Crew Chief Club at The Winston Event: The Winston When: Sat., May 22 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on TNN Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte (1.5-mile oval) Â· Larry McReynolds is the only member of the Crew Chief Club who has led a...
Crew Chief Club at The Winston Event: The Winston When: Sat., May 22 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on TNN Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte (1.5-mile oval)
· Larry McReynolds is the only member of the Crew Chief Club who has led a driver to victory in The Winston. In fact, it was McReynolds who was at the helm when the late Davey Allison scored back to back victories in The Winston in 1991 and 1992. · Makar and Bobby Labonte have finished second in the past two runnings of The Winston. · In last year's running of The Winston, the Crew Chief Club finished in the following order:
Makar/Labonte Start: 3rd Finish: 2nd Status: Running Parrott/Jarrett Start: 7th Finish: 3rd Status: Running Pemberton/Wallace Start: 16th Finish: 5th Status: Running McReynolds/Earnhardt Start: 19th Finish: 19th Status: Accident
· Crew Chief Club souvenirs are available on the Chevrolet and Ford merchandise trailers. Fans can also log-on to the Crew Chief Club at their official website, www.crewchiefclub.com.
DOES RUNNING THE WINSTON ACT AS A TEST SESSION OF SORTS FOR THE 600?
Jimmy Makar - Interstate Batteries Pontiac of Bobby Labonte - "Yes, it does. When we go to The Winston we try things we wouldn't normally do in a race to see if they work or not. It's an opportunity to put more laps on a setup in racing conditions than it would be to go over in practice or a test. It's a better test than a test session because you're actually racing."
Larry McReynolds - Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet of Mike Skinner - "The (No.) 31 car isn't in The Winston right now and it's hard to believe that 1999 will be the first year that I'll be partaking in The Winston Open. There's no question about The Winston serving as a sort of test session. The track changes from the weekend of The Winston to the Coca-Cola 600, but you still learn about your race car, especially what it does in those conditions. That's the reason we try to take our car for the 600 to that event. The down side is if you get wrapped up in an accident and lose that race car. Then it wasn't the right move. "Back in 1992 we had a chance to lock The Winston Million up with Davey Allison if we won the 600, so we took our best shot at The Winston. It paid off because we did win that, but we killed the car doing it and had to take a brand new, never been tested, car out the following week. I'm a firm believer that a race is a race, you take your best shot every week you go to the race track. If you have to take the second best shot the following week, then that's what you have to do."
Todd Parrott - Ford Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford of Dale Jarrett - "I guess it does for us. We set the car up to be a little more free for this event than we would for a longer race. If it's not quite right we get to work on the car during the 10 minute break after the first segment anyway, so we can adjust it and go from there."
Robin Pemberton - Miller Lite Ford of Rusty Wallace - "It is a test session but generally you can be more aggressive on your engine, gearing and chassis setup. Some people have different theories, and take a different car than they plan to take to the 600. It's a good time to get some ideas and to run against the competition."
FROM A MECHANICAL STANDPOINT, DO YOU DO THINGS FOR THE WINSTON THAT YOU WOULDN'T NORMALLY DO FOR A TYPICAL WINSTON CUP POINT RACE?
Jimmy Makar: "You definitely do things differently. You take more chances and risks. It's not a point race, although there's a lot of money at stake. But if something happens, it's not as big a deal. We try things that we know would be better for a short period of time, even though they are things we'd probably never race with."
Larry McReynolds: "We try more from an engine standpoint. We may run a qualifying engine or a lower gear than you would run for 600 miles. We may not have the car setup for a 60-65 lap run, which is what a fuel stop is at Charlotte, because you're running two 30 lap segments and you know you're going to get fresh tires at the end of 30 laps. You're able to run the car freer because you don't have to go the normal run for a fuel stop."
Todd Parrott: "You've got to have a good handling race car - that's what wins The Winston. We're not going to do anything really off-the-wall than what we would normally do at Charlotte."
Robin Pemberton: "Yes, definitely in the drive train for the engine. You push the engine harder for The Winston than you do for the 600. You've got both ends of the spectrum in Charlotte. You have the shortest, fastest, money race versus the longest endurance race of the year in two separate weekends."
PAST "WINSTONS" HAVE BEEN PRETTY EXCITING. DO YOU ENCOURAGE OR DISCOURAGE YOUR DRIVER FROM MAKING A MOVE THAT HE WOULDN'T NORMALLY MAKE IN A TYPICAL POINT RACE?
Jimmy Makar: "I don't really do either. The driver has to do what he has to do. We're there to try and win the race and he has to use his abilities to do that. We're going to give him the best race car we can so he can do that. We try just as hard at this event as any other."
Larry McReynolds: "You don't want to get caught up in a wreck or in any kind of trouble, but you don't have a long time to get to the front. When they start that final 10 lap segment, if you don't get the jump in a hurry, you're going to be in trouble and get behind."
Todd Parrott: "The last 10 laps are Katy-bar-the-door, go for broke."
Robin Pemberton: "If you're a Winston Cup driver you don't have to encourage or discourage anything. It's out of your hands. They're all big boys. They're out there having fun, although sometimes it's not fun. It's every man for himself."