Dodge Intrepid post two fastest laps at final DIS test. KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Petty posted the fastest time in the first test session on Thursday at 48.984 seconds, 183.733 mph. "We were pretty decent....
Dodge Intrepid post two fastest laps at final DIS test.
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Petty posted the fastest time in the first test session on Thursday at 48.984 seconds, 183.733 mph.
"We were pretty decent. We've been a solid top-10 car ever since we've been here. Yesterday when the wind was blowing real strong we picked up some stuff aero wise and a couple of things engine wise. Today the wind wasn't blowing. It was a perfect day. We were incredibly blessed longer and longer with no wind, so the speeds were really fast this morning. A lot of people were right there, and we just got a really, really good lap right at lunch time. Our fastest lap on the first day of tests was at 1:15. Our fastest lap today was right at 12 o'clock.
"Our cars are good. Mike Ege's racing engines were good. Everything was good. It was just a good, solid test. John came here last week and having a two-car team and one car testing in the first test and one car testing in the second test I think is an advantage. We took the test and laid out what everybody wanted to do. You say, 'these are the plusses, these are the inconclusives and these things didn't work. When we came back, we could test a lot smarter than some of the other teams. That's the way it worked. We tested really smart. We had a good plan. The 43 worked really hard to get a plan with us. All our engineers worked really hard to lay out a plan. We pretty much stuck to our plan. I've come down here before, and I'm not going to kid you, and left here dead last on the time sheet. So it feels good to be somewhere close to the top. It's a big boost for the guys who build the cars and work on the cars. When you come down here there's no points, no money, no prestige, but there's a lot of pride for the guys back at the shop who work real hard all winter long to build a good speedway package.
"Under these rules, we've caught on to a decent package for qualifying and we'll see how it works out. We were really strong in '93. I think if you look at the times, and it's been amazing to me since the very beginning, it looks like Bristol qualifying more so than it looks like a speedway qualifying. When you look at somebody running an .02 and then an .03 and an .04, there will be four or five cars within a tenth of each other just like Bristol and Martinsville. I think what this shows for us from a team perspective, from Petty Enterprises and from the Cheerios Dodge and Georgia Pacific Dodge after two years of running the Dodge this is the first year that we're a little bit ahead of the curve. We've fought for the last two years with three teams trying to get cars built the first year. Last year we ended up in the same situation, trying to build cars for three teams. The way it is this year, the guys worked a lot smarter on what they were doing because we only had to build cars for two teams. We didn't find a sponsor for the third team. I think what it shows is that we're probably a little more on solid ground starting the year. I think it shows we're on solid ground heading into this year no matter what we do."
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Mayfield posted the fastest time in the afternoon test session at 48.996 seconds, 183.688 mph. He left the track a few minutes early because of flying conditions due to impending inclement weather in Statesville, N.C.
"We've made gains on it every day we've been here. When we rolled off the truck we weren't that good with either car. These guys went back to the hotel every night and talked about it and kept working on it. I'm real happy. This is our third test together. It's like a new team. We've got a bunch of new guys. Everybody at Evernham Motorsports has been working hard trying to get the 19 where it needs to be. I really feel like we're on the right track now, more than ever. That was our A car. The B car wasn't really that good. We had some different motor stuff on it, not really trying to run fast. The A car, every time we went out it seemed like we made gains on it. I'm real happy we're competitive.
"Even with the common templates, it seems like it's separated like it's always been. We'll have to wait and see what it does in the Daytona 500. Who knows?
"The guys are working great together. We've got several new guys on the team, and I'm really excited about it. It seems like everybody is pulling together. We're all here for one reason. I felt like that last year, but you know when you feel right about something, and I really feel good about this. I appreciate Ray giving me this opportunity to have a bunch of guys like this and putting the right people in the right places.
"I don't remember where we were exactly when we left here after testing last year, but we weren't like this. We were all right, but we weren't that good and I didn't feel that good about it. I didn't leave here feeling like I do now. I'm a married man now, an honest man, and I feel good about everything. I'm happy as hell and I'm ready to go racing."