CUMULATIVE NASCAR BUSCH SERIES TEST SPEEDS AT DAYTONA DAYTONA GENERAL MOTORS TEST NOTES -- 1-22-94
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A random sampling of driver notes and quotes from the first General Motors test session, Jan. 10-12, at Daytona International Speedway, preparing for stock car Speedweeks, Feb. 8-19:
GREG SACKS (#40 Kendall Pontiac) -- "We've got this car and we're building another one for the Busch Clash. Hopefully, we'll have two nearly identical cars to work with when we come back for Speedweeks."
(Sacks was wearing his "Navy" driving suit, which he had last worn during the Speedway's salute to the troops of Operation Desert Storm, when cars were fielded representing various branches of the Armed Forces.)
"Our driving suits aren't done yet, so I was looking through my closet for one to wear. I thought I just might wear the ones I have with "Cole Trickle" on them to see if anybody would recognize the name." Sacks did much of the driving in the film "Days Of Thunder," as the stunt double for actor Tom Cruise, who portrayed the character Cole Trickle in the film.
ROBERT PRESSLEY (#33 Skoal Bandit Chevrolet) -- "We spent day two seeing what was good and what wasn't with the cars. I think we're in pretty good shape to run for speed today (Thursday, when Pressley eventually equaled the fastest lap, to date, run this winter)."
(On being in Winston Cup) "As long as I've been around, having a yellow stripe on the rear bumper and being known as a rookie is kind of funny. I guess Dick Trickle must have felt real funny being called 'rookie.' We've got a good team. I spent a lot of time last year watching how Harry and the team worked and I learned from that. The team wants to win and I want to win. There will be pressure on me, I know -- probably a lot of what I put on myself. We DO need to do good this year."
RICKY CRAVEN (#41 Kodiak Chevrolet) -- "The Busch Grand National Series was good for me, but after finishing second in the title chase two years in a row, there was no real incentive to stay. It was the right time to move up to Winston Cup. I was presented with a good opportunity and I took advantage of it. I'll still do some Busch races, the 10 which are companion races to the Winston Cup events."
"It's taken the first two days of the test for us to get comfortable with each other. I'm new to the team, they're new to me...this is a different situation than being an owner/driver; the Monte Carlo is a new car for both of us; and the Cup car is new to me. It's all different, but I'm encouraged by what we've done so far. It will take a while before we begin to understand each other and communicate the way we need to."
WADDELL WILSON (Crew chief, #41 Kodiak Chevrolet) -- "This is two years in a row that we've started the season with a rookie driver. Last year, we had Joe Nemechek driving for us. We knew what Joe's plans were when we started. He and his family wanted their own operation. It's the way they had been racing. We had a good year with Joe."
"Ricky also comes from the owner/driver background, but he doesn't want to go back to that. He wants to be a driver and leave the rest to us. He wants to stay and grow with the team and that's something we can build on. He's eager to learn and he pays attention. He's easing into things. It's all new to him just like he's new to us."
BOBBY HAMILTON (#43 STP Pontiac) -- "I'm pretty excited about the coming season. I think we've got a chance to do good this year. We'll struggle a bit for top speed because the Pontiac just isn't as fast as the Chevrolet or Ford. It's not a good car for fast qualifying laps on a big track like Daytona or Talladega. The car does stick to the track really good and I think we're going to surprise some people, especially on tracks that get slick. The shame is that what makes the car stick so good to the track is what hurts your top-end speed. I think my plus for the team is that I already have a year driving the Pontiac with Felix Sabates' and Dick Brooks' team, so I don't have to get used to the car.
"I'm going to spend a lot of time here at Daytona. I'll be back for the three-day Busch Series test and than just stick around for the next GM test. I'll drive some Busch races, along with Kyle Petty, in a car owned by Kyle and Felix. I'll drive the Goody's 300 here and we'll split driving in about 10 more races (with sponsorship from Curad's Band-Aid brand)."
RICHARD PETTY (Team owner, #43 STP Pontiac) -- (On his second year as a team owner) "Man, the second year is even more frustrating than the first. You see so many things you can't control, now that you're the owner and not the driver anymore. I knew how the car needed to be and how I wanted it (when he was driving). I don't have much hand in that anymore. Don't get me wrong, Bobby (Hamilton) is a good driver and a good communicator. But I'd feel the same frustrations if Kyle was in the car."
"The changes they've made to the Pontiac, a bit longer nose, will make the car race better. At tracks like Daytona and Talladega, we're still pushing too much air to really run fast. We're probably about one second off what the best cars are running right now. That's too much. We've learned some. We'll be better when we come back for the next test."
DARRELL WALTRIP (#17 Western Auto Chevrolet) -- "We're pleased with the car and where we are. This was the first test of the Monte Carlo for us. Everyone who went to Talladega is a leg up on us. We're slowly narrowing the gap. We're near to where we need to be at this point."
KENNY SCHRADER (#25 Budweiser Chevrolet) -- "It's about the same as always. Testing is testing. We're getting there. We're going good. It's our first time with the car so we've got a bit to learn. You pick up bits from here and there and put them together." NASCAR BUSCH SERIES TEST NOTES -- DAYTONA 1/20-22/95
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Joe Nemechek had a big smile on hi face after 49s NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division team finished a three-day s test session preparing for the Feb. 18 Goody' s 300 on Jan. 20-22 at Daytona International Speedway.
Nemechek was at or near the top of the list all three days of testing, finally logging a lap of 187.970 mph on Sunday afternoon in one of two Chevies he had on hand. Nemechek and Jeff Purvis had swapped-off as quickest the first two days of testing, with equivalent 48.28/186.413 laps.
Late in the afternoon on Sunday, Purvis ran a 47.92/187.813 before Nemechek cranked off his 47.88.
"I know they (9.5/1 V8s) sound like real race cars again," said Nemechek, grinning, after his big run. "The V8 is going to be the way to go, here. They're at least a couple tenths better."
In fact, of all the cars that tested, only two drivers, Glenn Sullivan and Steve Perry, used V6s.
But, as the test came to a close, Nemechek and Purvis weren't the only ones smiling.
"We're pretty well pleased with the speeds we've seen here these three days," said Busch Series Director Ray Hill, grinning wider as he continued. "I think some of these guys have gone out of their way to maybe get a little extra publicity, down here.
"That's OK, because I know, when they come back, they'll have to go through me, before they qualify. I really think that our qualifying speed is going to be between a 48.50 and a 48.80. That's about what we saw between testing and qualifying last year."
Derrike Cope ran three different cars at the test, two from Zook Racing and the debut of his own BGN Ford. He shook-down his own car since his driver, upstate New York NASCAR Sportsman vet Tim Bender, was at a snowmobile event.
"We're not sure if we'll be here or not," said Cope of his team's plans for the Goody's 300. "We're planning to run 10 races. It'll depend on a few things, like what our motor situation is."
Two accidents, without driver injuries, marred the test session. On Saturday, a reported mechanical failure caused former Winston Modified Tour and '95 Penrose Rookie Challenge candidate Jeff Fuller to hit the wall in the trioval.
On Sunday, a broken oil line caused driver Rick Wilson to hit the turn one wall in Charley Henderson's Chevrolet. Wilson had earlier recorded the 10th-quickest lap of the session.
Driver Tim Fedewa stayed on after running for three days in one of Radius Motorsports' NASCAR Winston Cup Fords. Radius' Cup crew chief, Sandy Jones, said Fedewa would run both that car, in the Feb. 16 Gatorade Twin 125s and Feb. 19 Daytona 500; and D-R Racing's BGN T-bird in the Goody's 300.
"I think Tim's ready to go after the Busch Series championship," said the veteran Jones. "The whole team's ready to do some good. I think Tim's run better in the heavier cars, so adding 100 pounds (to the Busch cars) will help him even better."
Jones said ASA driver Glenn Allen Jr., who got some limited time in Radius' second Ford, would drive five Busch Series races for D-R. Jones said Allen ran a 48.50 in the Winston Cup car.
"That wasn't too bad for the experience he's had," said Jones. "He's got a good head, a good attitude. He doesn't feel like he has to do it NOW. He goes at it like he wants to learn and do it right."
An interesting pairing was former Winston Cup driver and more recent Nashville Motor Raceway terror Darryl Sage and Jerry Foyt, son of former Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 winner A.J. Foyt; in a pair of Wayne Day Chevrolets.
One of the longest faces in the garage belonged to L.W. Miller. The Pennsylvanian, who has prepared for his '95 Penrose Rookie Challenge run with two seasons in the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series, did not get on the race track until Sunday morning, and then the engine promptly broke in his Team III Motorsports Chevrolet. NASCAR Winston Cup driver Todd Bodine is one of the principals in the operation, and may do some BGN races later this season.