Crew Chief Club at the California 500 presented by NAPA Event: California 500 presented by NAPA When: Sun., May 2 at 2 p.m. EDT on ABC Where: California Speedway (two-mile oval) Together, Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott...
Crew Chief Club at the California 500 presented by NAPA
Event: California 500 presented by NAPA When: Sun., May 2 at 2 p.m. EDT on ABC Where: California Speedway (two-mile oval)
Together, Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott and Robin Pemberton have led their drivers to 66 wins, 366 top-five finishes, 584 top-10 finishes and 68 poles prior to this Sunday's California 500 presented by NAPA at California Speedway.
In last year's California 500, the Crew Chief Club finished in the following order: McReynolds/Earnhardt Start: 43rd Finish: 9th Status: Running Pemberton/Wallace Start: 4th Finish: 34th Status: Engine Makar/Labonte Start: 7th Finish: 38th Status: Engine Parrott/Jarrett Start: 36th Finish: 41st Status: Engine Crew Chief Club souvenirs and wearables are available on the Chevrolet and Ford souvenir trailers. Fans can also log-on to the Crew Chief Club at their official website, www.crewchiefclub.com.
YOU'VE RACED AT CALIFORNIA FOR TWO YEARS NOW, DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE A HANDLE ON YOUR SETUP AND RACE STRATEGY?
Jimmy Makar - Interstate Batteries Pontiac of Bobby Labonte - "I think we're a lot better off at California than we were our first two trips. We learned a lot the first time we were there and feel like we've made an improvement since last year. Now we feel what we learned since last year on those types of tracks is going to be beneficial to us when we get to California. We're looking forward to it. It's a fast race track and Bobby Labonte likes fast tracks. It's a fairly flat race track for as fast as we run, but we feel like our flat track program has really come around. We're excited about it."
Larry McReynolds - Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet of Mike Skinner - "We did not fare very well at California the first two years we were there with Dale (Earnhardt), but we feel like the track is Mike Skinner's type of race track. We feel like we've learned a lot at other tracks that we can apply to Fontana. The biggest thing that caught us off guard the first year we were out there was the fact we didn't go test. Everyone kept talking about how similar the track was to Michigan. The only thing that makes California like Michigan is an aerial view. It's a lot flatter than Michigan and takes a different setup - more of a Las Vegas setup."
Todd Parrott - Ford Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford of Dale Jarrett - "We ran well the first year we went to California, but last year Dale was under the weather. We had some bad luck qualifying and wrecked, so we had to go to a backup car and never got a hold of things. In fact, we made a lot of changes Sunday morning prior to the race and had a good car for the start. Unfortunately, we had an engine failure, so we never got to see what we really had. We're looking forward to going back there. We're taking a car we ran at Michigan and Phoenix last year. We feel our chances are pretty good, we just need to stay consistent and keep bringing home those top-five finishes."
Robin Pemberton - Miller Lite Ford of Rusty Wallace - "We went out to California and tested last week. With the new spoiler rules and everything, it was good to see the track hasn't fallen off too much. It's a smooth race track. In fact, it's a place we didn't really need to test but we did. We're taking the car we raced at Texas. We had a solid top-five finish there and look forward to bringing it to this track. It should be a good car."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON FRANCHISING TEAMS IN NASCAR?
Jimmy Makar: "I think franchising has a lot of potential in Winston Cup racing. Like anything else, you've always got a negative side to things, but it's certainly a way of taking the sport to a new level. I think its something that's going to be looked at over the next few years. We're all going to be analyzing it and trying to figure out if it's the right way to go."
Larry McReynolds: "I think you can definitely list pros and cons as far as franchising goes. As a guy who's been in this sport for 20 years and who's looking at possibly starting a new team, I hope that franchising holds off for a bit. But when you look at people in the sport who have been around for years and have done a lot for it and then get blown to the wayside with the way things change, like Bud Moore for example, you'd say franchising is good. I think it would definitely be helpful to the people who have made our sport what it is today."
Todd Parrott: "I don't think that franchising would be good for the sport right now. I like the way NASCAR racing is today - a lot of people get a shot."
Robin Pemberton: "Franchising is great and all that. But if they want to put more money in the teams then they need to raise the purses before they start worrying about franchising. If there's money there to make the teams more equitable through franchising then there should be more money for the teams to race for. But I think with the television package in the years to come, all teams will be able to elevate equipment and employees."