The Ford, really, the engine was running tonight. You could see it down the back straightaway. We had some speed and the car really was handling. We just had to get him up there. I thought when I saw the jack under the car, I thought here we go again, not a good night. But when it was time to go, we raced the best, and it was Brad behind the wheel. It wasn't a fuel economy run. It was him digging deep and bringing us to victory lane, so it was a great night for us.
Paul and Brad, non-Chase drivers don't really win Chase races, but that being said, you guys are the defending champions. How did you guys set out to sort of buck that trend?
I never thought we couldn't. I never - I don't look at those things and say just because you haven't done it or someone else doesn't normally do it, it can't be done. That's just setting yourself up for failure.
You know, the perception is, and rightfully so, that the guys in the Chase are the cream of the crop, and that's how obviously the would make it in the Chase, and they should win races and probably sweep the Chase. But this is a very good team. Some circumstances like Paul said were under our control, didn't go our way, and we didn't execute with, and not some under our control. But along the way, all season long we've had the speed. We've had what we need to be a championship team. We just haven't put them all together. All the pieces haven't come together on the nights that count, and they for the most part did tonight.
I feel, like Paul said, we've had speed in our cars. There's been weeks where we've had the execution, not as many as we want, but we haven't always had those pieces together, and then there's been weeks where we've had the speed and execution, we've just had some rotten luck. Atlanta comes to mind, and I think the spring Loudon race, I thought we could have won that race and the yellows went against us and Daytona with the cautions and Phoenix with the cautions, it's just been one of those years where you say, how much more can they throw at you? And I think we ran out of things for them to throw at us tonight with the jack and still find a way to win, so that was very special.
Yeah, I mean, I agree, and I think the fact that we weren't in the Chase, I don't think had anything to do with the speed in our race cars and the capability of anybody on the team. I think we've shown that over the last year-and-a-half that we were capable of winning a championship and doing the things that it takes to do that. Things didn't go our way and we didn't make the Chase, but that didn't mean we didn't have the speed. To be able to win a race during the Chase I don't think should be a big surprise.
In regards to the two-tyre, four-tyre decision, just a little bit of history, 1994 it came to a two-tyre, four-tyre. Rusty was driving the #2 car then, the crew chief went with four tyres, they went with four, Jeff Gordon went with two, won his first race. This time you went with four and Kasey went with two. Please address the thought process there, track position versus going with the four tyres.
I wanted four, and I wasn't leaving until he put lefts on it. If he wouldn't have put four on I was going to yell and scream like a little kid.
I think going into the race in our pre-race talk we kind of have a plan and know what we feel like we want to do in different situations, especially down at the end there. You know the guys that already have the track position, they're not going to want to give it up, so you know they're going to most likely do the two-tyre, so for us to beat them or to have a better shot at beating them, you need to do something a little different, and with not many cars on the lead lap, for me it was - I thought it was a pretty easy call to take four tyres at that point.
I knew our car had speed in it. We showed that. It took us a while to get there. We had the issues on pit road that set us back, but we slowly worked our way towards the front. Kind of having that last caution there at the end kind of reset it for us and gave us the opportunity to get in victory lane.