FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES MBNA Gold 400 Advance September 25, 1999 Dover Downs International Speedway When the green flag drops for Sunday's MBNA Gold 400, brothers Robin and Ryan Pemberton will have officially become...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES MBNA Gold 400 Advance September 25, 1999 Dover Downs International Speedway
When the green flag drops for Sunday's MBNA Gold 400, brothers Robin and Ryan Pemberton will have officially become the first brother combination to have their cars start on the front row of a NASCAR Winston Cup event. Robin, crew chief for Rusty Wallace's Miller Lite Taurus, talked about the accomplishment and his feelings about racing against his younger brother.
ROBIN PEMBERTON, Crew Chief --2-- Miller Lite Taurus -- WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SHARING THIS HISTORIC MOMENT WITH RYAN? "I'm tickled that we're on the pole and Ryan's on the outside pole. I'd probably be just as happy if it was the other way around. It's pretty neat. I mean he's my brother but still one of my best friends, so it's a pretty cool thing to have happen."
DID YOU TALK TO HIM LAST NIGHT AFTER QUALIFYING? "Well, he's happy. That team is turning the corner, and that team has had a lot of troubles over the last few years. They've had a half-dozen drivers in the car and for a team to continue to overcome some of that...you know, they talk about it takes a while for a driver and a crew chief or a team to gel, but for a team like that to have as many drivers as they've had and continue to qualify well and to run good in races...they've had their troubles and some emotional ups and downs, but they're pretty happy. They're gonna go through some more changes by the end of the year again, so right now they should be happy for what they're doing."
DO YOU GUYS TALK A LOT DURING THE WEEK AND AT THE TRACK? "We talk a lot, but we don't get specific because that's not good for either team. But we do talk about general things on the race cars and that's the thing that everybody goes through who has friends and family within this sport or any other sport for that matter. You have to talk, it's no different than anything else, so we do talk but we talk about things in general when it comes to race cars."
IF IT COMES DOWN TO THE LAST PIT STOP TOMORROW BETWEEN THE 2 CAR AND THE 36, WILL YOU KNOW WHAT RYAN IS GOING TO DO? "Yeah, you know and generally he's probably done better than I have. I tend to take a more conservative approach at times, so I'm more in the middle of the road on a lot of things. It's a young team and young teams, they have to make the wrong decisions a lot of times before they get in the middle of the road. I've already been through that where you don't want to stick your chin out too far at times, but, yeah, I pretty much know what he's gonna do. Sometimes I say, 'Well, that's probably a good choice,' and sometimes I'm hoping that he's not gonna do that because I've been there, so it's fun to watch."
BEING THE OLDER BROTHER, DID YOU SHOW RYAN THE ROPES AROUND THE GARAGE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER? "Yeah, we sure did. We had a good opportunity. Jack Roush gave us an opportunity in the late eighties and early nineties when Steve Hmiel, myself and Jack got together and we put the Roush thing together. Ryan and Roman were summer helpers at the race shop. Ryan got out of high school and had some good scholarship offers and some good schools. He had a good school picked out to go to for engineering but as the summer wound down and we kept asking him about school, he kept not answering the question like he should have. When school started he didn't go. He just stayed full-time at Roush Racing in Liberty, so, I don't know, some day he'll probably not appreciate the fact that I led him down this path, but, so far, it's been the right choice."
IS THIS A MAJOR SOURCE OF PRIDE TO ACHIEVE THIS? "It's really cool. It's not something that you think about, but now that it's been brought to people's attention...Winston Cup racing is one of the hardest things to do in all of the world, let alone to get to this level and achieve something like this. I don't know how to explain it, but it is just qualifying and the racing thing is really a lot more important than this."
SO WHAT WOULD BE THE PERFECT SCENARIO TOMORROW? "The perfect way for tomorrow to end would be for us to win the race and Rusty to get his 50th win and for those guys to probably run second or third. I've gotta pull for Jeremy too, but somewhere in that mix would probably be one of the greater days in my life for sure."
YOU'LL PROBABLY BE PITTING NEXT TO EACH OTHER TOMORROW. WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE TO LOOK OVER AND SEE HIM RIGHT THERE? "Hopefully, we'll be able to stay out of each other's way. Hopefully by Monday we'll still be talking." (laughing).
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus -- RUSTY LOVES CONCRETE TRACKS. DID HE HAVE TO WIN YOU OVER TO THEM AS WELL OR HAVE YOU LIKED THEM ALL ALONG? "I've always liked it, but he's helped me a lot with Dover and Bristol. He's taught me a lot about it, but I've always like concrete surfaces." WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW? "Man, we've got a great car. We had a real good practice this morning and we're hoping Happy Hour goes the same way. It's a lot different in the afternoon after the Busch cars have run, but I'm excited. I think we've got a good chance to win the race and I felt good coming into Dover because this is a place I always seem to run in the top five and have a chance to win. It's kind of like Darlington, this is one of my good places." IS THERE ANY ADDED PRESSURE TO WIN FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR WITH ONLY EIGHT RACES LEFT? "Not really. We've been through a lot this year as a team and had a lot of pressure on us. To win, yeah, it's pressure but we want to win. To me it's not pressure, it's the competitiveness within us and we want it bad right now. We want it worse than anything in the world to get this deal turned around and I feel like this weekend could be a good chance for us. This is a great team. I've said this all year long, we've been through a lot and had a lot of bad luck but we always run good. If you're here at the races you can see that every lap we run we're competitive. We've got to get through tomorrow, if we can get through with a little bit of luck and do everything we can right, then we'll win the race. That's a good feeling."
DARWIN OORDT, Car Owner --75-- Remington Arms Taurus -- "Finding the right people is what this sport's all about. All of the teams can buy the same equipment, so it's just finding the right people and I think one thing is we already have the right people and we're going to bring some more on board with Jimmy Johnson and the like to make it a winning team." IS IT TRUE YOU'VE HIRED WALLY DALLENBACK TO BE YOUR DRIVER NEXT YEAR? "Yes it is." WHAT LED YOU TO THAT? "Actually, the sponsor that we're not ready to announce yet, the sponsor has a few details that they want to have handled before that announcement is made and I think we can do that within the next week or so. They really like Wally Dallenbach and they brought Wally to the table." WHAT'S TED'S STATUS? "Ted will be finishing out this year with us and we hope to be putting a second team on board and Ted would sure be a candidate for that second team." WOULD HE BE AN INTERVIEWEE JUST LIKE ALL THE REST? "I think he would have a step up from the other interviewees because he's already on board and already in place and he works well with the team he already has, so I think he would be a step above other interviewees so to speak. But it's really having a mix of the sponsor and the driver and making those two work -- and having something that's quality -- and Ted is definitely a quality enough driver." WHERE ARE YOU WITH A SECOND TEAM? "We hope to have that put together in the next 30 days. We're real close, so we think we'll have it all done in the next 30 days." WHEN DID YOU TELL TED ABOUT THIS AND IS HE AWARE OF THE SECOND TEAM? "Yes and no. When we first told him we didn't really have enough time. He was getting on the airplane and we wanted to make sure we told Ted because the deal just got finalized Thursday morning, so we wanted to make sure Ted heard it from us and not somebody else, so at that point he was getting on the airplane -- the team was waiting for him. When I got here yesterday afternoon, Ted and I sat down immediately and we told him about it." IS TED FREE TO LOOK FOR OTHER OPPORTUNITIES UNTIL THIS SECOND TEAM COMES TOGETHER? "Oh, most certainly. For Ted I want the best, even if we hadn't found another sponsor. If Ted had found a better opportunity, I'd been the first one to be on his bandwagon. Ted's a great guy and a great driver and I want the best for him." SO THE DECISION TO GO WITH WALLY WAS DRIVEN BY THE SPONSOR AND NOT YOUR DESIRE TO GET WALLY OVER TED AS A DRIVER? "Yeah, it was sponsor driven."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- YOU'VE WON HERE BEFORE, BUT IS IT TOUGHER TO DO FROM THE BACK? "No, not really. It's a long enough race to where that shouldn't be a concern for us. If we've got a good race car, where we we start won't really make that much difference. It's a matter of getting your car handling on old tires here. We have a lot of green flag racing here and the guy that can make his car go from lap 30 to lap 90 is the one to beat. Hopefully, we can do that. We've had good cars that we didn't win with and we won with a car that was probably a second-place car, so you just have to put yourself in position just like Bobby Labonte did earlier this year." BEING IN THE BACK UPS THE ODDS OF GETTING IN TROUBLE, RIGHT? "Yeah, but you can't worry about it. We made a change yesterday for qualifying, I made the call, I thought it was the right call and it was absolutely dead wrong, but anywhere you start anything can happen. I've seen as many accidents in the front as we have at the rear, but this is a tight race track coming off the corners. That's the one concern that you have at the start of the race. I think we've got a really good race car, but I'll probably leave a little extra room there just to make sure that we do get to use it at the end and make sure everything will be alright." HOW DO YOU FEEL? "I've been better. I've got a lot of back pain for some reason. I guess my golf swing is so bad that it hurt my back. It didn't really start bothering me until Friday afternoon late and got very little sleep Friday night, but they're working with me and I'm at least able to move around and tie my shoes now. I couldn't do that this morning." HOW ABOUT IN THE RACE CAR? "Once I get in place I'm OK. It takes me a little while to move around. We're getting to where the back spasms that I was having this morning are going away now. If we can't keep those from going away, it creates problems for me, especially up off these corners. If I get that, it seems that I lose a tenth or two-tenths on the track. It's just that much of a pain at first, but I think by tomorrow we'll be OK." ARE YOU SURPRISED ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON AT THE 24 TEAM? "Nothing's forever. As good as things seem that they may be...it's not just this sport you see it everywhere. You wonder why things get broken up...why everybody on the Chicago Bulls was wanting to go in a different direction when they had the world beat. The Dallas Cowboys have everything going there way and everybody starts doing different things and it creates problems. This is no different here. People have different goals and ideas and whenever you reach those goals sometimes you want to do something a little different. Once that happens, though, it starts creating a problem within the team and it's hard to get that back no matter how hard you try. As much as you want to believe that one person can't make that much difference, they can, especially if it's someone like a Ray Evernham or Todd Parrott. Those type of individuals are really key people in each of these race teams."