Crew Chief Club at the Pepsi Southern 500 Event: Pepsi Southern 500 When: Sun., Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN Where: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval) Â· Together, Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott and ...
Crew Chief Club at the Pepsi Southern 500
Event: Pepsi Southern 500 When: Sun., Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Where: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
· Together, Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott and Robin Pemberton have led their drivers to 74 wins, 392 top-five finishes, 617 top-10 finishes and 72 poles prior to this Sunday's Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
· Parrott and Dale Jarrett are the defending Bud Pole winners in the Pepsi Southern 500. Jarrett toured the 1.366-mile oval in 29.119 seconds at an average speed of 168.879 mph.
· Parrott and Jarrett also hold the event record for qualifying in this event. Jarrett set the mark on August 30, 1996 with a lap of 28.769 seconds at an average speed of 170.934 mph.
· Makar and McReynolds have also provided their drivers with a fast car to set fast time. Bobby Labonte earned the pole in 1997 with Makar, while Davey Allison set the pace in 1991 with McReynolds. · In last year's Pepsi Southern 500, the Crew Chief Club finished in the following order: Parrott/Jarrett Start: 1st Finish: 3rd Status: Running Pemberton/Wallace Start: 3rd Finish: 7th Status: Running Makar/Labonte Start: 24th Finish: 15th Status: Running McReynolds/Skinner Start: 13th Finish: 26th Status: Running
HOW DO YOU PREPARE YOUR RACE CAR FOR 500 MILES AT DARLINGTON?
Jimmy Makar - Interstate Batteries Pontiac of Bobby Labonte - "Darlington is a tough track that's quite unique. We've had good luck and bad luck, but as of late we haven't run as well as we'd like to. Our cars just haven't been as strong as they need to be the last couple of times we've been there. The biggest thing is getting a hold of the racetrack - getting grip in the race car. The track was paved three or four years ago, and it's already gotten back to the old Darlington. It's slick, it's hard to grip and the tires go away really fast. So, we try to get the car to where it can keep its grip on the long runs. That's the main thing."
Larry McReynolds - Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet of Mike Skinner - "The biggest thing is that it'll be hot down there and it'll be hard on equipment. The track will get awfully slick. The car that wins the race there is the car that will slide around the least amount for a long run. And a long run at Darlington is not a very long run on tires. You can probably run 65 laps on fuel, but you need tires after about 20 laps. But you still need to be able to make your car run 40 or 50 laps on a set of tires. Going down there and qualifying well is key. Darlington has pits on the frontstretch and on the backstretch, and pitting on the frontstretch is essential."
Todd Parrott - Ford Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford of Dale Jarrett - "One thing for sure is that Dale Jarrett likes Darlington and he enjoys the challenge and tradition of Darlington. As a team, we've run well since we first started going there. I've got a lot of experience at Darlington as far as setup and stuff goes. That comes from when I worked with Rusty Wallace. We've got a good baseline, a good setup and the engine room has put out great engines. We're really looking forward to going down there."
Robin Pemberton - Miller Lite Ford of Rusty Wallace - "Darlington is one of those places that's real abusive on tires. Setups have to be as soft as you can make them, and shock work is important to get as long of a run as you can. Tire management there is not necessarily like other race tracks. Over the course of 70 or 80 laps at Darlington, your tires are still performing, but actually they're wore out to the cord. So, it's really important to get your car to where you can run it for a fair amount of time on new tires."