Daytona 500: Ford Racing Friday quotes 2002-02-15

RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ROBERT'S CONDITION? "I didn't find out until I came to the race track this morning that he woke up this morning with chest pains. Obviously, that's not good so I guess they're keeping a...

RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ROBERT'S CONDITION? "I didn't find out until I came to the race track this morning that he woke up this morning with chest pains. Obviously, that's not good so I guess they're keeping a pretty close eye on him right now."

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN AT A RACE WHERE HE'S NOT HERE? "He'll miss a race occasionally, but not very often. Certainly, if he's not here, Doug is here -- it's either one or the other."

DOES THIS ADD MORE CONCERN? "It really does. I think Robert's worried himself to death over this spoiler issue. It's bad to say it that way. Hopefully, it doesn't get anymore serious, but stress, I'm sure, has probably helped produce whatever problem he's got."

WHAT ABOUT THE QUARTER-INCH REDUCTION? "The other day in practice you go out and run and things seem to be okay. Where you really are gonna see the difference is what happened to us in the twins. When everybody gets in line, you get three or four of those General Motors cars in line and now, all of a sudden, there's not a big hole in the air to draft up and you can't keep up. Those conditions weren't simulated in practice today, so it's not very hard to keep up when you've got a big hole being punched in the air. The problem is when everybody gets lined up."

HOW WAS PRACTICE? "I really didn't see any difference to be honest with you. I didn't see a lot of difference the other day when we got a quarter off."

WHAT ABOUT THE DODGES? "I didn't really see where practice went any different today than it has all week. In practice, it seemed like every car here is virtually the same speed. They're all tripping over each other and going two-wide or three-wide. When the race gets going, it seems like it goes back to single-file or two-wide. From the Ford standpoint, I can just tell you the reason we're single-file, we would like to get out and race a little bit, but if you don't even halfway try to stay in line, you're gonna go to the back. You don't have the luxury of being able to pull out and try to get two-wide. If you do, you're gonna go back and you're probably gonna miss the draft altogether."

WHAT WOULD HELP? "It's all about drag reduction. There's a big difference in these cars, I understand, in the rear spoiler area -- the way the templates are built. I'm not the guy you need to talk to about expertise on the rear spoiler, but a couple of crew chiefs I understand laid spoilers out the other day and it's in black and white -- it jumps out right there why one manufacturer is better than the other one. I don't really have an answer for it, other than it would have been nice to have seen this coming into the 500. I knew we had a problem, but I don't think any of the guys actually looked at the spoiler template that close before."

DO YOU THINK A FORD CAN WIN THE RACE?  "No.  If
you're a race fan coming to Daytona, save your money.  Go to Rockingham."

RUSTY WALLACE -- 2 -- Miller Lite Taurus

[On the spoiler change] "It doesn't make a difference at all. I thought it did. The problem is we're getting so much rear spoiler it's starting to drive funny now, and the competition is loving that because their car's are hauling and driving good. And every time we get a change we've got to go back and re-adjust our car. And it's just killing us trying to chase these things when the competition has had all of January and all Speed Weeks not to touch their car. Their balance is fine and we're trying to get them running good. I can't say anything bad about any Chevrolet or Pontiac driver. The drivers are all good, the crew chiefs, the teams and everything. There's nothing wrong with those people. If I was those guys I'd be happy that I had a car that runs that quick, too. But the problem is this rules package, the way it is right now, is not fair for speed. We all wanted it to try and make the racing safer, and I believe it's going to be a little safer, but now it's time to go to the Pontiac and the Chevrolet and add at least a half an inch of spoiler to those guys to slow them down because they're so fast we can't catch 'em."

DID THE CAR REACT DIFFERENTLY IN A PACK? "No. When I get a car jammed right on my rear, my car gets dancing around in the back end. I had really change the suspension to make it better, and I got it nailed down pretty good. But, still the speed's not there like it needs to be compared to other guys. We got to get those guys slowed up. We can't go any faster."

RICKY CRAVEN -- 32 -- Tide Taurus

[On the spoiler change] "Well, it hasn't hurt us. We appreciate the help. We still got to control our race and we'll work on the Tide Ford and get it handling great and we'll go after it."

DID IT SEEM TO HELP MORE OR LESS IN TRAFFIC? "I didn't it hurt. This certainly gave us a little bit of help, but there is the other side of it -- it's still a handling race track. It won't be until Sunday's race until we really get a handle on what it did for us in terms of 50-lap runs, the full 50-lap runs."

WAS THIS THE BEST OPTION? "I've just got so many things that are within my responsibility, and trying to figure out rules isn't one of them. I'm just proud to drive the Tide Ford and having fun and just run as hard as I can. They tell us what we have to work with and we go after it."

-ford-

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Series NASCAR Cup