DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY Tentative pre-season testing schedule* NOVEMBER 16-17 Bridgestone Motorcycle Tires 30 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires DECEMBER 1-2 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires 3-4 Yoshimura Suzuki Motorcycles 5-9 ...
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY Tentative pre-season testing schedule*
NOVEMBER 16-17 Bridgestone Motorcycle Tires 30 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires
DECEMBER 1-2 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires 3-4 Yoshimura Suzuki Motorcycles 5-9 Oldsmobile IMSA Sports Cars (WSC & GTS) 12-14 Cagiva/Ducati Motorcycles 15-17 ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series Stock Cars 18-22 Oldsmobile IMSA Sports Cars (WSC & GTS)
JANUARY 3-5 General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup Series Stock Cars 6-8 IMSA Exxon Series and Street Stock Endurance Championship Sports Cars (Night practice Jan. 7) 9-11 Ford NASCAR Winston Cup Series Stock Cars 12-14 NASCAR Busch Series Stock Cars 15-17 General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup Series Stock Cars 20-21 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Stock Cars 22-24 Ford NASCAR Winston Cup Series Stock Cars
* = Subject to change
RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING TESTS AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- On Nov. 5-7, prior to the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing conducted a three-day test session of a pair of Chevrolet Monte Carlos at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for Speedweeks '96 and the 38th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18. Driver Dave Marcis tested for three days while Earnhardt participated in the test on Nov. 6-7. One car was brand new and had not even been primered while the second car was one that had been used during the '95 season. While at Daytona, newly-named crew chief David Smith revealed that, for the first time, the team would build cars solely for use at Daytona and its sister facility, Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Other team members who were present included engine builder Danny Lawrence and team engineer/shop foreman Bobby Hutchens. DALE EARNHARDT (GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- ON TESTING: You come down here and you just flail and flounder at everything you do to try and go faster. It~s the meticulous little changes that make a difference. We work hard to gain all we can. It~s very time- consuming work to test at Daytona and Talladega. If you don~t do it, you end up giving up a couple of tenths of a second a lap. That could make for a bad qualifying day and you~d also be a little bit off in the race. It~s very competitive racing at Daytona and Talladega so it~s very competitive when it comes to testing. You~ve got to come down and try to learn and find out all you can. We really work hard at it. We had one test left for the ~95 season. We felt like our chances for winning the championship were slim going into Atlanta so we~d spend the last test at Daytona and try to get ahead for next year. NASCAR is going to change engine rules. We~ve built one of those engines. We~re trying to fine tune and look toward next year. We~re trying to help NASCAR figure out what the best combination for the Daytona and Talladega races will be. It~s all working out. It was a worthwhile test. I think we~ll be in better shape and ahead of the game when we come back to test in January. ON THE DAYTONA 500: We~ve been trying to win the Daytona 500 every year. It~s one of those races that have eluded us. Still, we work hard at it. Eventually, I think we~ll win it. RICHARD CHILDRESS (Team owner #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) -- ON THE OBJECT OF THE TEST: We~ve got two cars here and we~ve got Dave Marcis to help with the testing. One car is our baseline car, which Marcis is driving, and the other is a new car that Dale is shaking down. We~ve got our Busch Clash car back at the shop and we~ll be getting it ready to bring down here for the first test session in January. We~re also here to work on the new engine rules -- NASCAR is coming out with a different restrictor plate and manifold. Right now we~re seeing a decrease of about five or six miles-per-hour. What that will probably do is bunch the cars up closer and make it better racing for the fans. We~re working on a lot of our ~96 stuff for when we come back here in February for the 500. We need to win the Daytona 500. ON THE SEASON: Was it a good year? I figure years as great years, good years and just plain racing years. We~ve had a good year. We~ve won four races (five after winning the NAPA 500) and one of those was Indy. So, we had a good year. The only way you~re going to have a great year is if you win the Winston Cup championship. We had some things not go our way. We were involved in four or five wrecks early in the season; we lost an engine at Michigan; our performance was off a Pocono. We look back over the season and see the things that ~got us~ and it was no one individual thing. I believe that~s the strength of this team. Anytime we have a problem, we all do it together. Nobody ever says, well the engine failed here or the driver wrecked there or the pit crew lost it here. We had a lot of those things happen. All teams have them. It~s when you unite and say, we won the championship together or we lost it together. DAVID SMITH (Crew chief #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) -- ON UTILIZING DAVE MARCIS AS AN ADDITIONAL DRIVER IN TESTING: Dave Marcis is a tremendous help to our team. By having two drivers here we can get twice the work done. The car Dave has been driving is mostly involved in motor work. Dale, in the new car, has been working mainly on aerodynamics and chassis. It~s a big advantage to us. It also helps Dave because the things that we learn, he learns. He can take the knowledge to his team. We want him to make the races and do well, too. IROC QUOTE SHEET DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- On Nov. 13-15 at Daytona International Speedway, Jay Signore and a test crew that included drivers Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Dick Trickle conducted a three-day session with the new Pontiac Firebird Trans-Ams that will be used in 1996 in the True Value presents the Firebird International Race of Champions (IROC) XX. The series, which features 12 hand-picked drivers from a variety of racing disciplines, will commence with Round One on Friday, Feb. 16, during Speedweeks ~96 at Daytona. JAY SIGNORE (IROC PRESIDENT) -- (ON NEW IROC PONTIAC FIREBIRD) What we~ve done is had the opportunity to start out with a brand new car and a brand new set-up. It gives us what we need to be on a par with today~s current technology. This is the first new chassis we~ve had in the last 10 years. We started with the Porsches, then switched to Chevrolet Camaros that were basically street cars prepared to the SCCA Trans-Am rules of that period. Those cars weren~t working so well on the superspeedways so we switched to a Banjo Matthews tube frame chassis in the late ~70s. When the series came back in the early ~80s they had just down-sized the Camaro so we built new cars. We used them through the switch to the Dodge Daytona and then to the Dodge Avenger. What you have to remember about the IROC series is that a car runs about 400 race miles a season. You do that just about every weekend in a (NASCAR Winston Cup) stock car. The Banjo ~rear steer~ chassis we were using were built in 1984 and had been around in the same basic style since the ~60s. Every three years we would strip the cars down to bare metal, inspect them and rebuild them to ~Class A~ shape. With the advent of the radial tire and the move to a ~front steer~ car on the Winston Cup circuit we needed to change the chassis to better accommodate the radials. We decided to go with the (Mike) Laughlin chassis because he~s building about 80 percent of the cars that run in Winston Cup and the Busch Grand National Series. At around 3,400 lbs the new cars are now more comparable to a Winston Cup car, from a weight standpoint, than what we had been running. They were hard to get the weight off of. We~ve basically been working seven days a week since August to get the program running. That~s always the way it is with a new program. We~re a bit different than an individual race team because of the equality in the cars -- trying to build them all equal. We spent a lot of time in tooling and fixturing and getting the car squared away so that you could duplicate it over and over again. We~re building 20 cars. We hope to have 17 complete cars to bring to Daytona for the first race. We~ve got three here that we~re testing with and there are another couple of cars finished back at the shop. We~ve got a partial crew here because most of the team is working back at the shop. I think we~re starting to gain on it a bit. The most important thing, though, is to gain on the test. I think we~ve got the best drivers in the business to test and set up the cars. Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle and Jim Sauter work well together as a team. Each guy has something unique to give. We use Marcis as our lead guy. He~s an excellent chassis guy and has been working with us for 20 years. Trickle came on board four years ago and he has a little bit different philosophy on how to handle things. Sauter, who has worked with us since the late 1980's, also has a bit of a different viewpoint on set-up and what feels comfortable. We work with each driver independently to come up with the chassis settings for a car that they feel comfortable with. Then, we get all three to sit down and talk things over to come up with a basic package. They know what we have to deliver for the wide variety of drivers the series has. JIM SAUTER (ON NEW IROC PONTIAC FIREBIRD) -- We~re having a pretty good time. We~re not satisfied yet. Of course, we~re only three days into a program where everything is new. The cars are really quite a bit faster than they need to be so now we~re going to create some downforce, tone them down a bit, and make them comfortable. That~s what all the testing amounts to. To make a good show with all the variety of drivers who compete we have to have comfortable race cars. We have in the past and that~s what we~re shooting for with the new IROC Firebird. We~ve got to do some work on the body. We have such a short wheelbase -- 105 inches -- that it upsets pretty easy. So, we~ve got to do some work on the body and create more downforce. I think the show, the racing, will be even better than it~s been once we get the body sorted out. We~re going to have more throttle response for the drivers. We~re going to have much better chassis. The chassis drives much better, the steering geometry is better, it~s much more up to date and state of the art than what we had before. There wasn~t anything wrong with the Banjo chassis we were using, but the radial tires dictate pretty much what you have to have. The cars should be more comfortable and easier to drive for those IROC competitors who don~t have a stock car background. The new front steer chassis has created a lot of interest. With our rear steer chassis even Rusty Wallace, Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin and those guys weren~t comfortable the first few laps in these cars with the steering the way it was and all the ~bandages~ we had to have on the chassis to make it work with the radial tire. After one race, the stock car drivers were settled-in but it took the others three or four races to get settled. That~s the difference and that~s where this car should help us. - 30 - /