Darlington notes

TRANSOUTH FINANCIAL 400 RACE NOTES DARRELL WALTRIP (No. 17 Parts America Chevrolet) -- We're not sure what the problem is. We had the same thing -- a vibration so bad I can't drive the car -- at Atlanta and now it's happened here. We can't seem...


DARRELL WALTRIP (No. 17 Parts America Chevrolet) -- We're not sure what the problem is. We had the same thing -- a vibration so bad I can't drive the car -- at Atlanta and now it's happened here. We can't seem to figure out what it is, whether it's in the drive train or something else. It's really hurting us and we've got to get it fixed. It doesn't look good coming in to change things, but that's the only way we can find this problem. We don't want to be going to Bristol and North Wilkesboro and the other tracks with something like this. What's really strange is that we were running good until Atlanta. Now, we've got this big problem that we've got to keep working on until it's fixed.

JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 37 Kmart/Little Caesars Ford) -- I got hit a couple of times coming off turn two by Geoff Bodine and ended up in the wall. I don't know why (he hit me).

WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 15 Hayes Modems Ford) -- We were battling one thing or another -- mostly an oil leak -- all afternoon, but we couldn't seem to get it cured. We also kept working on the car because it was real tight. Then, I cut a right front tire down and that put us out of the race for good (after he hit the wall).

ERNIE IRVAN (No. 28 Texaco Havoline Ford) -- This is just part of Darlington. I thought we were in good shape. We were running pretty good and then we picked up a bad push from the front end damage when I got bumped around by the 7 car (Geoff Bodine) off turn two. We were talking about the (right front fender) damage because we weren't sure if the tire was rubbing or it wasn't. Then the tire went down.


CORRECTION: DAVID PEARSON owns the 400-mile race record average speed at Darlington Raceway, set in the 1968 Rebel 400.

RAY EVERNHAM (Crew chief No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet) -- It makes me look awful good but I've gotta tell you, these guys work and I believe we've got the best race car driver to come along in an awful long time. They did a heckuva job, all the guys back in the motor shop and the ones who build these cars. They make us look awful good and we sure appreciate it! (HOW CLOSE WERE THEY ON FUEL?) I'll let you know when we go to the pumps! we had probably three or four laps to spare. (WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST THING THEY HAD TO OVERCOME?) Traffic and crashes and just Darlington. You can't force this place -- it's a tough place.

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Ford) -- The white flag came out, I came down the backstraightaway and the motor cut off, I knocked it out of gear and coasted across the start/finish line. I can't believe it! The crew did a great job. The car was super tight all day long and it just didn't handle near as good as I wanted it to. We're gonna have to go back to the board and figure out a different set-up.

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevrolet) -- The last set of tires were real loose on our car -- I don't know why. I was about ready to spin out. Before that it was real good and we'd run good. We couldn't do nothing with that last set but hang on and salvage a decent finish. (HOW WAS HE ON FUEL?) Out! Like everybody else.

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet) -- The pit stops were awesome. This is the sign of a good team. We complement each other and work hard together. This is so much fun because Darlington is one of my favorites because it's tough and it brings out the best in you. I ran real hard to keep up with Jeff on the last set of tires and I think I about burned the right rear right off it. This team wants to win. We're not quite ready yet obviously. We came up a little short. I want to congratulate Jeff. With about 20 laps to go I picked up a little skip -- maybe it broke a valve spring.

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) -- The strategy on fuel was not to run out! We were out of gas near the end. With about eight laps to go it was sputtering a little bit but the tires were so wore out you couldn't run wide open anyway. We had a good car today and that was the key. We stayed up front most of the day -- 291 laps of it anyway -- and that made us feel pretty good. Actually, our car was the worst it was all day at the end but I think it was the best because it was better than a lot of 'em -- so I guess it was the best.

STEVE GRISSOM (No. 29 Cartoon Network Chevrolet) -- We had a bit of a heating problem and we lost a lot of time coming in and getting some water. Other than that, the car drove good and it seemed to be pretty decent. We got caught in the first deal like a lot of others and got a lap down right away. We spent most of our time at the tail end of the lead lap and just couldn't get the breaks we needed. It was one of those days where the finish doesn't show how hard the team worked and I drove.

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Prodigy Chevrolet) -- This is usually what happens at Darlington. You run around good all day and you think you've got it made. Then, there at the end something happens. You've got to stay in touch with the race track every moment. I was, but the sun was getting down and it was hard to see. I got maybe a wee bit high going into turn one and -- bingo -- I got into the wall. All in all we still had a good run.

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- (From J.R. Rhodes) The car never handled all day. We were either loose or we were tight. The tire buildup showed that we were loose, but then we were tight. Anything we tried to do didn't work. We just had a tough day. We'll be all right next week. We'll come back and see what we can do at Bristol.

RICHARD CHILDRESS (Car Owner No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- It was just one of them deals where we were just a little off on the set-up, I think. We missed it and we've just got to go back and do our homework and see what happened today. Even he (Dale Earnhardt) couldn't do an awful lot with it -- it was pushin' so bad. We tried everything we could but we just couldn't seem to help him a whole lot with it. One time we did get it loosened up but it still wasn't enough to make it work. He ran out of gas in the middle of turn one and two on the last lap.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 21 Citgo Ford) -- It's a shame, really. I just never dreamed Ken Schrader would leave a wreck and drive straight up on the track. I don't know. Maybe it's my fault, maybe I screwed up. Maybe he screwed up. It made for a long day with the damaged (right) front end. That's one thing about me, I won't quit out there. I think the Wood Brothers proved at Daytona that there isn't any 'quit' in them. It's not fun to drive a banged-up car at Darlington. When you're like this from the git-go it's definitely no fun. We did what we could do to get the car fixed, run some decent laps and get a pretty good finish.

LAKE SPEED (No. 9 Spam Ford) -- We tried to keep out of trouble and we were doing good. When I hit Ernie (Irvan) over on the front stretch I had to lock the brakes up trying to avoid hitting him. It flat-spotted the tire and it just went down before I could get back to the (backstretch) pits. The tire coming apart after that did all the damage to the front fender. That was it for us, really. It's a shame for us because the other race car was a better car. This was supposed to be our permanent back-up car. Now, we've got to go back to the shop and fix it.

HUT STRICKLIN (No. 8 Circuit City Ford) -- We felt like we had a pretty good car, but it seemed like we could never get track position. When we were able to get up there to challenge getting our lap back -- we lost one early. We had a valve spring break with about 80 laps to go and that hurt us. Still, we finished, the crew worked hard all day and I feel I drove a good race.


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader