Daytona pre-race notes

DAYTONA ARCA 200 PRE-RACE QUOTES TIM STEELE (No. 16 H.S. Die/CIM LINC Ford) -- I'm hoping to do well. These guys have worked their butts off the past few weeks. We didn't get the car back until late, we came down here with an untested piece...


TIM STEELE (No. 16 H.S. Die/CIM LINC Ford) -- I'm hoping to do well. These guys have worked their butts off the past few weeks. We didn't get the car back until late, we came down here with an untested piece with no laps on it. She's running good. I think Childress' car with (Mike) Skinner is going to be a tough car, but I think maybe we've got a little bit more drafting experience. He's got a pretty good coach, too. I think the race is going to be between him and I. Purvis is pretty tough too. It's not going to be a walk in the park by no means. We've all talked, we kind of figured out who went fastest where, and we'll go for awhile and see what happens. After the last pit stop, when we don't have to make any more (fuel stops), it's going to be everybody for themselves. (Are you better running by yourself or in a draft?) It depends if you got a car that will run by itself. This car will run by itself, but there's a lot of them that can't run by themselves. I'm hoping we've got a little bit of an advantage there, because the draft only picks my car up a half-second or so, and other cars are picking up a second or so. We went faster when we led the draft before, and I'm hoping it stays that way. I've never won this race. I've come so darn close and had good cars that I felt should have won it, and I think this is the year for it. A win here will definitely boost my career. We're wanting to win it bad. If we start off winning this race, we've got our momentum. We've won the last three (ARCA races) in a row at the end of last year, and we want to make it four in a row (the last time that was done was in 1974, by Bruce Gould).

ANDY HILLENBURG (No. 52 AC-Delco Chevrolet) -- We're right up there with the top four-five cars. I feel pretty good about having a real competitive run. I don't feel any one of the top four or five have an advantage. It's hard to pass. It's going to come down to drafting at the end -- a typical Daytona shootout. I just want to try to stay calm the first half of the race. After our fuel stop, we'll shape up our mileage and the competition, and we'll know what the car can and can't do.

BOB SCHACHT (No. 75 Taco Bell Ford) -- It looks like (Tim) Steele and (Mike) Skinner will hook up together. They're fast. I think the top five or six cars will hook up and pull away. This race is one of those deals where you have to be so patient, it's unbelievable. The best thing anybody can do is ride and sort out everything, and wait to the end. If everyone starts going crazy, there will be trouble. If you tell 40 race car drivers to be patient, they'll do just the opposite. Sometimes it's good to be patient, sometimes it's not. I'm going to have to be where I want to be. I've never had a great finish in this race. I was 10th here once, and that's the best I've done here. I have to be more patient than anybody, because I'm looking for a good finish.

DELMA COWART (No. 0 Master's Inn Economy Ford) -- I'll be doing double duty this year at Daytona, running in both the ARCA 200 and Daytona 500. I can't dance, so all I'm doing is having a good time. It will be double pleasure, double the fun. I enjoy racing with both the ARCA and Winston Cup people. I came here with two cars and a few thousand dollars. I'm planning to run the two Winston Cup races at Daytona, two at Talladega, two at Atlanta, two at Charlotte and if I put in enough swimming pools, maybe one at Rockingham.

RON BARFIELD (No. 94 New Holland Tractor Ford) -- I think what we have to do is take this car and try to stay out of trouble for most of the day. I wouldn't have left the shop if I was coming to run second. I want to win this race, but the biggest thing tomorrow is to complete 80 laps and run in the lead draft. When we get about 60 laps behind us then we'll start to go racing. I want to learn as much as I can here. I tested a lot this January in (team owner) Bill Elliott's Winston Cup car, but it's different just being on track with one or two cars. Bill has talked to me a lot about what it's like in the draft, but until you get in a good group of cars and experience what that air does you can't completely understand. I'm really fortunate to have a car owner and a teacher like Bill.

HARRIS DeVANE (No. 33 Highland Timber Ford) -- This morning's practice went really good for us. We're really excited now. We had a push in the car so we changed some springs and shocks and it's been a lot better. I think the smart thing to do in the race is to hang onto Jeff Purvis -- I'm starting directly behind him. Purvis and Tim Steele are the ones to hang with in the draft -- they're strong. We'll start off with a game plan and be ready for whatever happens -- and something usually does. If I have a choice I want to be leading on the last lap of the race. It's hard to pass with these restrictor plate engines. If you're leading on the last lap you can maneuver around and maybe hold off the competition.


BILLY THOMAS (No. 22 J.W. Miller Co. Chevrolet) -- We've qualified 22nd in car No. 22 so maybe that's a good omen. We were here for the first round of qualifying, but we were still working on the car and missed getting out to qualify by about one minute. We went out yesterday morning and ran strong although we were bottoming-out a good bit. We had to build new exhaust pipes. We barely got them installed and got through tech before qualifying was. I'm relieved we're finished with all of this. Now, we concentrate on race setup.

DILL WHITTYMORE (No. 56 Indiana Steel Co. Chevrolet) -- We messed up in first round qualifying. We had problems getting through tech. ARCA took off a piece on our cowl, and that killed the air pressure. Since then, we've been trying to get it running again. Today's speed would have put us 14th on Thursday. The car's running good. It's a Lumina and it doesn't run good by itself, but in the draft it drives well. There's the "elite six" -- I'm not sure if we can get up and try to draft with them, but I think we've got a good shot at the top 10. If we keep our nose clean and work our way up, I think we'll be in the top 10.

ROB SMITH (No. 19 Florida Dreams Ford) -- We didn't go nearly as fast as we practiced Friday, and the only thing we can figure is we didn't get the oil temperature up. It only was 170 degrees on our qualifying run and yesterday we didn't get up to speed until it reached 230 degrees. You've got to try to keep the water temperature low, so it's a hard combination to get. It's pretty easy to get it right after four or five laps, but you only get two in qualifying. I qualified about 500 RPMs lower than yesterday and didn't get the engine to pull. We're a little disappointed, but the car's running fine and we'll be fine for the race. 

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Purvis , Tim Steele