Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Auto Finishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo: "We're going to see a big difference you know with restrictor-plates and the type of aero package that we have here. When you're out running by yourself, there's a lot of drag, so...
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Dupont Auto Finishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We're going to see a big difference you know with restrictor-plates and the type of aero package that we have here. When you're out running by yourself, there's a lot of drag, so it's all about trying to get that spoiler out of the air and trying to get as much power as you can. Once we get into the race, and you start drafting behind other cars, I don't think anybody's going to have a distinct advantage. But we would like to get qualified as far forward as we can. But I don't think it matters where you're going to start. You're going to be as fast as just about anybody else. And you know, Daytona is different than Talladega. It might come down more to handling on the longer runs than it does speed, so that's going to make it interesting. "I think if we were running a little bit faster, we'd do a little drafting today. But we need more speed before we start doing any drafting. I'm not sure if we're slower than the Fords were (early this week during their test session). I'd like to know who ran the fastest and what they ran without drafting. But it looks to me like Steve Park is really fast right now. He has something we're looking for because you know, we're all here with him at the same time and it's another Chevrolet that's six or seven-tenths faster than we are. We just know we've got to get into the forth-nine's (49's) and hopefully in the mid-49's at least. "Neither one of our cars is brand new. Our newest car, the one we're going to take to the wind tunnel, the one we've been working on, we hope is better than these two. Basically these cars are old chassis with kind of re-configured bodies on them. Just trying to update 'em. On the other hand, sometimes our new stuff's not as good as our old stuff."
Jerry Nadeau, No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"I think the drafting was okay. There really weren't enough guys out there where we could actually see if there's any difference that we're making. We're looking to get at least eight to ten guys, but right now everybody's working on qualifying set-ups. So, it's really hard to tell. We only ran about 16 laps,and we really didn't learn much of anything. We hope to go back out later today and get more guys to draft. But we'll see.
"Daytona's going to be the same deal as it was at Talladega. You're going to see a heck of a show for the fans. But from the driver's standpoint, really, you know, we'll be jockeying for positions all day long. I don't think you'll see anybody spread out like it was last year. I think the pack will be a lot closer. The guy in last place will have a chance to win the race if he's playing everything right. "We have the car that we ran at Talladega last time (the 'a' car) and then we have a new car, which is the 'b' car. We're trying to make the 'b' car just as good as the 'a' car."
Michael Waltrip, No.15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"We're wanting to get our car fast for qualifying, and we figure the draft deal, well, we'll be okay if we can just get the car fast. We're just trying to work on our practice speeds and get as much speed out of it as we can. We hope to make the race when the qualifying's over on Saturday and so we can spend all week concentrating on the race itself. I think we've got plenty of time to get ready for the race, we're just a little bit short on practice prior to qualifying, so we're concentrating on that."
Bobby Hamilton, No.55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"I hadn't drove these cars for Andy Petree yet and we had the car they finished second with at Talladega. And we were going to take this new car out but we've been making qualifying runs with it. Actually the new car is running faster. But the car they finished 2nd with (in Talladega) was what I was out there drafting in.
"The new aero package is going to make for good racing. The speeds are going to be down, but it's safer. It's safer for the fans, needless to say, and probably a little safer for the drivers. They don't really care, but it is a little safer for them. It'll be interesting to see. It worked really good at Talladega, and we only had six or eight cars out there at one time then, but it feels like you can really be packed-up in congested air and the cars really drive good and that's what it's all about.
"The biggest thing about testing here is that I get to work with my guys and stuff. You know everybody puts their eggs in one basket for this particular race. I think when you take out the double-car teams and thing slike that, we're going to end up being about 4th or 5th quickest in the two-day test, so we're pretty happy with that. We'll go back and work on it some more."