Home Depot Racing reaction to Ford rule change

Reaction from Stewart and Zipadelli Regarding NASCAR's Decision to Cut the Size of Ford's Rear Spoiler DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 10, 2002) - Following today's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, which was won by Home Depot ...

Reaction from Stewart and Zipadelli Regarding NASCAR's Decision to Cut the Size of Ford's Rear Spoiler

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 10, 2002) - Following today's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, which was won by Home Depot Pontiac driver Tony Stewart for the second year in a row, NASCAR allowed the Ford teams an aerodynamic advantage.

A quarter-inch has been removed from the height of the rear spoiler on the Ford Taurus, a concession Ford teams had been campaigning for since the beginning of the year. Ford teams now sport a six-inch spoiler. The Chevrolet teams rear spoiler remains at 6.25 inches tall, while the Dodge and Pontiac teams measure at 6.50 inches tall.

The new specifications for the Ford teams goes into effect with Tuesday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice session at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Below are reactions from Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli, driver and crew chief, respectively, on the #20 Home Depot Pontiac fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing.

TONY STEWART

What is your take on the most recent rule change given to the Ford camp?
"I'm not an engineer and I'm not an aerodynamicist. All I do is drive the car. To me, all the cars look the same from the inside. So, all I'm going to do is drive the car to the best of my ability. I've learned that arguing over whose car got an inch here or a quarter-inch over there just isn't worth it. I'll leave the politicking to someone else."

GREG ZIPADELLI

Do you think it's right that the Fords received the quarter-inch they've been lobbying for?
"No, not really. There's just a couple of them that out-qualified us. And Pontiac doesn't seem to have any strength over anybody. In all honesty, I think the Fords and the Pontiacs are in a real similar situation. I think we should've come down here with nothing cut off the Chevrolets. Or instead of giving anybody anything, they should've just added to the Chevrolet because there isn't a Chevrolet that ran bad.

"Then after the Shootout today, we won because we beat the '8' car (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) to the front. Our strategy worked. They tried to get us to go to their strategy. And we said, 'No, we're pitting at lap 40.' They were coming at lap 50. When we did that it was too late for them. We had momentum and we came out in front of them. If it was the other way around, I'm pretty certain we would've finished second to 'em. And that's what this racing is about - track position, good pit stops, having a good driving car that you don't have to get out of the gas with for a full fuel run. We had that and the '8' car had that. We just beat 'em to the front today."

Would you rather see NASCAR take something away from the Dodges and the Chevrolets as opposed to giving something to the Fords?
"Yes, absolutely. I think they need to add rear spoiler to the Chevrolets just to even things out. I don't think there's any doubt that the Fords aren't as strong as the Chevrolets. The Pontiacs aren't as strong as the Chevrolets. We're good in race trim, but you can't hold that against the team who has a good pit stop, a good motor builder, a good chassis - good everything. That's what the racing is about. When we're out there qualifying and you're all by yourself, that shows you what's what."

Are you wondering why you came down to Daytona and spent three days testing?
"Well, you've still got to come down here and test and do the best that you can. We still have to do the best job that we can regardless of what the rules are and just work within them."

-jgr/hdr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart