Daytona 500: Ford Racing Tuesday practice quotes 2002-02-12

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN IN PRACTICE. "Yeah it is, it happens every year. It's just part of it. The only way to find out what your cars will do and how you're running is to get in big packs, and anytime we...

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus

THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN IN PRACTICE. "Yeah it is, it happens every year. It's just part of it. The only way to find out what your cars will do and how you're running is to get in big packs, and anytime we get in big packs and anything at all happens, it just takes out a lot of cars. That's what Daytona and Talladega are."

WHAT HAPPENED? "Things happened so fast that it's hard to tell, but it looked like the 11 car picked up a really bad push or something and got in the wall, and then got in the 55 car. Everybody was just trying to miss the wreck at that point. Most of the mayhem was caused after the wreck actually happened."

YOU SPUN EARLIER TOO. "It's been a long day. The first thing I got into, we got really fortunate because we didn't hit anything. I got tapped from the back and got spun around, and then the second one they wrecked in front of me and then I got hit in the back and got in that wreck. Yesterday, somebody ran Kurt Busch in the wall and Jeff Gordon and I almost got in that wreck, so I've seen three wrecks this week and been in two of them. I figured our luck finally ran out and hit something."

HAVE THE CARS FELT LOOSE TODAY WITH THE SPOILER REDUCTION? "No, not at all. Here, I don't think taking a quarter-of-an-inch off the spoiler is gonna make 'em loose. I think it would at most race tracks, but I don't think at Daytona and Talladega it's gonna make much difference."

NOTE: The 99 team has decided NOT to pull out its backup car.

TODD BODINE --66-- Kmart Taurus

WHAT HAPPENED? "Brett pushed up off the corner and had to roll out of the throttle. Bobby (Hamilton) was right up on him and ran into his quarterpanel and that turned Bobby right down in front of me."

HOW BAD IS YOUR CAR? "It's not that bad. It's fixable, but we can't fix it for the race, so we've got to bring the backup out."

WHAT ABOUT THE SPOILER REDUCTION? "It wasn't enough. Everybody is pushing and the Fords are even worse. You get up behind somebody and the thing just won't turn, so that quarter-inch definitely didn't help us. We thought maybe it would have helped us suck up a little bit more, but it didn't. A Ford still has to have somebody pushing him to get up behind anybody."

MORE COMPETITIVE BUT STILL NOT EVEN? "Yeah, it may be more competitive, but I really don't think so. If you paid attention to what was going on out there, there wasn't any Fords that could run at the front and lead the pack. We had to stay in the middle of the pack and you had to have somebody behind you pushing you. It was just like it was in the Bud Shootout. It was a nice bone they threw us, but it really didn't do any good."

MARK MARTIN HAD THE QUICK SPEED THOUGH? "Yeah, but you can't go by that because if he's back behind the draft when he comes to the time line and then the next lap he's right up on the draft, well, he had a fast lap. You can't go by that. You have to watch what's happening on the race track."

ELLIOTT SADLER --21--Motorcraft Taurus

WERE THE CARS PUSHING? "Yeah, it looks like everybody from the middle off the corner after about 20 laps is having a handful as far as sliding up into the wall. I know Rusty got real close to the wall one time when I was behind him. He did a great job keeping it out. This year, for some reason, handling is more important than its ever been. I don't know why. I don't know if the tire is that much different or if its this new aero package, but we've worked more on handling the last two days than anything else."

DID THE SPOILER AFFECT YOU? "As far as handlingwise, it might have done a little something, but speedwise it didn't do what I thought it was gonna do. I thought it was gonna be a lot more than what it really was, but handlingwise it might have affected us some. Handling, though is the big thing. I think the reason the 20 and 24 ran so good in the Shootout is they were handling better and those guys look to be handling the best right now also."

-ford-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon