JEFF BURTON-9-GAIN Ford Taurus (Finished 41st) WHAT ENDED YOUR DAY? "I guess it broke a valve or something. Right out at the start there, it ran good, and then it just started missing. I switched the (ignition) boxes and all, and it wouldn't...
JEFF BURTON-9-GAIN Ford Taurus (Finished 41st)
WHAT ENDED YOUR DAY? "I guess it broke a valve or something. Right out at the start there, it ran good, and then it just started missing. I switched the (ignition) boxes and all, and it wouldn't run. We probably broke a valve, and it's a real shame. We had a real rocket today, but that's the way it is. Sometimes you run well and sometimes if you don't."
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus (Finished 31st)
WAS THERE ANY INDICATION THAT THE MOTOR WAS ABOUT TO EXPIRE? "It started vibrating about 20 laps before that. It was vibrating for a little bit, so I suspect that we broke a valve spring or something. We lost a little bit of power and we were still able to pass cars with it running like that. I feel bad. It was our fault; we broke the engine. It was a really good engine, but we just had too much gear in the car today for this cold a temperature. We were just turning way too high RPM and it just broke. These engines aren't made to turn that many RPM and it was really our fault."
YOU SEEMED TO BE ABLE TO PASS ON THE NEW PAVEMENT. "Yeah. That's how we got up to the front. I figured it out in Happy Hour. I'm the kind of person to drive around the race track to see what's out there. A couple of guys started doing it behind me. I was hoping nobody would pick up on it until late in the race. I felt like I had something running down there like that. We were pretty good whether we were in the groove or out of it, but we just had a little too much gear for this cool a temperature."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus (Finished 32nd)
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE FIRST RESTART? "I don't know. They took off and then they stopped. Maybe I just thought they were going to take off, I don't know. I ran into the back of the 92 and then traffic stopped and the 59 didn't have anywhere to go and he pushed me in there. It's just unfortunate because we had a pretty good race car. It was way too early to tell exactly what we had, but we had a good car all weekend."
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR OUTLOOK ON THE POINTS RACE? "This doesn't change my outlook. If we keep running like we're running, we'll be OK."
WHAT FINALLY ENDED YOUR DAY TODAY? "We tried to put a new radiator in it, and I think the head gasket finally went. We couldn't keep water in it. It's just unfortunate. You'd like to at least see how the race is going to shake out before something like that happens. It's just unfortunate."
WHAT DID YOU SEE ON THE FIRST RESTART? "I felt like they took off, and it looked to me like they were taking off, and I don't know what happened to make them stop again. It's just unfortunate. I was trying to get slowed down and I just got hit from behind. It was nobody's fault; it was just one of those things that happens. It's real unfortunate because we had a really good race car. It just seems that every time I take the points lead, something happens the very next week, but we've had a lot of good weeks, so we're not going to complain."
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR.-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)
"The Marines Ford was awful fast. I knew once we got back up there that this thing could just stay under me for how many laps we had to win this thing. All these guys, they raced me real clean. It could have been real bad. I just want to thank everybody here, and all the fans, they're so great and treat you like a king when you're out here and doing this thing. The Marines Ford was fast, and when you have a fast car like this, you can drive to the front all day long."
YOU HAD A PROBLEM WITH A LUG NUT THAT PUT YOU AT THE PACK OF THE PACK ON THE LAST RESTART. WHAT WAS FRED SAYING TO YOU ON THE RADIO? "Keep your cool, you've got a good car and keep the fenders on it because we need to finish and that's what I did. You've got to give a hand to all of the guys that we raced against today because they could have raced me dirty and they didn't. We just had a great car and when you get one like, you can go like that."
THIS IS YOUR FIRST WIN IN 96 STARTS, BUT THIS HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING. "It has. I'm glad I've finally got some equipment that can win some races. I've got Robert Yates motors behind. All of the tools that I need to win races, I've got."
YOU WERE ABLE TO USE BOTTOM GROOVE TODAY. "Anybody that said you couldn't pass on the bottom, I proved them a liar today. I passed everybody I had to on the inside. My hat is off to all of these (crew) guys. They're the ones that worked their tail off on this thing on the pit stops and got it right. I was able to be wide-open from the center out on the corners, so we had a good car, and when you have a good car, you get good results."
FRED WANKE, Crew Chief-25-Team Marines Ford Taurus
HOW MUCH DOES THIS WIN SERVE AS REDEMPTION FOR LAST WEEK? "This is just redemption for the race today. We took it away from him twice. I'll tell you what, that kid has just done an awesome job, and the whole Marines Ford team, we just keep digging. We've got an awesome motor program, too."
DID YOU THINK THIS TEAM WOULD FIND VICTORY LANE 11 RACES INTO THE SEASON WITH ALL OF THE CHANGES THAT OCCURRED IN THE OFF-SEASON? "No, I didn't think so, but at Daytona we were good. We've been pretty good all year long. We've just had some bad luck. We've been quick, but we haven't had the finishes."
YOU'VE BEEN STEADILY PROGRESSING THROUGHOUT THE SEASON, ESPECIALLY WITH QUALIFYING. "Qualifying is all Bobby. We don't have a qualifying setup. We qualify our race package, and that was pretty obvious today."
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus (Finished 7th)
"We didn't tear anything up and had our race car come home in one piece and we learned a lot. It seemed that as soon as the race started and we got around all of the rest of the traffic, we figured out where we were hurting so bad. I just struggled with the front end. I could get in the corner great and I could get through the center great, but I just couldn't pick the gas up to get the car to turn and drive off; it was just way too tight off the corner. I struggled all day and I think I probably ran a different line than anybody else. I was going across the apron back up to the other groove, back across the apron again, just trying to drive it off the corners. I'm just glad to finish."
THE TEAM MADE THE CALL FOR A TWO-TIRE STOP ON THE LAST PIT STOP TO PUT YOU OUT FRONT, BUT YOU STRUGGLED TO STAY UP FRONT. "Well, I took two tires and loosened it a ton trying to get it better off the corners. I just got in the corner and got too high. I'm not sure how much air pressure they put in the tires, and then you have two new rights that are really turning good up there, and I think it's just a combination of the change we made and maybe I should have scuffed them a little harder or tried to put more heat in them before the restart. Like I say, I wish we could have stayed up there and I might have been able to finish a couple of finishes better, but we really didn't have anything that we could really race with to win. I tried to run as hard as I could and I tried to stay off everybody. There was a lot of pushing and shoving, but that is what this race track is prone to. I'm just glad to come out here and not tear it all to pieces today."