Darlington Pontiac Racing Quotes

JOHN ANDRETTI, NO. 43 STP/CHEERIOS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (SETTING UP FOR DARLINGTON) "It's a difficult track to set up for because you really have to go for feel and not off the stopwatch. But you know the guys that are going to be really, ...


(SETTING UP FOR DARLINGTON) "It's a difficult track to set up for because you really have to go for feel and not off the stopwatch. But you know the guys that are going to be really, really fast and you try to pay attention to what they are doing and try to match them stopwatch-wise. Then you try to get yours to match as close as you can and still keep the feel in the car. You don't want to bite on the steering wheel every lap to make it happen because eventually Darlington will bite you if you do that. "I've hit the set-up a couple times. One time we got it and really had it right. We led a lot of the Southern 500. We really felt good about it and then we dropped a cylinder. But we still finished 11th on the lead lap, so we obviously had a good race car. I've run fifth in the Southern 500. I felt like I had like I had a really good car that day, too. We weren't good enough to win but we were a fast race car. But the majority of the time you come here and it's like going out and trying to wrestle a gorilla. Most of the time you are just trying to stay alive instead of win."

(JEFF BURTON)  "I'm not sure anybody else could get in his car and run
like he runs.  I think he's got a feel for the place.  He knows what he
wants to do.  He makes time every lap.  And he obviously isn't always on
his limit because he doesn't tear things up either.  He's got a lot of
things figured out about this place.  When you come to Darlington Jeff
Burton is the man to beat.  I don't think anybody questions that."

(EVEN STARTING 27TH) "Yeah that's the humiliating part. Even if you start on the pole you pretty much get to see him right away."


(HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO COME IN TO THIS TYPE OF SITUATION) "For a lot of people I think this would be a lot of pressure. But I've been around long enough where I've built a little character I guess. I'm just here to help them out. I feel like I can drive a race car. And they've got a race car and a good bunch of guys working on it. We're just going to take what we've got and make the best of it. I'm just here to give them some feedback to let them know where they need help. A lot of it is they just wanted a veteran in there that could tell them where they are at. It's maybe 25 percent harder because you are playing in different arena. But fortunately I have worked with so many teams that half the guys on the crew I've worked with before. That helps as far as communications and stuff. I've known the crew chief (Terry Wooten) on this team since he was about 19. He used to help me out when I would run some ASA (American Speed Association) stuff. He would come along on certain weekends when I was down in his area and help me with the car." (IS THIS CHALLENGE ENJOYABLE) "I enjoy racing. This is what I do. I always tell people that I would do it for nothing but my wife won't let me." (THE DRIVER'S IMPACT HERE) "That's the deal here. Some tracks the car is 90 percent of it and the driver is 10. Here the car is 70 percent of it and the car is 30. So I think my expertise and experience can play a bigger role here. I always like tracks where the driver becomes effective. Not that I'm great or anything, but I've been there."


(CAN A DRIVER MAKE THE DIFFERENCE AT DARLINGTON) "You can but at the same time your car has got to let you do it. You here everybody saying tire management. If you've got a good car you can drive the wheels off that thing. The car manages the tires more so than the driver. The nose has got to follow the steering wheel. It's the same thing at Rockingham. If the car doesn't do that, even as good as Dale Earnhardt is here, he can't even make up the difference. You've got to have a good car under you."

(DEALING WITH AN EVER-CHANGING CAR HERE) "It's going to head in a certain direction. When it gets to that direction then you are compensating every lap to try to minimize the changes that you are going through. But you definitely go through a lot of changes."

BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (RACING AT A CHALLENGINE RACETRACK LIKE DARLINGTON) "It's more fun for the driver I think. This place is a lot like Rockingham in a lot of ways where you've got to really worry about the tires and you've got to worry about the racetrack. So you've got to worry about a lot of things. You've got a lot of things going through your mind and that's pretty good. you can throw out a lot of variables that a lot of people talk about. You just try to get down and get your car working as good as possible. You try to get it comfortable and to where it drives really good. Then you know you're going to be pretty good."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt