FORD MOTORSPORT NOTES & QUOTES Monday, October 12, 1998 PEPSI 400 ADVANCE Daytona International Speedway THE SECOND HALF OF THE RESTRICTOR-PLATE DOUBLEHEADER IS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY NIGHT AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY AS THE NASCAR WINSTON...
FORD MOTORSPORT NOTES & QUOTES Monday, October 12, 1998 PEPSI 400 ADVANCE Daytona International Speedway
THE SECOND HALF OF THE RESTRICTOR-PLATE DOUBLEHEADER IS SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY NIGHT AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY AS THE NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES PREPARES FOR THE INAUGURAL PEPSI 400. THE EVENT WILL MARK THE FIRST NIGHT RACE IN DAYTONA' S HISTORY AND FORD ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO COMPETING.
DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- NOTE: JARRETT IS COMING OFF HIS FIRST CAREER WIN AT TALLADEGA LAST WEEKEND. LAST YEAR IN THE PEPSI 400 YOU HAD THE GREEN/WHITE/CHECKERED DEAL. YOU SPOKE OUT ABOUT THAT, HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW? "It's probably not a good idea, but the fans want to see a race end under green so that's what we gave them, although it didn't for a lot of people. When you get to that position it's just a matter of getting all that you can and you can't blame the guys for wanting to race, that's what we get paid to do. You take a little bit of chance in, basically, a one-lap shootout and it got a lot of people in trouble, but that's what we're here to do is race."
ANY CONCERNS ABOUT RESTRICTOR-PLATE RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS? "No, there aren't any real concerns. Everywhere else that we go and race under the lights I actually see better, I think. If this is the same way it'll be nice. The only thing would be if we get any type of reflection at all with running in as big a pack as what we run in at Daytona, that could give you a false sense of somebody being there or not. You really go by feel and peripheral vision at these places, so that's the only thing. It should be a lot of fun, a lot cooler, and it should be great for everybody."
WHY DO YOU SEE BETTER? "I just think things stand out. You don't have the sun glaring, the lights don't put off a glare to where you can't see, and I think that with as good a lighting system as they have at these race tracks, you actually see the race track, things on the race track, and things around you a lot better. It just seems to be more defined to me."
JIMMY SPENCER -23- Team Winston Taurus -- NOTE: SPENCER HAS A PAIR OF TOP-FIVE FINISHES AT TALLADEGA AND A WIN IN THE BUD SHOOTOUT QUALIFIER AT DAYTONA IN 1998. WHAT ARE YOU DAYTONA PLANS? ARE YOU GOING TO RUN THE THUNDERBIRD? "We'll run the Thunderbird. It performed really well at Talladega and we have a pretty good idea of what we ran for shocks and springs and everything, so why wouldn't you want to run the same car? We ran really good. I would think it would be smart to bring the same car back. I'm sure that's what the top 10 cars will probably do." WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE THUNDERBIRD ON A RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACK? "A Taurus won the race last weekend, but I just think it's got a really good body.
This is the car we ran really well with before (at the Bud Shootout). I think the guys that put the body on our Taurus didn't quite do as good a job as they did on this Thunderbird. They know it and that's what we're gonna do this winter. We're gonna build two new Tauruses for Daytona and we're gonna learn a lot from it." YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING AT NIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME AT DAYTONA? "I'm a little skeptical about under the lights. I just hope we can see really good. I'm sure that we can. I think we'll have a good night. We've run really well at Daytona in the past and I had a good car there for the 500, so I don't see why it would be any different."
MICHAEL WALTRIP -21- Citgo Taurus -- NOTE: WALTRIP FINISHED NINTH IN THE SEASON-OPENING DAYTONA 500 AND NINTH LAST WEEK AT TALLADEGA. "At Talladega I always run good and then when I go to Daytona I always run good. That's a good feeling. You get frustrated sometimes because you've got it (the throttle) on the mat and you're just guiding. The draft is a big equalizer, so it can really pay dividends and you just have to take advantage of that.
"Daytona has always been good because handling really comes into it. We ran second in the 125 down there and ran ninth in the 500 and had to restart last because of a late-race penalty on pit road, so those are good things and going to Daytona is a good thing for me because I know what it takes to be successful there and run up front there and always look forward to the opportunity to do that. We've been off a little bit, but we look at Daytona as one of our best shots between now and the end of the year to get a top-five finish, so we've got to take advantage of that. Last year we were shutout in the last two restrictor-plate races. We were running up front and got in a wreck at Talladega and were running up front in July at Daytona with five (laps) to go and got in a wreck, so we can't have those things happen to us and still get to where we want to be.
"Realistically, we're just a whisper out of the top 10 in points, but definitely top 12. Our goal we set when we decided to do something different next year I said, 'Let's think about what we can accomplish.' And one thing we said was we could be 12th in points and that would be a good year for us as far as an end of the year report card."
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING UNDER THE LIGHTS? "Yeah, I am a whole lot. I think that's just the most fun in the world. Bristol is always a good night race for us, then The Winston was a big night for us winning that race. And the way the 600 runs into the night, those races are just fun. It adds to the spectacle I think. We've got race fans paying a lot of money for these seats and we want them to be happy." CAN YOU SEE BETTER AT NIGHT? "Yeah, you can. That's like at Talladega there's so much glare and you're operating inches apart, so I'm optimistic that you'll be able to see better and maybe it will cause fewer mistakes. At Talladega, with the sun the way it's angled in October, we deal with some real vision problems, so that's a bad deal. But at Daytona that obviously won't be an issue."