Edsel Ford, member of the Board of Directors for Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, toured some Ford team race shops on Wednesday and even though he will not be in attendance at tomorrow's Pennsylvania 500, he...
Edsel Ford, member of the Board of Directors for Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, toured some Ford team race shops on Wednesday and even though he will not be in attendance at tomorrow's Pennsylvania 500, he will still have a presence. During his visit to the Wood Brothers shop, co-owner Eddie Wood asked Mr. Ford to sign the hood of the No. 21 Keep it Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus that qualified 33rd on Friday.
EDDIE WOOD , Co-Owner - No. 21 Keep it Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus
WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU AND YOUR TEAM TO HAVE EDSEL FORD DROP BY THE OTHER DAY?
"Having Edsel Ford show up at your shop, especially with our history with Ford and having raced for over 50 years, it's almost just like having Henry himself walk in. I mean, you know the history but it just means more to us than probably anybody else because we know and have cared so much about Ford forever. My dad started racing Fords in 1950 and even though we had a time in the seventies when we ran Mercurys, it's still Ford. Just having him there was really special. I made sure everybody in the shop got to meet him and shake his hand. To us, it's like the President of the United States walking through the day. He's like royalty or whatever you want to call it. He's special and very down to earth. We did a pull on the chassis dyno while he was there so he could see that and we really interested. We tried to show him what goes on and I hated the fact that he could only stay a couple of hours. I could still be talking to him."
WHY DID YOU HAVE HIM SIGN THE HOOD OF THIS WEEK'S CAR?
"I don't know. I was in the car and just finished the dyno pull and he was in the control room. When I started to get out of the car it just kind of hit me that I wanted him to sign this car and he did. I handed him the Sharpie and he signed it. We put a piece of plastic over it because with the cleaners and stuff we use it might have been wiped away, but that hood will go in our museum in Stuart. That's a one-race hood right there."
Elliott Sadler , driver of the No. 38 M&M's Taurus, qualified fifth for tomorrow's Pennsylvania 500 and spoke about the issue of not having any practice time on Saturday.
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus
HOW DOES NOT HAVING PRACTICE CHANGE THINGS?
"We're just gonna put in the setup that worked during the spring race or maybe what we learned from Indy and build some adjustments in the car. Everybody is on the same page. Some of the guys did a little bit of race runs yesterday, but there wasn't a lot of rubber on the track and I don't know how much they learned from that. Everybody is in the same boat, so you just build the adjustments in it and hope you guess correctly. You've got 500 miles to figure it out. This is a long race anyway. If you can't figure it out here in 500 miles, you probably weren't gonna get it in today's practice, so we think we'll be OK."
IS THIS A BENEFIT FROM BEING HERE SIX WEEKS AGO?
"We were just here a few weeks ago and a lot of the teams tested Indy. This track and Indy pretty much call for the same setup because it's the same tire and things like that, so what you learn in one place you can transfer to the other. Everybody's got great notes, so I think they can get the car really, really close. I'm sure all the teams are in the same boat. We don't really know what the weather is gonna do tomorrow. The track temperature could be 120 or it could be 80, we're not really sure. Everybody is looking at the weather right now and trying to figure out what they need to do as far as gearing because if the track is slow, you'll have to run some more rear end gear. If it's fast, you'll have to take some out. I'm sure the engine guys on every team are gonna be working on that and also tuning the car. We had a lot of plug checks yesterday on our team to make sure we're tuned up correctly for tomorrow's 500 miles. Like I said, it's a long race and it's hard on motors, so we wanted to make sure we got that out of the way yesterday."
IS THIS A PLACE WHERE A SMALL ADJUSTMENT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE?
"It can. This is a track where there are three different corners, so you're not gonna be perfect in all three corners anyway. Adjustability is very crucial. You have to leave yourself a lot of room on air-pressure adjustments to go down or up with things like that, too. We're getting ready to have a meeting right here to figure out what we need to do and what direction we need to start in to make sure we're gonna be OK. But there are such long straightaways that being able to get on the gas is very, very crucial and being able to get on it hard is gonna magnify it all the way down these straightaways. You've got to think aero, too. You've got to get the spoiler out of the air as much as possible on these long straightaways."