ELTON SAWYER --98-- Starter Taurus COULD YOU HAVE CAUGHT BURTON AT THE END? "That's a good question. When we went back to green there, obviously we were picking him up pretty good, but we knew coming here that it was a 147-lap race and we had...
ELTON SAWYER --98-- Starter Taurus
COULD YOU HAVE CAUGHT BURTON AT THE END? "That's a good question. When we went back to green there, obviously we were picking him up pretty good, but we knew coming here that it was a 147-lap race and we had to get it done in that amount of time and we just kind of ran out of laps there at the end. But we had a good car and to go through what we went through early with the rain delay and the left-rear tire was flat. Biffle, his left-front was flat, so we both had to pit and go to the back and then to work our way back up there and at least be in contention was a good day. There at the end, everybody is kind of getting all they can get. We got by the 26 and then Mike and I got side-by-side going into one and we got by him. That was good, hard racing there and he had to give a little bit and I appreciate that."
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN THE LAST 11 RACES FOR YOU? "Brad Akins, our car owner up until June 1st laid a great foundation. He did a great job. He sold our race team to Michael Kranefuss and Marty Gaunt and they came on board. I think all the pieces to the puzzle had been there for some time. We've had a great engine program with Cosworth -- really good people -- Ricky Viers, our crew chief -- they work extremely hard. For whatever reason we never could quite get it put together on a consistent basis. Michael's background is obviously well known. His 25 years with Ford Motor Company and his experience of running race teams and he's kind of got everybody lined up now. Believe me, you don't want that German on your ass so we decided we better run better."
WHAT'S THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS BEEN LIKE? "Obviously, it's been a lot of fun. This is what it's all about. As Michael has told us many times, it's all about winning. We don't show up to run second. We don't show up to run fifth or 15th, it's all about winning. So when you're at least putting yourself in position to win it's a lot more fun. Obviously, it's taken me many years to get in this position with the right amount of people and get the experience on all these race tracks, so now I feel like maybe we're a legitimate contender for the championship next year."
WHEN DO YOU START WINNING AGAIN? "We thought about doing it today, but it just didn't work out. It looked like Jeff Burton needed to win more than we did, so we'll start next week at Richmond. That's closer to Chesapeake anyway, they'll like it better."
DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED WITH PARK AND FOYT? "Not exactly. Obviously, when the caution came out for the rain, we were right behind Steve so we get out and he's the one that actually pointed out that we had a left-rear tire flat. So we were in the back when we were getting ready to go back to green, but I'm not sure of what happened. The only thing was I looked up and they said they were wrecking and I was like, 'Wow, that's a big-time wreck over there to be under caution.' And then to keep riding around for the amount of laps we had to ride around -- nobody was saying anything on the radio and that's usually not a good sign. The first thing I asked Jim Phillips when the race was over was 'is Steve okay' and he said they were gonna keep him overnight. The best thing is he's okay, but it was a bad looking deal over there. I don't know what happened."