Testing Today at Martinsville Speedway Wednesday, December 1.
Jack Sprague, GMAC Chevrolet; Andy Houston, The Cat Rental Stores Chevrolet -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Testing for NAPA 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race on Saturday, April 8, 2000 at Martinsville Speedway.
Temperatures today were in the high 30's during the afternoon. Both plan to test again on Thursday.
Sprague is the 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion and Houston finished eighth in the points standings.
ANDY HOUSTON - WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE WORKING ON IN NEAR-FREEZING WEATHER THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO USE IN APRIL WHEN IT MAY BE 80 DEGREES HERE?
"Brakes. That's really all we're working on today. Brakes are the big deal here. We're just making long runs today, a minimum of 35 laps to work on brakes. We're working on different pads and rotors, trying to find the right combination. We just want to get a good baseline for next spring."
WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK TEMPERATURE TODAY?
"Really, after you get everything up to temperature, it's not that far off from the spring. It takes four or five laps to get the heat in your tires and then it's like the spring. Once you get a few laps in, I don't think there's much different ... once the tires are heated up. You might have to be a little more careful in the corners."
YOU DIDN'T HAVE A GREAT RUN HERE LAST SPRING. IS THAT PART OF THE REASON YOU'RE TESTING HERE?
"We really didn't do well here last spring. This racetrack last spring was one of my biggest disappointments of the season. I love this racetrack. It's close to home and whenever we run here a lot of folks come up to watch us, so we really want to do well here. When we looked back over the bad spots on our season, this was one of them and we knew we needed to come up here and test."
I NOTICE YOUR DAD'S NOT HERE TODAY. HE ALWAYS HAD PRETTY GOOD SUCCESS HERE. DID HE GIVE YOU ANY TIPS? (Andy Houston's father Tommy Houston won three races at Martinsville. They were 150 lap Grand National races in 1986 and 1989 and a 200-lap Grand National race in 1990.)
"I was over his house about nine last night. You know, he always got around this place pretty good. I think he won here three times. He's got one of those grandfather clocks sitting in his living room. Yeah, he made a few suggestions to me last night."
JACK SPRAGUE- ARE YOU FINDING OUT MUCH IN THIS COLD WEATHER? "It's more of a comparison deal. We have two different styles of truck here. We actually ran good here this year. That's the first time we've run good here, finishing third. Basically we are trying to compare the two trucks. One is like what we race and the other is like what we haven't raced here. It's pretty cold, you're right, but you still got concrete corners and it doesn't seem to matter much what the temperature is. They are both driving good and they both drive about the same so I'm not sure we are learning anything here or not."
YOU HAD A GREAT SEASON WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP. WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE SEASON? "Not really. It was an extremely tough season for us. Three DNF's, things breaking that don't normally break, trying to learn the new Chevrolet Silverado body, it was a tough year. It wasn't a great year. It was a great October. We were lucky enough to get the championship. We struggled and worked hard for it. It didn't come easy by any means."
DO YOU PLAN TO TEST AT OTHER TRACKS BEFORE NEXT YEAR? "I'm not sure at this point. Maybe Memphis TN. We have the Daytona test coming up in two weeks so we don't have a whole lot of time."
DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO RACING AT DAYTONA (February 18, 2000)? "It's going to be a good race. I was one of the ones that tested there for NASCAR. It was a lot of fun. They didn't drive any different than a car by any means and they ran really quick. It's going to be a very exciting race."