California Speedway West test notes, day one

Notes & Quotes - NASCAR Cup Test Session Wednesday, February 2, 2005 QUOTES FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING'S PRESS CONFERENCE: JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 42, Texaco/Havoline Dodge, Evernham Motorsports): "I'm not sure about the spoiler deal or the tire...

Notes & Quotes - NASCAR Cup Test Session
Wednesday, February 2, 2005


JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 42, Texaco/Havoline Dodge, Evernham Motorsports):

"I'm not sure about the spoiler deal or the tire yet. We had a great test in Vegas to start with, but I'm still not sure because we haven't raced it yet. We're just as fast as we've always been there, so I'm not sure what we've gained yet."

On the change in qualifying schedule: "It's probably not going to be a big change for us. We were doing our race stuff on Friday anyway while people were doing their qualifying stuff. I think it's going to be good for us."

"It's going to be wild here today. It's hard to test when the wind's blowing like this because you might go out and the car feels better, but you're not sure if it's better because the wind may help you get through a corner one lap and hurt you the next. It's going to be hard to test, or really get a true test of what we're trying to do here, but it's better than not being here."

"Racing's racing. Teams are going to run into bad luck and get in wrecks. But when you do that, you have to be able to-believe it or not-capitalize on your own mistakes, and not give up as much as you can. We're still trying to go all out at the beginning, and not give up anything. Hopefully, we'll be in the top 10 when it comes to crunch time."

"We're just going to kind of keep things like we had it last year. We've tested this year more in the beginning of the year than we had in the past. We've saved a lot of our tests for throughout the season, which I don't think we're going to do this year. You're so involved in racing it's hard to test mid-season. It's hard to really learn anything. It just really burns your guys out. You don't really learn what you would on the off-season like this."

On last year: "We were in the top 10 back and forth, and we finished in the top 10. In this sport, you don't see too many flukes flying around. It's a tough sport. If I had just not made one mistake as a driver, we'd have been solidly in the top 10. After we got into the top 10, we kind of fell on our face."

"As far as people not picking us, I've been an underdog all my life. That's what makes us strong."

"Our team is just beginning. Even last year, being in the top 10 in points, it was a great year, but we feel like right now, we're just beginning as a race team. It's just the beginning of a great thing."


ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 38, M&M's Ford, Robert Yates Racing):

"The wind's very tough today. How much are we going to learn because chances are it's not going to be like that when we come back."

On the new impound rule: "I think it's great. It throws a great little twist into it. We just have to adjust to it and learn."

On the Chase: "Ten races. It's not about winning races. You have to run every single lap. Ten races is not enough time to make two or three mistakes and come back. I think Kurt (Busch) set an example that you can win just running as many laps as you can."

"For a lot of us, this is the first time on the new Goodyear and with the new spoiler. We got our clay molded pretty good in Vegas. Now, it's time to massage it up."

On coming back to California Speedway after winning here last year: "It's great to come back to a track you won at because your confidence is unbelievable. We're kind of picking up where we left off. We're comfortable. I feel like I could pack it up, come back here and have a good shot at winning."

JIMMIE JOHNSON (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports):

On racing in California: "What I like most is being in my home state. I like coming home. I'm excited NASCAR is in California and excited that it has come to west coast."

On return to California Speedway: "I'm glad to be back and have had a great start in my test session. I am feeling very comfortable so far."

"The most important part about these test sessions is collecting data. With the data we collect here, we can take it home and really work on it."

Difference between this year and last: "I've definitely been through a large growing phase, having been married in December, the plane crash last season and the start to this season. What's different? I'm smarter and wiser, that comes with time. I'm comfortable in my shoes and with my team. It's the most comfortable I've been starting a season."

JEFF GORDON (No. 24, DuPont Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports):

"You know I have always said that whatever the point system is, that is how we are going to race and try and win. I knew that going into last season we weren't racing the old point system and we weren't trying to race the old point system, we were trying to race the new point system and we came up short. I don't think that you can really say we would have won the championships because other guys would have raced differently and it may have been a different outcome all together under the old points system."

"We are really struggling right now with the wind. I don't know how much valuable information we are going to get out of this test if the wind keeps like this and I think it is supposed to. On the first lap on the track today, I did, I felt really comfortable. Is that the cars or me? Hard to say. We are always looking for good results, and we continue to get them out here. We want to keep that going."

On being part owner: "A lot of that is on paper. I don't walk around throwing out orders and making big decisions and Rick (Hendrick) is the same way. Rick's type of leadership is through example and allowing the experts in that field or in that area do their job. When the whole thing came up and I was renegotiating a contract and some other things, I went in there and said, "I would like to be here forever. I don't want to go anywhere else. But I would like to be your partner in some way," and he said, "Done."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Yates Racing