Press Conference Notes: Marcis Auto Racing and Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd., (Team Realtree Racing) announced retirement plans for legendary NASCAR Winston Cp driver, Dave Marcis. Comments by Dave Marcis, No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte ...
Press Conference Notes: Marcis Auto Racing and Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd., (Team Realtree Racing) announced retirement plans for legendary NASCAR Winston Cp driver, Dave Marcis.
Comments by Dave Marcis, No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
"Good afternoon. I'll do the Chicago race, Indianapolis, Dover, Darlington, Atlanta and the Daytona 500 next year in 2002 here in Daytona, Florida, and that will be my final event. Marcis Auto Racing will continue to operate and stay open. I've had some meetings with Richard Childress and Mr. Jordan. Don't have support from Realtree yet. We'll be looking for the right situation, sponsorship, and a young driver. But we're not closing up Marcis Auto Racing. We'll continue to be there. I want everyone to know that. Again, from Richard Childress of RCR (Richard Childress Racing) we'll have engineering support and any other support. Richard has assured me of that.
"The years I've had in NASCAR have been great. I have mixed emotions about this deal. Is it time or isn't it time (to retire)? I don't know how you know that. Racing has not just been a job. It's been fun, too. I've really enjoyed it ever since the first day that I came down here to Daytona Beach and drove through that tunnel coming up into this racetrack. I was used to running those little third-mile and quarter-mile tracks in Wisconsin. I just couldn't believe what I saw when I drove through that tunnel. Bill France has always been supportive of me. I've gone to him a lot of times for help. His father, Mr. Bill France Sr., and I were very close friends. I've just always enjoyed being part of NASCAR. I drove the short tracks in Wisconsin, and pretty much accomplished what I could there. I wanted to race for a living and I felt that NASCAR was the place to do it. If you're going to do it for a living, there's no other organization that is as good, is as well established, and that pays the amount of money that NASCAR does. That's why I chose NASCAR.
"The race fans come to see a race. And even though maybe you don't have the best equipment or the amount of money that others do, it's all about racing. Even though you get a lap down, you're still out there to try to win a race. That's what the fans come to see. I've always raced as hard as I could with what I've had to race with. I'm a fan of NASCAR and that's where I chose to make my living. I've been outspoken at times, but I think it's been for the good of the sport. When I see changes that need to be made, I don't mind saying it. I've been part of it and want it to continue to grow. It's been a pleasure, it really has."
After all these years, why retire now?
"Well, it's becoming very difficult for a single car team to compete. You need the additional people and the engineering people that two or three-car teams can afford to hire. I've been really, really fortunate that Richard Childress Racing has helped us with everything that they have like some of the aerodynamics things, the engines, the changes that go on, the shocks - I don't have engineers employed at my place that I can do because of the costs of everything. We want to continue to be involved in the business. But it continues to be tougher and tougher as a one-car team."
Do you have any unfinished business or specific goals in mind for these last six races you're going to run?
"I'd like to try to be more competitive than I have lately. It's my goal to remain competitive in all these events and definitely qualify for them. We want to do the best we can for everyone that's been involved with us. I want to be competitive, I always have."
For Bill Jordan, president of Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd.: What sponsorship plans does Realtree have for these last races?
"First of all, we'll have a big party. I've been friends with Richard Childress since 1987. Some of you may remember five years ago we ran five races with Mike Skinner and the No. 31 car with the Realtree sponsorship. We are not, obviously, the biggest sponsorship out here in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. It takes a lot of dollars. Richard mentioned to me five years ago that I might want to do something with Dave Marcis. And we did that. We started off with a one-race deal, and here we are four years later. Dave Marcis has meant a tremendous amount to NASCAR and to our company. We're in the outdoor industry and we have 70 million-plus hundreds of fishermen - many of those are NASCAR fans - and Dave Marcis has represented us very well, and we're very appreciative of that."
Dave Marcis: "Well, I appreciate that. That's like my involvement with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. I've been on Goodyears basically my entire career. When I first came here, I think I ran Firestones once or twice. At that time, Goodyear was just getting into NASCAR. I switched over and I've been on Goodyears ever since. And I've stuck with General Motors. I ran Dodges for a few years, but then I switched to General Motors. I've basically stuck by everyone that's helped me. I've needed their support. Richard Childress has always helped me. We go back a long way."
Bill Jordan: "We have our commitment with Dave for the rest of this year and for the Daytona 500 next year. Richard (Childress) and I have had several conversations this week - as have Dave and I. We're going to continue to do what we can with Dave Marcis Racing. It may not be a primary sponsorship, as Dave said. Richard has been more than gracious to try to help. We will be involved. We've talked about possibly running some races with a (TBA) driver next year. I think it's going to be very positive. We're going to continue to support him wherever we can."
What did you get out of having your own team all these years?
"I've built a pretty good organization. I've got a lot of good employees, I've got a lot of nice cars in my shop. Everything that I have, I own. I'm not in debt. One of the reasons I struck out on my own is that I had a very successful season in 1976 - winning three events that year and 10 or 12 poles and always running up front. But at the end of the season, the team got sold and I didn't have a ride. So then I drove for Roger Penske in 1977 and Roger only run about 12 event and he let me use his racecar because I wanted to run more races. Roger let me use his car and I used my people. Roger helped me with everything - the engine in the car, the tires, and everything. Goodyear did too. I decided that to have a future in NASCAR, I needed to start my own team and get back on my own so I knew where I stood from year to year. In those days, a lot of guys that had good years didn't have a ride at the end of the season. I'm happy I made that decision. It hasn't been easy. It has been tough. But it all relates to work. You get what you work for."
Do you plan to continue your work with the IROC Series?
"I plan to continue that. I'll help the Richard Childress Racing team any way I can. If they need me to test, I will. I'm still involved in doing all the testing for the IROC cars. On the IROC cars, when we have new developments say with Goodyear, for example, we run those tires over there. I really enjoy doing that, too."
Additional Marcis comment: "One other thing I wanted to mention is my new business venture. I have bought a motel, a restaurant, and a bar in Rib Lake, Wisconsin. It's a very nice place. It's a 12-room motel on a lake. Anytime all of you want to get away, come up and have a beer and do a little fishing or hunting, come on up to Rib Lake, Wisconsin."
Richard Childress comments:
"Dave did a lot of testing for us and with his experience and years around the race track, he did a great job. He helped us in '98 when we won here. He did some of that testing. I think this has been one of the toughest decisions he's ever had to make. I think even up to a few minutes ago, he was still questioning it. It's time. But this sport has grown to the level today that it's tough to make it with one race team on any level - even if they have the financial backing."
How many changes and adjustments did you need to make between the time Dave Marcis tested the car to when Dale Earnhardt got in it?
"Very little. He usually came back before we finished it other than just taking it back home and painting it and getting it ready to go. We had some different things that we might try once we got to the track."
What involvement will you have in continuing to support Marcis Auto Racing?
"Any way that we can help him. Once a driver and the sponsor is named to Marcis Auto Racing we're going to be able to carry his single-car team to a different level. With our engineering advice and maybe helping him with restrictor-plate motors where it's really tough to just go out and do it. We'll try to help him with whatever he needs."
Will he will just be an affiliate rather than a third or fourth car for RCR?
"No, just as an affiliate. We'll be helping Dave any way we can."
Do you anticipate maintaining a relationship with Realtree after they name a new driver?
"Yes. RCR has a relationship with Realtree on Kevin Harvick's car for the next two years. So we'll be involved. Plus, I'm an avid outdoor person who loves the outdoors and I love Realtree."
Do you have any news on your driver/team situation?
"No, but we hope to have things finalized by next week. We're hoping, that if everything goes well, we'll be able to have a little press conference and talk about RCR next week in Chicago."