The Lowe's Motor Speedway media tour continued on Tuesday with a stop at Robert Yates Racing, where drivers Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler have new crew chiefs. A transcript of formal remarks from both drivers, along with car owner...
The Lowe's Motor Speedway media tour continued on Tuesday with a stop at Robert Yates Racing, where drivers Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler have new crew chiefs. A transcript of formal remarks from both drivers, along with car owner Robert Yates, in addition to a brief Q&A session follows:
DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion
"This has been a lot of fun for us (making the UPS commercials). Each and every year they come up with something different and this year having Elliott be a part of it, obviously, was a lot of fun. The tires that he wore out in making all of that was pretty amazing. They make it so much fun for me to be there for two days and they turn out well. I think we've measured this through the years and I've probably said this a number of times, but when you've got fans of all the other drivers hollering at you about racing the truck you know your campaign is going pretty well. We have a great time in doing it and I was really glad that Elliott could be a part of it. I'm certainly glad to have UPS as a sponsor. I feel very fortunate that here at Robert Yates Racing we have some pretty major corporations -- as you look around and look at our cars -- that we represent here and I think that says a lot for what Robert and Doug and Eddie have done at this organization, and the commercials are fun to do."
ON THE UPS TRUCK IN THE COMMERCIAL. "The guys that actually did all the work, I think they were from Arizona, and they rebuilt this truck. I actually drove this truck when we did these commercials over at Nashville. It was pretty incredible. They've still got a little work to do aero-wise on it. It's not nearly as slick as that nice Fusion sitting over there, but we'll keep working on that. So I'm looking forward to that day when I actually get to race the truck." WHEN WILL THAT BE? "They haven't told me that. Getting to that point is kind of like being at home getting your next instructions of what you've got to do there. Take out the trash. Pick up the cleaning. Whatever it is, so they haven't told me when or where, but it's coming so keep watching."
ELLIOTT SADLER -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion
"I'm gonna hit on this again. With the great sponsors we have here at Robert Yates Racing, it's amazing. Citi has come on board with so much enthusiasm, being new to the sport, and first year on the race track last year we had some pretty good success, but not the Victory Lane success that we need to give those guys. So I'm coming back for 16 more races and I'm very, very excited to work as a tutor and a mentor to these guys -- Steven and Matt -- for the Citi Financial Ford. It's a great looking race car. I've fallen back in love with Busch racing and for my first time in a long time I get to go back to Daytona to kind of kick off the season and run the Daytona Busch race. I can't wait. I've got a pretty full slate ahead of me this year, but can't wait to get it started. I'm just ready to go. I'm kind of ready to put my uniform on and let's get going."
ROBERT YATES, Car Owner -- RYR Ford Fusions
"We're very excited and there's a whole lot new in store for this year. No more taking care of your tires. We're leasing them so we can just burn 'em up (laughing). Notice that Dale's new car is gonna drive like it's got four tires on the rear axle, so that's gonna be good to handle the 900 horsepower that Doug's gonna give him. We're excited and we're looking forward to it.
"Certainly I have the sponsorship of UPS and Citi Financial and the M&M people. They're three of the best companies in the world and with that comes a lot of responsibility. We're looking forward to it.
"I think our engineering department and all of our people, Tommy, Slugger and everybody that's under them, which is quite a few. I can't wait to get there. I'm looking forward to it. I enjoyed Daytona like I haven't enjoyed it since 2000. In drafting and what it looked like there, come on, let's go racing. I can't wait to get there. I'm looking forward to it.
"I was around when the Torino came out. It was designed for two purposes -- to drive on the street -- when it sells at Ford dealerships -- and certainly win on Sunday so you can sell more of them on Monday. The other day I gave this talk about how John Holman used to get on everybody about supporting their sponsors in all the ways. Eating M&M's and Combos and some dog food when we don't run good (joking).
"When I mention things to people about what they should drive and how they should support it. The comebacks are, 'Well, it doesn't compete with this other car.' 'It doesn't compete on mileage. It doesn't compete on quality.' Well, I tell you what, we've got a winner right here. I can dog a car. I can drive it automatically with a five-speed. It's got the future and the new NASCAR engine in it -- it's a four-cylinder I've been pushing for a long time. It runs like Jack's bear. It's a good car. It's a good value and I want to see us buy a whole lot of them on Friday so it'll just be a win when we win on Sunday to sell some more on Monday. It is a great car and I'm happy to be part of it. Certainly, it's important to us that Ford's business is good and it's also important to Ford that our business is good, so we're business partner and we're up for the challenge. We're gonna get after them. We look forward to this thing doing like the Torino did in the sixties. We're looking forward to it."
WILL FORD'S ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY HAVE AN EFFECT ON YOUR OPERATION? "The fact that the company made money was a big plus. You have to have a vehicle that people want to buy. You have to compete in price. It's like in our business, you get leap-frogged and I think it's our turn to jump the other guys and be ahead of them. Sometimes you have to make tough calls in business. We have to do them in our business, but at the end of the day you have to a good financial business model. It's important that we do it here at Robert Yates Racing and certainly it's important that Ford Motor Company does.
"I'd also like to mention, if I could, that with Citi Financial we have a program where we're actually working with our families here and their personal financial planning. I think that's something we all have to look at -- how sound our personal business is with our families, how we use the products -- the fossil fuels and how we look at energy. I think we're really rounding the corner where we've got to address all these things in America. We need a good energy policy. It's a new deal and it's tough.
"I worked at Holman-Moody and there were 325 employees. I left there employee number 27 and it's tough, but you have to have a product. You have to win at it as a business and, hopefully, all of these people will turn around and their life won't be -- it's sad when you just keep going through the layoffs and going through the layoffs. Sometimes it's better off to clean it up. Realize it, do it and I think that's what Bill Ford is doing. He's got to be competitive and he knows what he's got to compete with, but I think we've got a great chance.
"I'm more concerned that GM and Ford have a really good business model. For race fans, I want you to support it. I think they've supported us long enough, so that's my plea. It's not something that they're mean about doing -- the ones that get laid off -- but at the end of the day when you go to work, you'll have a job and you'll be working for somebody that's more efficient and it's working for you. It's sad when you keep losing money and keep losing money. Finally, you have to make the call. I applaud Bill Ford for doing it, and as much as we want to win in what we do, we want Ford to win also."
DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion
DO YOU SAVOR TRIPS TO DAYTONA NOW REALIZING YOUR OPPORTUNITIES ARE DWINDLING? "Yeah, no doubt. You look at Daytona, and I guess I'll compare it since the new golf deal is being compared to the NASCAR playoffs I'll compare a little bit and say that Daytona is one of our majors. So you look at those opportunities knowing that whatever there are two, three more of these, yeah, it's big. The off season gives you that time to evaluate things and look at the 500, and when you come here and see the things that are happening, it's easy to get excited. When you go to the race track and try new things like we did at Daytona and you get a lot of good feedback and a good positive feel for the car you get excited about that.
"Ford's had a dry spell at Daytona. Over the last couple of years, even though we might have gone there and won poles and things, it's been a little bit hard to get excited and think that you had a chance to win. I'm pretty sure, if you look back since 2000 when we won the 500, Ford hasn't led a whole lot of laps -- and I think that was only because they were being courteous to us at that time that you could lead them -- they were under caution or something, it wasn't much under green.
"We have a product now with the Fusion that it's gonna allow us to do more of that I believe -- to be competitive and to go to Daytona. I'm sure you're gonna here this all week. Everybody is excited because we're all at zero points right now and everybody thinks they've done everything that they need to to be competitive for this year, but I know in looking around here at Robert Yates Racing that we have done that. Again, we have a new product with the Fusion and that's gonna help us tremendously.
"Our engine shop is second to none and the engineering staff that we have put in place here is by far the best that we've assembled here. And we've got two guys leading these race teams in Tommy and Slugger that know how to win races and know how to do well at Daytona, so, yeah, I get excited about that.
"If I can just go back a second to what was asked of Robert. I think one thing that could help in the United States and help our car companies here, and certainly I'm more interested in Ford, but, in general, GM and Ford is that I know that Ford Motor Company makes a great product and the media is very powerful network. The public relies a lot on what is printed. What they see. What they hear. What they read. Unfortunately, over the last few years more of that has been said that these car manufacturers from overseas make a better product and I don't believe that's the case right now. We have very good people working and building very good products here and if the media would help a little bit there in saying and telling the truth -- that we do have very good products, especially these Ford vehicles, then I think that those type of things might go away a lot more and we won't be hearing about having cutbacks and closing plants and people not having jobs. So tell all of your buddies that we'd appreciate the help there."
DOUG YATES, Engine Builder -- Roush Yates Engines
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE CHANGE TO UNLEADED FUEL. WHAT CHALLENGES WILL YOU FACE WITH THAT? "First of all, I'm glad that they're moving that way. I think that's something we tried earlier and the coating technology did not exist to make it work. It was not readily available, but now I don't think it's going to be a very hard transition. There are some coatings that you apply to the valves. The valve seat recession was the biggest problem and I think that we can overcome that pretty easily. I just wish they were gonna do it in '07 and not '08 because I think that's something we need to do as a group. We need to lead by example and I'm looking forward to that challenge, and I'm glad to see NASCAR make some change in that way."