris who was running first at the time so we had to run pretty hard to stay on the lead lap. When he finally pitted, we could slow up a little bit, but we used up a good bit of our tires."

JOE RUTTMAN No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford "Yuck. Well, it wasn't sooooo bad. Our Exide battery didn't go dead, and our F-150 ran great. The other guys were just faster than we were. There were a couple little things that might have made us better. I don't know if we could ever have gotten up to Boris. He was awful fast. We got up to the 2 and the 19, but late in the race they had us a little bit. We were maybe the fourth- or fifth-fastest truck, and that's where we run. We'll just have to come back with some ideas. Whether those ideas are great or not, we'll just have to see. When the race started off, it was probably a little worse than we practiced. The guys got her close, but we probably didn't ever get it just right. We just hung in there."

JIMMY HENSLEY No. 43 Cummins Dodge "We drove hard all day and really gained on pit stops. I don't think that I passed many trucks on the race truck, but I passed a bunch on pit road and that makes my job a lot easier. The Cummins Dodge ran a great race today and this crew worked hard to gain positions on pit road. This new layout is fast, but there are definitely less passing zones. But we pulled off another top-five. We'll take it!"

ANDY HOUSTON No. 60 Addington Chevrolet "It wasn't bad. Our pit strategy was the key. Rick Ren, our crew chief, made some really smart calls in the pits and everything went our way. To come home with a top-10 on a road course, hey, we'll take it. Everybody knows that I ain't got a lot of experience on road courses, but we're learning. Next year we'll have it all together."

LANCE NORICK No. 90 NHL Dodge "During qualifying we had a problem with a part in the transmission and that caused us to have to start in the back of the field. We missed the final practice yesterday and then today we were just awesome from the time we started the race. We never had to make any adjustments and the crew gave me some great pit stops. We gained positions on each pit stop. We came from 28th to seventh and that really says a lot about this team. We're ready for the rest of the season and looking forward to Bakersfield."

JAY SAUTER No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet "We had a good run today and we'll take eighth place. We ran good all day and stayed on the track and didn't tear the truck up too much. We are heading to Bakersfield and Mesa Marin and I'm looking forward to a good day on a short track."

JACK SPRAGUE No. 24 GMAC Financial Chevrolet "The guys did a great job and the truck was awesome. The GMAC Chevrolet was the best truck I've ever had here at Sears Point. Everything was good until I hung the shifter and we came and unhung the shifter and changed tires. I left the pits and NASCAR said I was speeding but I don't think I was. They brought me back in and held me for 15 seconds and I lost a lap. I got the lap back and got back on the lead lap. I got back to ninth. I had an awesome truck but it is just hard to pass here. We picked up the points lead and that's great."

DOUG GEORGE No. 84 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford "The Porter-Cable crew and Ford ran great. We just missed her a little bit on setup, and kept shoving the nose. We couldn't get off Turn 11 very good. But we're real happy with a 10th-place finish. I thought we had a top-five truck, but we just couldn't quite get it hooked up all day long. Right there at the end we had a confrontation with a couple trucks, and kind of knocked it wacky right there at the end. I duked it out with Carelli for 10th-place spot, and I edged him out by about six inches. It was a definite drag race between the Yates Ford and the Chevrolet, and the Ford pulled it off."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Tom Gloy , Dale Phelon , Jack Roush