RICHARD CHILDRESS (Car owner RCR Chevrolet Monte Carlos) "It's NASCAR's call now. Our job now is to take what they gave us and try to make it work and try to win races. We're going to focus on that. We know what we've got to do now. We know...
RICHARD CHILDRESS (Car owner RCR Chevrolet Monte Carlos)
"It's NASCAR's call now. Our job now is to take what they gave us and try to make it work and try to win races. We're going to focus on that. We know what we've got to do now. We know what their decision is. We're just going to do everything we can to make our cars competitive.
"I never say never. Never underestimate Dale Earnhardt and never underestimate what we can do, but right now, we feel the deck is stacked against us. They've said they're not making any changes, so we're just working on our cars and we're going to do everything we can. If we've got to run for fifth place, we will, but we're going to do everything we can through pit stops, fuel mileage, whatever. You never give up. We're not quitting. It's just going to be a little tougher than we'd like to see it.
"When a Ford can set out there and run faster by itself than a whole pack of cars, then there's something way wrong. We're working, doing everything we can. We ain't going anywhere directly right now. It's all of our concern to try to get this thing to work, and right now this thing is not working.
"It's such an unbalanced field right now. We told them all along this car has a lot of drag on it. We went to them and asked them, and they've made their decision. We're just going to have to go with what we've got.
"I've been in this business 30 something years, and you're not going to overcome drag. The only thing that will overcome drag is horsepower. We've got restrictor plates and you can't get the horsepower through the restrictor plates."
RICK HENDRICK (Car owner Hendrick Motorsports Monte Carlos)
"We built a car to be within 10 percent of the old Taurus, and they've come out with a new car and we're way off the mark. NASCAR has made a mistake and they're not prepared to fix it. They're not going to do anything this week. It's tough to come to the Super Bowl, everybody's fear in advertising in the Super Bowl is that it'll be a great game. When you take some of the best speedway drivers out of the picture and they're running for eighth or 10th place, it's tough.
"They were drafting out there a little while ago in practice and Mike Skinner was leading a 20-car draft. Jarrett was out there by himself running faster. They need to do something. I know they're in a tough spot, but this is not good for the fans, the sport or the drivers, the owners, anybody. It's imbalanced. They've said so many times that when it's not right they'll make it right. They've admitted there's a problem here.
"The problem we struggle with is that our guys have worked hard and you see teams and guys that have run so good and won this thing so many times and some brand new teams with inexperienced drivers are running as good as they are. It makes 'em look like they don't have the ability to build a car or whatever. That part of it isn't good.
"There's a bunch of little stuff, but it's going to take a lot of work. I've suggested a bunch of things and they didn't listen to any of it. Well, they listen, but they just keep saying the same thing and don't do anything.
"I'm feeling good. It's good to feel good again and good to be here. I'm going to go for it this year and be at every race I can. I'm off the treatment now and I feel good. I'd feel even better if we were running better." Friday, Feb. 18, 2000. Daytona International Speedway. Daytona 500 Advance Material. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 2.
RANDY DORTON (Engine shop director Hendrick Motorsports)
"It would take two full years of engine development to make up our disadvantage with the aero right now, to overcome that deficit. Those guys (the 88 team) are good. They're at the top of the scale in all areas. There's very little we can do right now for Daytona. You just make sure you're getting the very best out of what you have, and I believe we're doing that. We just need to make sure we don't have any problems and beat them in areas we're good at -- strategy and pit stops and fuel mileage and things like that. Typically we've beat them there, but there's not enough there to overcome the deficit we're facing right now. They've got us by maybe 10 horsepower, and that's probably worth about five tenths of a second per lap.
"I believe the 88 could have beat the 94 yesterday, but he didn't. I felt strongly he could win the Bud Shootout qualifier and the Bud Shootout. He seemed to win the qualifier comfortably, and he didn't have to win that race yesterday.
"No matter what power we had yesterday, the cars got so tight the guys had to lift. That's the biggest thing we need to overcome. We don't want to blow out a right-front tire. You want to control the wear, and we don't want the cars to push so the drivers have to lift. We want to be able to make long runs and have the car work good on the long runs. It may be a comfortable race and we'll see a lot of green-flag racing all day. If we do, strategy comes into play a lot more. You're looking at 57 or 60 laps on a fuel run. Our cars are working better down low, but the main deal is having them not get to pushing. We had a good practice this morning for 40 and 50-lap runs. The push started to develop again, but not like it did in 10 or 20-lap runs yesterday.
"We've got a totally brand new car and we have not had enough time to work out all the areas that are going to give us the biggest gains. We don't know where they're at now. You look at the restrictions you continue to get faced with as this car comes along and you become very limited and it becomes very slow to make corrections. Some of those tools you used to work with before you can't do now.
"The shock package hurt us as it has hurt some Fords, too. The speeds in the past depending on springs and shocks and they suffer the most today. You add the new car into it and you don't know all the hot buttons on it, and that adds to it also.
"Look at the Bud Shoot out qualifying race with Jeff Burton and Terry Labonte. They were working their best to get to Jarrett because second or third in that race wasn't worth anything. Look at Gordon and Earnhardt and see how much they're struggling. Our engines aren't the best, but they aren't the worst. Our drivers certainly aren't the worst. Where is it at? We've got a new car. We don't know all the hot buttons in it. We've got some disadvantage to make improvements on the car the way we know how to do it with shocks and springs. There's nothing bad about it on the qualifying side, but it's definitely hurt us on the race side."