Darlington Dodge Saturday practice notes

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T) "I don't think we're too far off. We'll have to look at some sheets and see how some other guys are running after 20 laps. We're a little bit free and a little bit tight on a couple...

DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"I don't think we're too far off. We'll have to look at some sheets and see how some other guys are running after 20 laps. We're a little bit free and a little bit tight on a couple of different runs. We've got a good idea of how to get to different ground. We had some different front spring setups we wanted to try, some soft, some stiff. I think we've got it narrowed down here on what we like. It'll be a little different after the Busch race, and we'll see what we've got then. I think we made a 25-lap run. It's a just a gradual falloff for the tires. That first one is a killer and they go downhill after that. The guy who can keep them under him the longest is going to be in control.

"Last week after Happy Hour, I couldn't have told you I was going to be that good at Atlanta. I've lost lots of big races in my life, and that was a big one -- no doubt. As long as we can stay competitive every week, we'll be happy. We'll look back on it and say it hurts, but we'll be happy if we're competitive every week.

"After every practice, we show 'em what we threw at it, and they do the same. I think we've been doing about the same thing here, and I think we're finding the same things out here. I hope we've got it narrowed down to something we can race with.

"Darlington is more like a dirt track than anything we run on. The car is going to slide around no matter what, and you just try to get it as balanced as you can. It's so easy to make a mistake here, and you can't afford to make a mistake. You can't get after it too hard. I ran a couple of years of Busch here, and I ran second one time to Mark Martin. We ran decent here last fall in the Cup race. If you get the car hooked up, you're going to go."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)


"The car is pretty good right now. I think we've got a top five car. The last three races, we've had three different kind of tires here, so that's going to be the deal. It's the deal every week now. We made two 30-lap run and a 25-lap run. You get around the 25 or 30-lap mark, that's when tire wear starts to tell. You'll know who's got their act together then. A lot of times people start short pitting and a gas run doesn't come into play. I'm not saying it won't, but it might not. I'd rather be at Darlington than just about anywhere, yet at the same time, just about anything can happen here. I like having a practice this morning and another one this afternoon. I like the two-day weekend, too. I know we've got to get our car a little better. A couple of guys out there are awful quick. The 1 and 6 look good. We've just got to get our act together. We've got a good game plan for Happy Hour. We're going to try some different stuff and hope it works."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)


"I don't think back. I don't come in here and say I did this or I did that. It's a whole different deal now. There's too many other things now dictating what you do. It was so much racing back then (1985 when he won Winston Million at Darlington) than it is today.

"I think the tires will be fine. They didn't give up too much at Rockingham, and it's the same tire. I don't know if we can go a fuel stop with them. We'll have to check the tire wear after practice. We came pretty close at Rockingham to making a fuel run, so I don't see what it should be any different here.

"We've got some different stuff we're going to try in Happy Hour. We'll get ready and go out for round two. I survived round one. I kept it between the ditches. That's the name of the game.

"I figured I'd learn something from him (rookie teammate Casey Atwood). Sometimes you go to these places and you're new at it, you might do things a little different. Sometimes when you're around it a lot you might rely too much on old habits."

-Mopar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Atwood , Mark Martin