BUSCH: Darlington: Ford Racing race quotes


JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)

TALK ABOUT THE LAST FEW LAPS WITH GREG BIFFLE CLOSING ON YOU. IT LOOKED LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE BROUGHT A KNIFE TO A GUNFIGHT COMPARED TO YOU. "Greg keeps a pistol loaded all the time. Actually, it's a great race team over there. We've worked really hard together this winter and they're as much to do with our success as our own team. We combine the two teams in a great way and it's great to finish first and second. He was better than us at the end. We got real tight and he was coming."

YOU CAR, UP UNTIL THAT LAST CAUTION, LOOKED LIKE IT KEPT GETTING STRINGER WHILE OTHER FADED. "Our strength was on long runs. We were fast at the start, too, but Jason Keller was fast, and we hurt him on long runs. That was our strength - long runs. I didn't want to see the caution come out, but I felt good enough about the car. I'm surprised that it got that tight, and I'm glad it wasn't two or three laps longer."

COULD YOU HAVE MADE IT ON FUEL WITHOUT THAT LAST CAUTION? "We were planning on going all the way. I backed up a little bit, trying to save the tires; I think everybody did. It looked like everybody stopped spinning tires and all that stuff we do. I t looked like we needed to save some tires and take care of them because it looked like it was going to be a long run. That's the hard thing about not running hard, you don't know what you're car is doing, and I didn't make the right call on the car to get it to do what it needed to do at the end based on we were running hard earlier."

WILL THIS HELP YOU TOMORROW? "Probably you could more when you had Happy Hour after the race. Now that Happy Hour is before the race, it's hard to take anything from this car to the other car because it's a gamble. It's a risk. When you're running good you hate to take a risk, but when you're running poorly, you would take everything and put at it. The Cup car is running good, it's not great, but it's pretty darn good. We just made a few little changes and we'll see what happens with it."

BRAD PARROTT, Crew Chief-9-Gain Ford Taurus

"This is not a bad way to start the season. Jeff is a great driver and we have a great race team at Roush Racing. I can't thank the guys at the fab shop that put this car together. This is the same car that he won with in last September, but we made some changes. He asked me in Vegas if we were going to bring this car, and I said, 'Of course we're bringing the same car you won with last time.'' He's a great driver. He can do anything he wants with it."

WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THIS TEAM HAS DONE IN THE PAST? "The last couple of years, he's brought the same attitude as far as the setups and everything. I've brought some new ideas over here that I learned being with Yates for the four years, and so far this is working out pretty good for me.

JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Finished 4th)

YOU RAN IN SECOND PLACE MOST OF THE DAY. WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT LAST PIT STOP? "I kept telling the crew that I was a little bit loose, so they kept tightening it up and tightening it up, and I just really sent them in the wrong direction. I had a good solid top five. We qualified third and ran good all day. We need to get this Albertsons Ford in Victory Lane a little bit more often, but I'll take a top-five at Darlington any day."

YOU'RE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT. DID THAT PLAY INTO YOUR STRATEGY TODAY? "We tried hard all day long. It was the best effort we possibly could as a race team. We just need to fine-tune a little bit. We tried to make some changes on the car, but it wasn't perfect. It was a really good race car, but these days you have to be perfect to win the race. I don't know if that was the best we had. We definitely didn't have the winning car, but we hung in there all day long. We had a lugnut fall off on that last pit stop, and that got us behind a couple of cars. All in all, it was a good day. We just have to keep getting these top-fives and we'll be solid in the points. Anytime that you have a little bit of an off day and still finish in the top five is pretty cool."

GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Finished 2nd)

"We used a different strategy in this race. The car had been that good about the whole race. We have always run terrible here and the key was to take care of the tires and wait your turn to go after the leader. The guys put me in position on that last pit stop and got me out in the second position, and I'll tell you it was just a great job by the Grainger Ford guys. The car ran awesome and the guys did a great job in the pits. I just didn't know that my car was nearly that good when I turned it up, and I just I started a lap or two sooner. But Burton, what a heck of a day he had. His car was just really good."

COULD YOU HAVE GAMBLED ON FUEL WITHOUT THAT LAST CAUTION? "We never really discussed that. I wasn't sure if we were going to go for it or not, but this motor makes so much power, I'm not sure that we would have made it."

KEVIN LEPAGE-71-Matrix Motorsports Ford Taurus (Finished 21st)

"We had a problem with the alternator and weren't even sure that we were going to make it to the end. That is the first time that I had any problems with it. I think we just missed the setup, though. We weren't good all day long. We just weren't good the whole time that we've been here. I don't think it was an aero deal, I believe we just missed the setup with the tire. We'll go back and look at it and see what we have to do."

ARE YOU PLANNING ON GOING TO BRISTOL NEXT WEEK? "We'll have to talk about it. Maybe we got a little bit if TV time today and somebody wants to see their name on the side of this car. Obviously with money it will help us run better. We can't test or do anything outside of racing at the track, and that's hurting us. We had bad pit stops because we have guys that haven't worked together on a consistent basis. We've just got to get some money to keep going."


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