Daytona Pontiac Post-Race Notes and Quotes

* TYLER JET SIGNS LYCOS AS TITLE SPONSOR FOR 2000 Tyler Jet Motorsports and Lycos Inc. (NASDAQ: LCOS), a leading Web media company and the owner of the Lycos Network, announced today Lycos is the new title sponsor of Johnny Benson's No. 10...


Tyler Jet Motorsports and Lycos Inc. (NASDAQ: LCOS), a leading Web media company and the owner of the Lycos Network, announced today Lycos is the new title sponsor of Johnny Benson's No. 10 Pontiac Grand Prix for the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season. The sponsorship begins with today's running of the Daytona 500. Team owner Tim Beverley said several sponsors approached toe team about a single event agreement. However, Beverley said he was only interested in an agreement that would allow the team to focus solely on racing in 2000 and not worry about sponsorship details.


(ON THE SPONSORSHIP) "All winter, we have been saying that we were going to wait for the right partner to come along and this is what we have been waiting for. Lycos has sponsored a NASCAR team before, Lycos understands the value of sponsorship. I feel that our race team will help Lycos reach hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans across America during this season."


(ON THE SPONSORSHIP) "We had the opportunity to be pretty selective. We chose Lycos. We still have associate sponsorship available. With the online reach and name awareness of our title sponsor Lycos, we feel there will be no trouble signing new associate sponsors to our team. This arrangement with Lycos is just the start of what we hope will be a winning 2000 season."


The nine Pontiac Grand Prixs starting today's race marks the largest number of Pontiac entries to line up for the Daytona 500 since 1991, when there were 10 in a 42-car field. The highest finishing Pontiac driver in that race was Dick Trickle, who finished 11th.



(ON HOW HE FEELS AFTER 500 MILES "Wonderful. I'm ready to go 500 more if I could get a few more spots." (ON HIS RUN) "The Caterpillar team did a great job for me. We got shuffled back there one time when we running fifth or sixth with about 20 to go. From there, it was just catch up. I got lucky on the restart and got a couple of those guys. Then I got a big boost and got by the 36 car right there at the end. I damn sure wanted to be back in the top 10. This is too good a car not to be in the top 10 today." (HOW WAS THE CAR) "It's like everybody. You want to get to handling better. We handled better than a lot of them. We're in one piece and got a good car to take to Talladega. I would have liked to have gotten into the top five, but I'll take a top ten to start the season." (FORDS GANGING UP ON JOHNNY BENSON AT THE END) "Fords were the show today."


(ON THE RESTART) "I wish I had a little more than I had, but that's all I had. I knew what they were going to do, and I did everything I could to prevent it. Dale's car was just too strong coming off turn two, and he got underneath me. I ran him down as low as I could, but I wasn't going to wreck us all, either. We came out of here with a great race team, a great car, got a sponsor in Lycos for the year. I'm proud of this team. I hate it where we finished, but at the same token, we're coming out of here great in the points. We've been great in practice all week. I just wish we could have won this deal, just like anything else. But, we're going to take where we ended up. The guys did an excellent job. I knew that the Fords were going to gang up on us at the end. There was nothing you could do about that. One against however-many just wasn't going to happen. It was funny. I had one of my old teammates get on the radio and say, 'He can't drive that thing on two tires, so get him out of there,' and then we just showed we've got a really great race team and a really great race car with Pontiac. Dale drove an excellent race. He deserved to win. He had the better car. But, we had a great race car. It might have been a top three car. If we had stayed green, I would have been fine. But, it didn't stay green, so there is nothing I can do about it." (HOW DID IT FEEL ON TWO TIRES) "This Lycos Pontiac was awesome. Like I said, we just hated to see that yellow. I knew what was going to happen. The Fords were going to gang up on the Pontiacs. The Fords have been dominant here all weekend. We're just glad we would go up there and share a little bit of that good run." (JARRETT'S PASS) "I couldn't get him any lower. Let's put it that way. I did what I could to block him. He's the best. That's why he's the champ. We just got underneath him. Like I say, we just ended up there and there is nothing we can do about it." (THE CAR SET UP FOR THE DAY) "James Ince, although he was about five miles away from me last night, I think we slept on the same program. He made some adjustments. He flew our engineer in here today. He got him up out of bed and said, 'Hey, you're going to the track, pal. We've got some work to do.' Those guys made some great adjustments to that race car. It is not the same car we've been practicing with. These guys did an awesome job. I'm not disappointed at all. We finished 12th, but we had an opportunity to win this race. Anytime anybody has an opportunity to win the Daytona 500, we're proud." (WHAT WENT THROUGH HIS MIND WHEN LEADING NEAR THE END) "I figured it was going to be a pretty good-sized party. But, you've got to wait for the checkered." (COULD HE HAVE WON WITHOUT THE CAUTION) "You don't know. We had the caution. If it had stayed green, I would have answered how we felt. But, it didn't, so that's where we ended up. I got up to speed as quick as I could. But, with the Fords ganging up on you and getting a good draft off me, there was nothing I could do about it." (SATISFACTION AFTER LEAVING ROUSH) "I didn't lose my job. I kind of walked away from it, and I think I made the right choice. This feels good. I'm proud of these guys -- James Ince, Tim Beverley and Lycos for coming on board for the year. I keep repeating it. I can't be any more proud of these guys, but we've got a long year ahead of us." (HIS STRATEGY AT THE END) "I knew what was going to happen two laps before it went green. It didn't matter where I went. If I had gone to the top, they were going to do the opposite. And if I had gone to the bottom, they would have gone to the top. You had three Fords against one Pontiac, and there is nothing you can do. They caught me at the spot they wanted to. Dale Jarrett knew that, and there is nothing you can do. You can't block a guy in the middle of the car too much in the middle of the corner, because all you're going to do is wreck. I just wish it would have stayed green, but you can't do anything about the yellow."


"It's hard to really think about the race when you've got a crew guy that's hurt. The part of his leg that is broken is a part that takes a while to heal, so he's going to be off his feet for a while. It was a very long day. The first thing we did was hit a tire on pit lane, shoved the nose under and that changed the handling of the car. From that point on, everybody fought as hard as they could to try to compensate mechanically for what we couldn't get aerodynamically. Eventually, we just got to the point where we went too far on the mechanical side and had to come in and try to fix the front. After they fixed the front that last time the car was a lot better. We couldn't get any help from anybody. I don't think one person helped us all day."


"We've got a great finish to build on. The guys did a great job and I can't thank them enough. This was a successful Speedweeks for us. Ninth place today isn't bad and that gives us momentum for Rockingham. We came down here with a new car, and new crew chief and a new team and had a great Speedweek. We were tight early but made some adjustments that worked out for us, and we were strong the rest of the day."


(ON THE LAST PART OF THE RACE) "The last few yellows didn't help out. Our car was really strong before those last two yellows came around. The whole Interstate team did a good job today. We just had to come back from a little adversity there where we got behind on a pit stop. We came back and were really looking good. The car was better on long runs it seemed like. It was pretty good on a short run, better on a long run." (THE QUALITY OF THE RACING TODAY) "It's not like it used to be where three-wide is comfortable. Three-wide is not very comfortable at all. Still, all-in-all, it wasn't terrible I guess. And in some ways if you look at it, there wasn't a big wreck. I mean The Big Wreck." (COULD HE HAVE BEATEN THE 88) "I had to be at the right place at the right time, and we just didn't end up at the right place at the right time. We had a good car going up until then for a little bit, but didn't quite there at the very, very end. But, we finished the race without a problem, and I'm happy with that. It was a good race, and we had a good handling race car. It was a good team effort today. We finished the race in a good spot. Our Interstate Pontiac is in one piece, so we can go home and work on it now."


"Two years ago in the Daytona 500 with a lap to go, the same guy hit me that hit me today (Jimmy Spencer). I'm fed up. He got into me and I scraped the wall. My right side was rubbing my right rear. We pulled it out. I thought we should pit again on that second caution to make sure, but Greg (Steadman) made a good call. He said we'd be fine and we were. All-in-all, it was an OK day. We've got a whole season ahead of us."


"The car was pretty good. I just got caught in the wrong line every time. I just don't know what I'm doing drafting. It's frustrating when you don't know what you're doing. My car was really good. One time we got out there after a green pit stop and we ran right along with Ward, and we were just as good or better than he was. The car was there. The drive just didn't know what to do with it. Part of it is being rookie. You get going pretty good, and then you get stuck. That's just all part of it."


"It's like I told the guys in our meeting:  it's a whole season ahead of
us. We knew we weren't the fastest car.  I told them, 'Take what you can
get from Daytona.' I can't say it enough.  The guys worked hard.  We
worked hard.  We'll get there.  That's all that matters."


(ON THE TEAM) "This is basically a new race team from last year. There are not many faces that are the same. These guys dug in and they did a lot of work. There are definitely positive things to come." (ON THE LAST RESTART) "When you're sitting there and you've got five Fords behind you - there is no doubt the Fords have an advantage right now at the speedways. We knew it was coming. I sincerely believe if it hadn't been for the last caution, we were the car to win the race. Naturally, pride tells me the best car did not win the race today. But, you've got to take your hat off to Dale Jarrett and those guys. They worked awfully hard. They had a torn-up race car yesterday and they overcame that. We're not leaving here heartbroken, but we are disappointed."


* Mike Lingerfelt, front tire changer for the No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix, was injured on pit road on the team's fourth pit stop on lap 157. Lingerfelt, 24, from Marietta, S.C., suffered a fractured left femur. He has been transported to Halifax Medical Center where they will be scheduling surgery.

* Johnny Benson's 12th place finish in the Daytona 500 marks his best career finish in a points race at Daytona International Speedway. Prior to today, Benson, best finish in the Daytona 500 was a 17th in 1999, while his best finish in the Pepsi 400 is a 16th in 1997. Both of his top finishes in each race have come in a Pontiac Grand Prix.

* Pontiac heads into the second race of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season with three drivers in the top 10 in points and four in the top 11 (Bobby Labonte - 6th, Ward Burton - 8th, Ken Schrader - 9th, Johnny Benson - 11th).

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Dale Jarrett , Dick Trickle , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Johnny Benson , Mike Ling