Sunday, June 6, 1999. Dover Downs International Speedway. MBNA 400. Chevrolet notes and quotes. KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I came off of turn two and Jeremy Mayfield lost it and hit me in the left...
Sunday, June 6, 1999. Dover Downs International Speedway. MBNA 400. Chevrolet notes and quotes.
KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I came off of turn two and Jeremy Mayfield lost it and hit me in the left side and put me in the wall. It's just a bummer. You race all day to gain a good spot. Only nine cars were left on the lead lap. We ended up wrecking. That set of tires was a little tight and there was some lapped cars in there causing me to get to the outside. I felt like at the worst we were going to finish ninth, but I don't know about winning. It was a really good car. When you come here all you want to do is survive. I was in the wall before I knew it, but the car was excellent. Hopefully we're on the right track. It wasn't a good day for our whole team. It's a shame Schrader got wrecked that early, but we had good cars."
KEN SCHRADER (No. 33 Skoal Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "The 28 car got into the back of me. Everybody checked up and he didn't. With the banking here, you get a little help. You're not going to get it gathered back up. A couple of cars up front checked up. I don't know what happened there. I had to check up, too."
DICK TRICKLE (No. 91 Larry's Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "You get to pushing real bad and as this race goes on. We had the chassis pretty loose. We figured it would come in on us, which it would have. We never got enough laps for the chassis to come in. We were back pedaling a little bit. I think Spencer got into me a little bit in the left rear. It just got out of control. It was awful early in the race for something like that to happen. It was just terrible. Nobody was even settled in at that point."
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "It was a handful to start with, but we adjusted on it and got it better. If we hadn't started that far back, maybe we wouldn't have got lapped. I think the track changed. I couldn't run on the bottom at first and then all of a sudden I could. I just took my time with the car because I couldn't rush it in the center of the corner. It was a pretty good day for us. I wish I could have got a little more, but at least we learned something for the next race here. I think we learned that we're probably going to bring back another car."
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I was having a lot of trouble hearing on the radio. I couldn't tell if Ray was saying let off and stretch it or go for it and we're going to hope for a caution. I think that's what the strategy was. We knew we were going to get beat and then it's like hope for a caution so we can win the race if a caution did come out. We did the right thing. Ray is smart with that stuff. When I'm in the car, it's frustrating not to know exactly what's going to happen. When they put that splash of gas in, that's what got us second place. "We came into this race saying we needed a good finish. We got that today. We didn't win, but we had a car capable of winning. This is what we need to get back on track. It's an art to have fuel mileage by how the carburetor conserves fuel, but I was letting off quite a bit at the end. It would be interesting to see how much fuel is left in the thing. You never really get a chance to stretch it all the way. They check fuel mileage throughout the race, and that's how they evaluate it at the end. They made the right call. We did everything we could tuning that carburetor and tuning that engine to make sure we didn't get beat on fuel mileage, but we did. Bobby came in and took that splash of fuel and you can do that when you're a few spots back. When you're one of the leaders, it's tough to do that. "It's a good finish for us and we can't be too disappointed with this. It's a long way from 38th where we were last week at Charlotte. Right now, we just need to keep doing what we're doing. We've been doing this all year long. We just get the finishes only once in awhile. Luckily, today we got one of those finishes. "We did what we could today. If you're going to run out, there's no use staying out there and running out. That wouldn't get us anywhere. If you stop with more than five or six laps to go, then you probably couldn't make it. "It was a great run for us. Certainly you're going to be disappointed that you got beat on fuel mileage and you couldn't have gone the distance but we couldn't. We did all the right things you can possibly do except get better fuel mileage. We even changed carburetors and tuned on it over the weekend to get better fuel mileage because we've been in that position before and got beat here on fuel mileage. I'm real proud of this team. We've been under a little bit of pressure lately from not having good finishes, and these guys are right on track. They're still an awesome race team, and they're not going to let a few bad finishes get them down. To come out of here with a good finish like we did, it was a good day for us. "It was a pretty typical Dover. It eats 'em (tires) up pretty good. You start out loose and get real, real tight. It looked like early on a lot of guys were loose and I went up to the high side and found some good grip up there and got to the outside and was able to make some passes. "Once I got to fourth, I was real, real tight and I pretty much just stayed there for awhile. We kept freeing it up and freeing it up. I tell you, Tony was very strong. He's going to get to the winner's circle soon. When you're knocking on the door that close, that many times, you're not very far away from getting a win. I don't feel like we're far away from getting another one, either. "When you're in the heat of the moment, you don't exactly know what the strategy is. I was having a lot of radio trouble today trying to hear what Ray was saying. When Tony came in early, I didn't know if he had a problem or if he just short pitted to take advantage of tires. Ray told me to ease up, and I thought that meant ease up to stretch it. So I started easing up. Then they said we couldn't make it. They figured it up and we couldn't make it, so they told me to go ahead and run as hard as I could. The strategy Ray was playing at that moment, we pretty much knew the 18 could go all the way and we were just going to go and hope for a caution. If a caution had come out, I think we would have been in good shape. Since a caution didn't come out, then what we had to do was evaluate what everybody else did and try to do something that would take less time and that's what we did. We came in and got a real quick splash and took off. I'm pretty happy to be able to have to make a pit stop and still be able to finish second. I think that's a pretty good strategy. "As a driver, you want to just stretch it. When you look at all the numbers and look at everything, we couldn't have made it. I would have looked like an idiot if I had tried to stretch it and then ran out. There's nothing worse than running out of gas. It's frustrating, there's no doubt. There's so much going on, I didn't know who could make it and who couldn't. I kind of knew the 18 had come in and took a splash of gas. We were the leader at that time, but there were two cars that didn't pit. We really couldn't have come in at that time. When you're running third or fourth and there's only seven or eight or maybe nine cars on the lead lap, it's much easier to make that call when you're further back. But when you're the guy who's really leading the pack, it's pretty tough to come in and get a splash of gas. I still don't think we could have made it if we would have taken that splash. "Ray was having to talk and my spotter would kind of relay that message to me. One time he (Ray) said ease up. I eased up and going by the lap times to see if we could make it. Then he said go for it, so I was having a tough time trying to figure out if we could make it or not. I asked several times, 'Can we make it? Can we make it?' I kept getting this total fuzz and radio breaking up. I didn't know what that meant. I would just go a little bit further and as we went a little bit further I'd say, 'Can we make it or not?' Ray finally said something and I told the spotter relay that to me, and he said, 'no, we cannot.' "It was a good strategy, but like I said, when you're the leader like we were, Ray was able to evaluate everything that everybody else did. Even with him coming in and stopping early, even with as good of tires as he had, all we had to do is come in and take a little splash. The time he was going to close up on us on the track really didn't matter because the time we gained on pit road was much greater. With there only being four or five laps to go... Typically in a situation like that, short pitting would be good if everybody has to stop. When one guys doesn't and we just took the splash, our deal worked out the best. The team and the crew chief can make a much better evaluation of what's going on. They can see from the timing and scoring and know what information is going back and forth. As a driver, when you're under green, you're just trying to make the car go as fast as you can. If they tell me to let up, and try to conserve fuel, then I'll do that. There's no way I can make that call and say we can make it. I'm staying out. I have no idea what kind of fuel mileage we were getting today. I was more concerned with fine tuning the setup of the car and air pressure and wedge and bite and things like that. "There's certainly tension, especially when your radio isn't working well and you're having a tough time even understanding what they're asking you to do. There's definitely tension in a situation like that. You just pray for a caution and if it doesn't come out then you take what you get. That was second place today. We'll smile and walk out of here with a good finish and hopefully carry some momentum into Michigan."
STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We did the best with what we had. We thought we had about a 10th-place car at the start of the race. The car was real loose at the beginning. Then it got real tight. Then we adjusted back and it got real loose. We were just off a little bit on the setup. We also need to concentrate on getting a good finish. We hadn't got a good finish in awhile. I need to concentrate on keeping the fenders and wheels on the car and listen to Paul (crew chief Andrews) and do what we need to do to get a halfway decent finish with a halfway decent car and that's what we did. For what we had, we're pretty happy with that. The car is in one piece. It's a good race car. We just need to be a little better at Dover. I think I learned a lot today. This is my second race here now, and it's just going to make the third race easier."
DAVID GREEN (No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We qualified good and the first lap the window net fell down. Unfortunately for Schrader that brought out a caution where I could get my window net up and I had to go to the back and work our way up. It was a pretty good day to work our way back up where we were and come home in one piece. David Evans did a great job with the engine. It was the best power I've ever had here, and it sure makes the job easier when you've got that power."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We finished 20th and we had about a 20th-place car today. We were OK, but we weren't great. We chased it a little bit and were hoping we'd get a yellow there at the end. We rolled the dice and stayed out there a little longer than we normally would have. The best we could have been was 15th. We were pushing and then we were pretty good and then we were loose on that last set of tires."