TRUE VALUE DODGE IROC XIX ROUND THREE PRACTICE NOTES (ON ACCIDENT AT THE END OF MORNING PRACTICE) TOMMY KENDALL ( ...
TRUE VALUE DODGE IROC XIX ROUND THREE PRACTICE NOTES (ON ACCIDENT AT THE END OF MORNING PRACTICE)
TOMMY KENDALL (#2 Blue) -- Yeah, it was the wrong place at the wrong time for me! They had actually just put the caution out (to end the session), so we had all started to slow. We had all gotten out of it but almost simultaneously the red car (Hurley Haywood) cut a right rear tire and started spinning and the rest of us just got collected. I was third in line. I was just trying to get it slowed down because I knew he (Haywood) was going to come back to the top. When he came up, Steve (Millen) got into the back of Hurley and I got into the back of Steve. I didn't hit very hard and never turned around (Kendall drove the car back to the pits.)
(On Saturday's race.) I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow. Here, you're basically flat-out all day and the cars are real stable doing that. This one's totally tactical. You're trying to line up and the shuffle is constant during this race. You're just trying to not get hung out and be at the right end of the shuffle at the end. You obviously can learn how it works because the same guys seem to keep coming out on top a lot of the time. It's not pure coincidence. I'll give it five or six years! I'm starting to get a pretty good idea of how it's going to unfold...I finished fourth here last year. (On deal making.) It's kind of like OPEC -- a very shaky alliance. No, alliances in racing are even shakier than OPEC. As Steve (Kinser) said, if you plan you're going to be figuring out what happened while everyone else's gone by you. Talladega is about as wild as it gets. You'll see three abreast and maybe three deep.
HURLEY HAYWOOD (#12 Red) -- Timing is everything and this was all bad. The cars had been real good and I was real comfortable the whole time I'd been here. I was in the lead car. The yellow came out and I backed out of it going into one and all of a sudden I heard this big huge bang and I was sideways. When I got out of the car I found out the right rear tire had gotten cut. I really feel bad because Jay and the guys had been really hustling and had gotten the cars all fixed from Darlington. Now we've destroyed two more cars... I'm going to feel it tomorrow I'll guarantee that!
STEVE MILLEN (#22 Black) -- It was an experience but you can't really learn a lot from it. I was just following Hurley into the corner and his tire went. It feels great to be here and I love running around in the draft. For me the cars are a lot better than at Daytona but I think that's because I've gotten more experience in the car. Daytona was my initiation to it so there were a lot of things to learn and I was not in my own environment. I was thrown in the deep end but I'm getting more comfortable all the time. AL UNSER JR. -- (According to IROC public relations representative Mike Knight Unser is suffering from tendinitis in his left shoulder. His doctors have advised him that rest is the only thing that will ease the condition. Since practice opens on May 6 for the Indianapolis 500, where Unser is the defending champion, Unser has opted not to start Round Three on Saturday. Per IROC rules, he will be credited with a 12th place finish and three points.)
ROUND THREE TRUE VALUE DODGE IROC XIX PRE-RACE NOTES
STEVE KINSER (#7 Orange) -- Of course we're looking forward to running here again and hopefully we can have the same results as last year. It's a good series and I'm glad to be a part of it. I've definitely made a few more laps and stuff since last year (when he got his first look at Talladega Superspeedway during race week). It's gonna be a race where you've got to get yourself in the right position and work with the right people. These cars are so evenly matched that you can he running in the front and be dead last the next lap. A lot of it you can't hardly prepare for and then what happens happens. I think most of the deals (on working together) will be made on the race track. They usually sort that stuff out after the race starts. You definitely can have fun at Talladega. If you drop back a little you can get with the right people and get right back up there.
(On his sprint car program.) Quaker State and I are putting together a new sprint car team that's gonna run mostly the World of Outlaws. I probably should be there working right now but we got a race coming up here tomorrow that I wanted to run and I wanted to get out here and run a few laps. We'll probably get it out in a couple weeks. I have no regrets over anything I've done. I've been busy for the last two weeks putting this sprint car deal together. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. We're going to put three years into the sprint car team and see what happens.
SCOTT PRUETT (#3 Pink) -- I certainly hope the momentum carries over to IROC (Pruett has scored top 10 finishes in the first four IndyCar races and leads the CART PPG standings). You never really know until you get out there and go and this is one of those races that's pretty interesting, a lot like Daytona. A lot of it is strategy and getting yourself placed right. It's one of the things that Little Al (Unser) and myself have really learned -- how critical positioning is when you get down to those last two laps.
When things are going well in your career you look forward to every race and that's certainly the case with being here. I'm also really looking forward to the month of May (at Indianapolis). I never could have dreamed that we'd be on top of the PPG points, especially in Firestone's first year back (in IndyCar racing).
Starting in the back it's always tough to say what's going to happen. We're in a point race (in IROC) so you have to be concerned about getting to the front and leading some laps, for those bonus points. I hope this is a good opportunity to rack up some points and get a good starting position for Michigan.