SOURCE: Daytona International Speedway FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL 200 PRACTICE NOTES MIKE WALLACE (No. 6 Discount Auto Parts Ford ) -- I don't know if we can get a lot accomplished today with the windy conditions. The one thing we're not going to...
SOURCE: Daytona International Speedway
FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL 200 PRACTICE NOTES
MIKE WALLACE (No. 6 Discount Auto Parts Ford ) -- I don't know if we can get a lot accomplished today with the windy conditions. The one thing we're not going to try to do is outdo ourselves. If something is not working just right, I don't know if we need to jump right in and change anything. It's kind of a shame, because we could all use the practice time. I look for this race to be about the same as it always has been, I think we've just got a bigger variety of cars. But in the end, I think you'll only see about 10-12 guys capable of winning the race.
KENNY IRWIN (No. 27 Raybestos-Texaco Ford) -- (Irwin, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Ford Taurus on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, is entered in a Robert Yates Racing Ford Thunderbird in Sunday's ARCA race.) I really don't have any drafting experience, I've never run a race here at Daytona. We're going to look at this race as a good learning experience. This Thunderbird is from Dale Jarrett's shop, I don't know if the car has ever even been run before. Those guys over there just let us borrow it for the ARCA race. I just want everybody after the race to know that we were competitive and that we're going to be in contention for the rest of Speedweeks.
MARK GIBSON (No. 59 CSG Racing Ford) -- The car's ready to go. We will probably go flat out on the first lap. We tested here at Daytona and last week at Talladega and have a pretty good feel on how the car's going to be. The field is going to be very competitive especially when you throw in the Winston Cup drivers that are in this race. There will be probably four or five more cars with a chance to win the race than last year. With Daytona being my home, it would be the highlight of my career to win here. Finishing second and third here at Daytona is almost as big as winning. This is the place where racing started and this race is what all of these drivers shoot for, to win here is a feather in your cap.
ANDY HILLENBURG (No. 95 Gravy Train Chevrolet) -- I really think we have a chance to repeat our victory from last year in the First Plus Financial 200. The car is unproven and we were not very happy with it after testing last week at Talladega. We've made a lot of changes to the car, and we will know more here this afternoon once we get on the racetrack. I don't know how well the car will do in qualifying, but I feel like I will have a real good race car come Sunday. I think the field will be very competitive. There are 11 or 12 drivers that won't surprise me if they win the race. The race is going to be tougher and I think you will see the quality of the field improve with this many cars. I think you will see racing in the front, middle, and back of the field.
DOC WATSON (No. 34 Philadelphia Daily News/Knight Ridder Ford) -- I used to live here, and I don't ever remember it being this cold! This weather reminds me of the Philadelphia suburbs, where I live now. I love being back at Daytona. I raced in the 1991 ARCA 200, and finished 17th. I loved racing here, and I'm happy to be back. I'm planning to run all the ARCA superspeedways this year, and maybe five of the short track races. I've got sponsorship from the Philadelphia Daily News and Knight Ridder for this race. We decided to work on getting the car ready today -- we'll go out and practice on Thursday morning.
RON BARFIELD (No. 2 New Holland Chevrolet) -- One thing I learned from Bill Elliott was that if you can hold it wide open and never have to lift, you can outrun them. I've learned a lot from Bill Elliott. He's the smartest race car driver I've ever met. He's got a good head on his shoulders. It's no problem getting the car comfortable when you're out there by yourself, but we're trying to simulate race conditions so we can get it comfortable when we're out there with other cars. This is a new race car, so we're trying to work the little bugs out. I think it's going to be a real good car. Our main focus is on getting the right race setup. Then we'll put in a new engine and change the springs and gearing for qualifying. I'm doing a 15-race deal for Ricky Craven -- three ARCA races and 12 in the NASCAR Busch Series -- and I'm running the full NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule for Charles Hardy's Ortho Lawn and Garden team.
DAN PARDUS (No. 42 Jim & Judie Gardner Chevrolet) -- We've been shaking down our new Pontiac ARCA car. We really didn't get much testing time with the car. We were about 20th fastest today, we're hoping that we will be able to pick that up about a half a second in the morning. We hope to qualify in the first round and be able to concentrate on our race set up. This is going to be a real tough race with the Winston Cup and experienced ARCA competition in the field, and I am looking forward to it. It would be an emotional feat for me to be able to pull into Victory Lane here at Daytona. We've earned our way here and to be able to have a good top-ten finish here this weekend is our goal. If we could repeat our effort from last year and add a little more we would be extremely happy.
BILL BAIRD (No. 52 Saturn Machine/Spree-Dee Pop Chevrolet) -- So far, we're the quickest car here. We have made a lot of changes to the car since we were here for testing and with the wind we don't know really how well those changes affected the car. The competition for the race this year is good and I just hope we will be able to win the race. We have been working on our qualifying and hopefully tomorrow and Friday we'll be able to do some drafting.