BUSCH: Ford Racing Joliet race notes

GREG BIFFLE --60-- Grainger Taurus "I feel bad for all the Grainger guys. This is Grainger's hometown and the guys did a great job building a new car for us here. We came and tested and I thought we'd have a good run, but the guys got a little...

GREG BIFFLE --60-- Grainger Taurus

"I feel bad for all the Grainger guys. This is Grainger's hometown and the guys did a great job building a new car for us here. We came and tested and I thought we'd have a good run, but the guys got a little racy there on lap 60. Mike Skinner got in the brakes real hard going down in the corner and I got in the brakes hard so I wouldn't run in the back of him. The rear brakes locked up. We had a brake problem earlier in practice and took a proportioning valve out, but then I got down in the corner there and hit the brakes so hard that it locked the rear tires up and spun me out. It's kind of unfortunate for us in the points race."

RYAN NEWMAN --02-- ALLTEL Taurus -- SO CLOSE AND YET SO FAR.

"Yeah, I was just trying to get a good run on Jimmie there. I got up behind him and my car got a little tight. I kind of expected it. You know, when you get a car that's handling good all by itself, we anticipated being a little tight behind somebody. The 18 car was down low. Jimmy was up high and the 18 car slowed down a little more than I thought he would. Jimmie was on the outside and I was trying to get a good run on both of them to try to get a pass going down into one, but I never made it that far. I caught my left-front fender on the 18 car's right-rear quarterpanel."

HOW DISAPPOINTING.

"It's disappointing not to get the win, but to look at the way we ran and the way we've been running. Obviously, everybody said so far today that we had the car to beat, so that's a good thing. We'll just go on and keep trying to learn."

WHY WERE YOU BROUGHT INTO THE NASCAR TRAILER?

"Because of the black flag. They just wanted me to understand that when the black flag is thrown that close to the end of the race it's time to come into the pits. The only reason I stayed out was because I didn't have any brakes."

LOOKING BACK, WAS FOUR TIRES THE RIGHT THING TO DO?

"I'm sure it was the right thing to do. I think the track tightened up a little bit on that last run. When you restart sixth you're really restarting 12th. You still have to pass 11 cars and I made it through 10 of them and that's where we ended up."

YOU CAUGHT JIMMIE WITH 21 OR 22 TO GO. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS?

"The more I was behind him the tighter my car got and, obviously, the less my chances were for passing him. I did everything I could. Like I said, I was trying to get a good run on him in three and four because he got stuck on the outside of the 18 and my good run ended in the middle of three and four."

JEFF BURTON --9-- Gain Taurus

"We had a real fast car by itself. The Gain Taurus would really go fast, but in traffic it was no good. We moved the front end really badly. Other than that, it went well. We lost track position there once and that hurt us. I don't know. We just didn't have anything go our way. Today was an example of not having a good qualifying effort. It did hurt us today and we just had too many cars to pass and it was too hard to pass because of losing that front downforce."

JEFF GREEN --10-- Nesquik Taurus

"We ain't worried about points right now, we're just trying to win races. We were just a little bit off today. We were just too tight. We couldn't ever get up there to take the lead. I think if we would have ever gotten out front we would have been okay, but guys got two tires and got track position on us with 30 laps to go. Track position is everything when it's a track like this with the groove right on the bottom. Guys make you tight when you're in front of them and it's just a tough day when you get behind people."

WITH THE WAY YOUR CAR WAS HANDLING, DID YOU HAVE TO TAKE 4 TIRES?

"No, I don't think we had to, but that's what we thought we needed to do to win the race. If we would have had some more laps we might have been able to get up there, but those guys that took on two had track position and clean air and they just got away from us. We had to come through the traffic too, with the lapped cars and everything, but it was still a good day for us. It's still got all the fenders on it, so I'm happy about that."

JASON KELLER --57-- Albertson's Taurus

"It's pretty cool. I was riding around back there in 20th about halfway through the race and was pretty worried about it, but we used our head and raced hard there at the end when it counted. I'm just glad. I felt bad starting 31st, but I was glad we could finish fifth."

WHAT ABOUT YOUR STRATEGY ON THE LAST STOP?

"We just decided to take on two tires and it worked. If fell off there at the end and I really couldn't race 'em, but track position was key. We just had a real smart day today."

KEVIN LEPAGE --71-- State Fair Corn Dogs/Ball Park Taurus

YOU HAD THE CLOSEST CALL OF THE DAY.

"Whew, I hope they got that on the big screen because that was a good piece of spotting by my wife, Donna, and I had my eyes open too. But I can't say enough about the guys on this State Fair Corn Dog/Ball Park Ford. We had a good car early. We came in running fifth and the guys left a couple of lugnuts off and we had to go to the back. That wreck happened in front of me and it knocked the right-rear quarterpanel off the car and it really hurt it. We worked real hard on this car and were running real good. I thought we had a top five car easily and this Cosworth engine did a great job. Unfortunately, we got caught in that wreck and that hurt the performance, but to come home with a top-10 finish I'm happy."

WHAT DID YOU LEARN TOMORROW ABOUT THE TRACK?

"The second groove started to come in, but it wasn't really as good as I thought it was gonna be. The tires were good. The guys came in at the end and didn't put tires on or put two tires on and they didn't fall off that bad. Goodyear came here with a great tire. We're just excited to have 300 miles on it today and finish 10th and, hopefully, we'll get 'em tomorrow."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Mike Skinner