BUSCH: Charlotte post race quotes

Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations CarQuest 300 Quotebook CONCORD, N.C. (May 24, 1997) The following are selected driver quotes from after the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division CarQuest 300 at ...

Report from Motorsport News International

NASCAR Public Relations

CarQuest 300 Quotebook

CONCORD, N.C. (May 24, 1997) The following are selected driver quotes from after the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division CarQuest 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

JOE NEMECHEK No. 87 BellSouth Mobility Chevrolet

"It was awesome. It was like I kept asking the crew, 'Are we going to run out of gas? What's going to happen?' We've always had a tough time here at Charlotte, but the car was awesome. It did just what it needed to do. On the last set of tires the car was on a rail. The key here at Charlotte is you've got to run right around the bottom. That's always been the fast way. Jeff Gordon wins races here doing that. We worked real hard in practice to get the car to run the left-side tires below the white line. I just can't say enough for all the people who have supported us. We've had a long, dry spell here. We've had a lot of tough times and a lot has happened in our life this year. But this one was for John (late brother). We won the pole for him at Talladega. This race was for him. He was watching over me. Everybody's just so awesome now. Losing my best friend ... my brother ... a part of our family ... to come back here to Victory Lane, I just wish he was here with me.

"Tier management is the key thing I learned today, and I think it'll help us out on Sunday in the 600. On brand new tires, you had to really pace yourself to keep the right front tire from folding up underneath the car. We played with a lot of air pressure, and you can't drive into the corners too hard. The Busch cars with 200 horsepower less than the Cup cars, you've got to be really careful getting in. In the Cup car, you'll probably go 40 mph faster in the corner but you've still got to make it through the corner. There's only so much grip you can have. I hope we're going to give it a heck of a run Sunday. We're starting fifth in the Cup car, and I can't say enough for Team SABCO."

KEVIN LEPAGE No. 88 HYPE Chevrolet

"We've been straggling all year long, but to come here to Charlotte and finish second to Joe Nemechek and beat that 60 car is a testimony to our race team. We haven't been performing the way we were last year. We sat down last night after happy hour and did a good job deciding what we were going to put under the car today. We had some really good pit stops. We had been struggling, but we got back today. That T&L Motor was awesome. Maybe this will turn our season around."

MARK MARTIN No. 60 Winn-Dixie Ford

"That's all we had. That was as good as it gets. He (Nemechek) was real strong all day. I'm glad Joe won it, if we couldn't win it. Kevin (Lepage) ran good, too. That's all we had. We had nothing else for either of 'em."

JIMMY SPENCER No. 20 Zippo Chevrolet

"The last time we had this car out, it finished second at Texas. So this wasn't bad. We knew we had a top-five car. We were too tight. Our pit work needs some improvement, and we'll work on that. We had too much right front shock today."

PHIL PARSONS No. 10 Channellock Chevrolet

"We had an air wrench go bad a couple of times on our pit stops and we got behind every time. It's tough to pass out there on fresh tires, but once our tires got heat in them we could go to the front. We needed another caution with about 15 or 20 laps to go. We ran comparable speeds to the leaders, but we just never got with them. We're getting closer. I'm really happy for the Nemecheks. They're a great racing family. I'm sure this will give them a shot in the arm."

BUCKSHOT JONES No. 00 AquaFresh Pontiac

"Man, it's pretty hot out there. We were off a little bit on our pit stops and I made a mistake out there, so I think we could've finished a lot better than we did. I wouldn't say we'd have won the race, but we could've finished better. We got so far behind when I messed up that one pit stop, but the guys gave me a great car. I know a win's gonna come along before long, maybe even next week."

TODD BODINE No. 36 Stanley Pontiac

"We're not used to this warm weather. The Busch Series has been racing under cloudy skies and 50 degree temperatures. It got pretty hot in the car. My fresh air pump disconnected during the race, so I was breathing some pretty nasty stuff. But I guess sticking it out paid off. We're back in the (points) lead."

JASON KELLER No. 57 Slim Jim Chevrolet

"I tell ya, when I got spun down through the grass, I was thinking 'son-of-a-gun.' We had to go back to about 24th or so. That just shows how good of a race team we've got where we can unload a backup car with little laps at speed, and go out there and perform like we did today. I'm tickled to death. In hindsight, you're always wondering what would've happened if we hadn't wrecked that other car. But this ol' car here ran pretty good, and if you can unload one this fast, that's pretty good. If we hadn't got run through the grass there, we were really gonna have a good finish. But anytime you can come out of here with a top-10 finish is pretty good."

HERMIE SADLER No. 1 DeWalt Chevrolet

"I guess you get 'em when you don't expect to get 'em. Charlotte's definitely one of my favorite places, but a good race car makes all the difference in the world. We worked hard on this car and made a bunch of changes on it. If I'm comfortable, then I can run on any race track with anybody, but I haven't been comfortable all the time. These guys know what I need in a car now. Pit stops hurt us a little bit today, but the guys have been picking me up all year so I had to pick them up a little bit today."

RANDY LAJOIE No. 74 FINA Chevrolet

"Considering we had a bad day and finished 10th, I guess it was a good day. We were OK at the start and then the car got wicked loose. We tried to adjust it and it got worse. Everything we did to tighten it up, we had to undo. It was just a bad day. The motor wouldn't run. It was terrible. Dover is coming up, and if we're not good at Dover, then we've got to take a serious look at our program."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Joe Nemechek