Daytona Shootout: Ford Racing race notes

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 6th) -- "We diced around. We didn't have the car exactly right handling-wise, but unless I was the car pushing somebody by, I really couldn't just drive by somebody. It just made it difficult. We just...

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 6th) -- "We diced around. We didn't have the car exactly right handling-wise, but unless I was the car pushing somebody by, I really couldn't just drive by somebody. It just made it difficult. We just have to work on our chassis setup some and see what we can do with them then."

BASED ON QUALIFYING AND TODAY, DO YOU FEEL THAT'S ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO GET A RULES CHANGE OF SOME SORT? "I feel like it is, but I don't know that we'll get it. We'll just have to see what they do. Our main concern is we have to go work on our race car and get it to where I can drive it as hard as I possibly can the entire time. If they change something, great. If they don't, then we'll just try to make the most of it."

WOULD YOU TAKE A CHANGE AFTER THURSDAY? "We'll take it if they change it on Sunday morning. If and when they decide they want to change it, we'll work with it and see. I've got a good idea that these cars are going to the wind tunnel, so we should be able to see a little bit more of exactly what's happening."

COULD THE OTHER MAKES DO THINGS YOU COULDN'T? "It takes patience on everybody's part, but they don't seem to have to wait for that exact right moment. They can get out there and go if they need to. They don't need much of a push and I've got to have a really good push behind me to make it happen, otherwise I get bogged down beside a car and then I'm toast. We've got to be a little more patient than they do, it seems like, but we can do that if that's what it takes."

DO YOU FEEL THE FORD NEEDS HELP? "You can look at the board and you tell me. We're usually a contender here for this and we weren't even hardly in the race. We ran good and made some passes, but most of the cars I passed were Fords."

TODD BODINE --66-- Kmart Taurus (Finished 10th) -- "We learned a lot for the 125s. We had a totally different setup in the car than what we had been running and it was pretty decent. I just messed up on the pit stop. I overshot and had to back up and then I stalled it taking off, so that put us in the back pack. We ended up catching the lead pack and then I don't know who stepped out of line, but it messed the whole thing up. That wasn't very smart, so we ended up 10th. We learned a lot. That's one of the advantages of running the Bud Shootout is that you learn a lot for the 125s and the 500."

DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME RULES HELP? "Yeah. The Fords are pretty bad right now. I was up in that lead draft the first half and it was all I could do to hang on. The car gets to pushing. The Chevrolets don't and the Pontiacs don't. We need a little help, that's for darn sure."

WAS IT WORSE OR BETTER THAN YOU THOUGHT? "It was about what I figured. It's amazing what a quarter-inch off that spoiler can do for you. They gave us a quarter and that put us close to where we needed to be, but that will show you that it's not even close right now. Hopefully, they'll look at the tape and watch the race and see that the Fords are hurting."

DO YOU THINK YOU'LL GET ANYTHING? "No, I don't think we'll get it at all."

RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus (Finished 21st) -- "We just used it as a test after we had that transmission problem at the start. I couldn't get it out of first gear and that knocked us out, but we've got some problems. I mean, we just can't keep up because the car is tight."

DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING? "We went back out there and tried not to get in the middle of the pack too much and mess everybody up, but, at best, we might have been two spots behind Jarrett. He was a little bit better than us, but that's about what we had."

WHAT ABOUT THE RULES SITUATION? "It's absolutely ridiculous to come to the biggest race of the year, and NASCAR is in charge of evening up these manufacturers and they haven't done it. It's not even close, so I don't understand. Here it is, the biggest race of the year, these guys have busted their butts to get these cars together, and you go into it without a snowball's chance. It shouldn't be that way."

DO YOU THINK ANYTHING WILL BE DONE? "I don't know. I think NASCAR's got to quit letting these manufacturers gain control of this sport and that's what's happening."

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner -- Roush Racing Tauruses -- "We're four or fifth-tenths off in qualifying trim. In racing setup out here, there's a tendency for the cars to get stuck together somewhat for the draft so that makes it look like they're closer than they might really be. A Ford has no chance to be competitive to win the race. They either have to have everybody else fall out or have three fast Chevrolets, Pontiacs or Dodges push a Ford to be able to get it where it needs to be. I think if a Ford got out in front and people didn't slingshot him left or right, I think he might be able to stay there for a while. The problems are drag, too much rear downforce and not enough front downforce. When a Ford would be out in front, it would be in better shape on front downforce than behind another car, but it's just terrible. The Pontiac has received, over a period of time, the considerations that they needed to make them competitive and, in fact to win a championship. The Dodge is a variant of the NASCAR set of templates that NASCAR assigned to the Ford that they worked on for 18 months and they've achieved better balance and lower drag. The Chevrolet, what can I say about the Chevrolet. They have had everything they needed whenever they needed it forever, so they've got a great car. They do a nice job with the car. Chevrolet does a great job coordinating the efforts of their own engineers and of their teams, so the Chevrolet effort is super, the Dodge effort is super, the Pontiac effort is super, and we're just not good enough in our Fords."


RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Finished 11th) -- "We weren't able to lead one lap. To be able to get up there in fourth or fifth and hang out in the draft was one thing -- granted, we should have put four tires on instead of two and got back in track position -- but we didn't have the steam to get up there and pull 'em like they were pulling 'em. We're gonna have to get something. If all they said they were gonna give us was a quarter-inch, we'll take anything at this point right now. But after this race is over there's gonna have to be some big changes in the templates."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus (Finished 12th) --
"We started off pretty good, but then we went all to pieces and then we pitted. We were running last and after an adjustment we moved up to the middle of the pack. One more adjustment and I think we could have moved up some more, so we've got a lot of work to do but we're working in the right direction."

WHAT ABOUT THIS RULES PACKAGE? "I think it was good."

WERE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE ON THE TRACK? "There's no comparison. Last year was just ridiculous and this year it was okay. It was the way racing should be."

DO YOU EXPECT NASCAR TO MAKE ANY CHANGE? "I don't know. I'm gonna be working on my stuff no matter what they do."


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Series NASCAR Cup