WHAT ABOUT CHEVROLET BEING 3-0? "I'm not very happy that they're 3-0 since I drive a Ford, but like I said the other day, I think we've got a little bit of an aero problem. That's what I saw whenever I would get close enough to some of those...
WHAT ABOUT CHEVROLET BEING 3-0?
"I'm not very happy that they're 3-0 since I drive a Ford, but like I said the other day, I think we've got a little bit of an aero problem. That's what I saw whenever I would get close enough to some of those guys. When I was out front, it wasn't too bad, but as we got into racing and in traffic, we just don't have enough downforce on the front to make the car balanced and that's our problem right now." COULD YOU HAVE CAUGHT JEFF? "No, I was too tight there. As soon as he got near me and we were near another car, whenever I went in behind that car I just lost the front end and I was too tight from there on." DO YOU THINK JEFF GORDON IS BACK? "It looks like they're pretty much back. They started showing that last year, I think. They've got a good race team. It looks like they made some good adjustments today. At one point in time it looked like his car was pretty tight and he couldn't go and they adjusted it his last couple of stops I guess. That's the sign of a good team, so I'm sure they'll be right in the battle for the championship."
WHAT DO YOU HOPE CAN BE DONE SOON FOR THE FORDS?
"Just a little help on the front end, where we can get our car a little balanced. I don't think we need the two inches the Chevrolet got last year, but a little bit of help would be nice. I'm sure that NASCAR is gonna evaluate everything and try to make it to where every make can get into victory lane."
YOU LED QUITE A BIT, IS THE DIFFERENCE BEING IN CLEAN AIR?
"That's the biggest thing. At the beginning of the race, we were able to get out front and when you're there, you've got that air. My car was tight in the center, except for one set of tires I got that were just really loose and trying not to wreck, my car was tight other that. I adjusted too much for that set of tires. I thought the track might be loosening up and I just got too much. When you're out front and you've got that air, then you can halfway make things work, but anytime you're in the traffic -- it doesn't take just the cars you're racing with, the lapped traffic effects it too. Anytime you just lose that least little bit of air, then the front end slides."
DO YOU LIKE THE TIRE?
"I think it's great. I think what Goodyear has done here is what needed to be done. The tire is gonna fit some race tracks and then it's not gonna be right for others, but that's when the teams that are good start adjusting their cars and making the most of it. I think it's put a lot in the driver's hands as far as being able to relay what needs to be done to the car and, yeah, I like what we've done. I think it works great."
THIS IS THE SAME PIECE YOU HAD LAST YEAR. HAVE THE TEAMS PEAKED AS FAR AS WHAT THEY CAN GET OUT OF THE TAURUS?
"Pretty much. We've done everything we can do to it and that's just what we have. We can't go in there and do anything to the front end that would make it any better, so you have to work with the chassis. That's what we did out here in the test and we did get it better than what we had, but it's not like you can keep softening the front end or tying the front end down with shocks because then you get into a situation of wearing the tires and the front end won't stick then. We're kind of tapped in what we can do as far as the Taurus goes right now."
DO YOU EXPECT A RULES CHANGE FOR ATLANTA?
"I can't imagine there would be one before Atlanta. Normally Atlanta is a place where we go to the wind tunnel since it's close by. I don't know if that's gonna happen, but maybe then we can evaluate. Even though we've about worn the wind tunnel out, we know what the numbers are, they're the same they were after November and we know that we were lacking a little bit there, so we'll see. I mean, we've got the rules right now where we've got to work hard and continue to work and do what we can with what we've got. We're not sitting at the door step begging them to do anything. These are the rules right now and we're gonna have to continue to try to make our cars a little bit better and make the right adjustments at the end. We're not going there with the idea that we're already defeated. We're gonna work hard and see what we can do."