Topeka Post Race Quotes

Lund Look 275K Sunday Quotebook TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 23, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Lund Look 275K at Heartland Park Topeka: STACY COMPTON No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford "How ...

Lund Look 275K Sunday Quotebook

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 23, 1998) Quotes from selected drivers following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Lund Look 275K at Heartland Park Topeka:

STACY COMPTON No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford

"How about these guys with the Royal Crown. We had great pit strategy. We had an awesome truck. We sat there and rode around and tried to stay in contention. A couple of guys broke, but we were running as quick as the leaders. Track position is so important here. These guys did such a great job. What can you say. I've got the best crew around. They made a heck of a call in the pits. They told me to stay out there. We just had a great truck all day. I knew we had a good truck. All we had to do was hit the restart and not run out of gas.

"We have really needed this. We've come awfully close on a couple of occasions since Portland. This is a tribute to the guys. I felt we were going to run out of gas. They said we were in good shape. You do your job, and we'll do ours. We would catch Bliss, and we'd lose him. The front three trucks, we'd gain a tenth, and we'd lose a tenth. Without the caution I don't think we could have caught them. But the good lord was looking after us, and we got a caution. We had some lucky breaks, but we also had a heck of a truck. Mike (Bliss) was good and Boris (Said) was great. He always is on a road course. Boris helped me a bunch this weekend. I went down and got some words of wisdom from him. Boris is a great road racer.

"The guys made a call. We took left tires, I think one time. They kept saying stay consistent, and hopefully we'll have something left for these guys at the end. That's what we done. We tried not to do anything crazy. In practice I had a bad habit of charging the corners, and flat spotting the tires. One time today I smoked the tires. I tried to stay calm, and tried to do what I was supposed to do. We had a great truck. This is the truck we sit on the pole with at Phoenix. This was a good win for us. To win on a road course with a bunch of RC people here. Once again, our owner wasn't here. We won at Portland and he wasn't there. We won here, and he wasn't here so he's grounded. He can't ever come again. It was a good win for us. Any time you can come up in a series like the Craftsman Truck Series and run competitive, that is a good, much less win. It is a major accomplishment for us.

"I knew we had a competitive truck. Experience-wise, no. With time I think we can be good on the road courses. We ran good at Watkins Glen at times, but we never could get through the esses. Then we came here, and we were third quickest in practice. It was a great truck. We were in the top-five the entire day. The driver made a little miscue in qualifying, and got us back too far in qualifying. We knew we had a top-five truck. We knew we had the equipment to come here and run with these guys. I just hoped I could do my job. I didn't know if I could outrun Boris and Ron (Hornaday) and Jack (Sprague) and Joe Ruttman.

"It gives us confidence when we go to the next race. We've run so good so many times this year, and come up just a little bit short. Flemington we should have won, and came up just a little bit short. But we're subject to win at any time if I can do my job, and have a little luck go our way. Today we had a little bit of both. We had a lot of luck. We had great equipment, and I guess I sort of done my job."

KEVIN CRAM Crew chief, No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Ford

"I can't believe it. I'm in shock. I mean I can't believe it. To come here and first of all, practice as good as we did. And to consistently be in the top group. I knew that we had it. This Royal Crown Ford just hung in there all day. It was tough. I think Stacy has turned into a road course racer. Maybe we do want to run four of these next year."

JIMMY HENSLEY No. 43 Cummins Dodge

"We didn't feel like we had a third-place truck today. I just kept the Cummins Dodge on the track and missed the wrecks. I tried to keep the tires on the truck because I really felt like we had better tires on toward the end of the race. I'm not really course racer, but we'll take it. This almost feels like a win here at Topeka."

BUTCH MILLER No. 18 DANA Dodge

"I'm flat wore out. The air cooling system quit and I just started braking. There was no air coming into the truck and I really started having trouble concentrating. The DANA Dodge was great all day. We were fast down the straight and we handled well, too. I didn't need the last caution. If it had stayed green, I think we could have gotten to second or third. But it was so hard to concentrate during those yellow flags."

JOE RUTTMAN No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford

"We weren't real good, but we were decent. We got caught up in a NASCAR decision and got sent to the back of the pack. With the competition this close, it is tough to start in the back. You run the hell out of your equipment. At least the old Exide Battery stayed up, and the Ford kept plugging along. We still probably had a decent finish. We got caught up in that with about 10 laps to go. We got caught up in Turn 2 in that spin over there. I spun. We were probably racing for sixth or something like that. Here with a stop and go you go from ninth to dead last, and then battle your way back. It's hard on the tires. It's hard on the equipment, on the transmission. Under the circumstances I guess we probably salvaged pretty good. I still think we had a probably sixth-place truck, and that would probably have been it anyway. Wallace missed a shift, and when they make an umpire decision like that, it is really tough to go to the back. We'll just have to live with that, go on and keep digging."

TOMMY ARCHER Relief driver, No. 29 Mopar Dodge

"This Mopar Dodge was great today, but it sure was hot. I was happy to jump in the truck for Bob (Keselowski), but in a situation like that with little practice, it is like dancing with a new partner and I had to figure out what the truck was going to do on the track. I just kept my patience and tried not to use up my tires. I think we were picking up positions every five laps."

TOM HUBERT No. 66 Carlin Burners & Controls Ford

"We had a little of everything go wrong. We had a fuel pump problem probably a third of the way in. The fuel pressure would drop to zero on the restarts. That got us kind of behind. Then we lost third gear. We lost third gear after the second pit start. Then on one of the last restarts we got to the inside, and got around a bunch of them. We thought we were okay, and then all heck broke loose up front, and we couldn't get stopped.

"We were just trying to run far enough into the fuel window so we would have newer tires. But that was when we first started to notice the fuel pressure fluctuating. We thought we were just low on fuel, but apparently it was something else that bit us in the end. We'll be at Louisville next week, and give it another shot.." BORIS SAID No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford

"We broke the drivetrain. The truck was good all day, and we just paced ourselves, and we made a really good pit stop, and at the end we had something for Bliss. Something broke in the rear end when I went by him. I went by him, and just all of a sudden had a bunch of neutral. I feel really bad for the sponsor. They've been sticking with us all year. I put a lot of effort into it. We'll win one of these sooner or later. The Ford was good all day. It was really tough. It just broke six laps too soon."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Joe Ruttman
Teams Carlin