FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES MBNA Gold 400 Qualifying September 24, 1999 Dover Downs International Speedway RICK MAST --98-- Universal Studios Taurus (Qualified 19th) -- "I don't know, the car was real good in the first practice...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES MBNA Gold 400 Qualifying September 24, 1999 Dover Downs International Speedway
RICK MAST --98-- Universal Studios Taurus (Qualified 19th) -- "I don't know, the car was real good in the first practice and the second practice started out good, but then the last couple times going out the car lost about three-tenths and we never could figure out why and it's still the same way. We've got something wrong, we just can't figure it out, but we'll get it going by Sunday."
RUSTY WALLACE --2-- Miller Lite Taurus (Qualified 1st) -- "Everything's been going really good today. All of our qualifying packages worked real well, the motor's been real strong. We ran a .62 in practice to be third and I went out right now and ran a .50. We put a little air in the right-rear tire and loosened the car up a little bit because we had a little push when I ran that .62. That was about as perfect a lap as you could ever get. People dream about a car that feels like that and handles like that, so I hope it holds up."
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus (Qualified 38th) -- "We were terribly loose. I got loose coming to the green. We made an adjustment before to free it up and we did that, it was just unfortunately the wrong thing to do. I wasn't a little bit loose, I was a lot loose. We made an adjustment and thought we were too tight...we were just extremely loose (on his qualifying lap.)"
BILL ELLIOTT --94-- McDonald's Taurus (Qualified 6th) -- "Not bad. We keep hammering on our program and get a little better week in and week out. These guys have really put a good car under me this weekend, so we'll just keep digging, but I'm proud of what they do. They do a heck of a job and we'll see if we can get this McDonald's Ford up front on Sunday afternoon."
JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 4th) -- "Man, that's great. We thought we had a shot at the pole there, but what better guy to have it than Rusty. Hopefully, we'll have both Penske cars start on the front row. That's a great place to start, we just made a couple of minor adjustments right there before qualifying thinking it was gonna help us and it got a little too loose and we got in the wall a little bit."
JEFF BURTON --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus (Qualified 27th) -- "That's not a great lap by any means, but we really struggled all day today. I want to thank Rusty Wallace. He came over and pulled me to the side and said, 'Hey, I want to show you something.' What he told me picked me up a couple of tenths." WHAT DID HE TELL YOU? "He just reminded me about some stuff. Rusty and I have always talked a lot, we've shared setups and stuff, and he just came over a little while ago and reminded me something about the way I need to drive. I appreciated it."
RICKY RUDD --10-- Tide Taurus (Qualified 14th) -- "That's about what we ran in practice. I thought maybe we'd pick up a little bit, we didn't. I'm not really sure, it had a miss in it when I came to take the green. I'm not really sure what it was, it didn't do it once I got to the green flag, but it sort of had me concerned a little bit and took my mind off the corner a little because that was the first time it gurgled like that all day."
JOHNNY BENSON --26-- Cheerios Taurus (Qualified 24th) -- "Hopefully, that makes first day. That's what we're looking for. I don't know, it was a good lap for us. That's the fastest we've been all day by a good bunch, so we're fairly happy with that." DOES LAST WEEK'S FINISH HELP A LOT? "Yeah, we had a great run last week. We finished seventh here in the spring, so, hopefully, we can turn around and match that or do even better. The guys are working extremely hard and it seems there's some tension off now that everybody knows what's going on. I like working with these guys, we just need to run a little better. I think we'll be OK the rest of the year."
RUSTY WALLACE PRESS CONFERENCE
THIS CAR LIKES DOVER DOESN'T IT? "I think it just likes Dover, it likes a lot of race tracks. We've really been doing pretty good the last couple of weeks. We got a pole over at Watkins Glen, we got a pole last weekend and we got a pole today. I told 'em though I'd trade all those poles we had for some more wins. We've just gotta get some more wins right now, but the car has been really strong in qualifying. We've got that worked out." DID YOUR LAP SEEM THAT GOOD? "Oh yeah. Earlier in the day I was third-quickest at the end of that last practice with a 22.62 and I said, 'Man, I had to get out of the throttle a little bit off of turn four, I lost the front end just a little bit.' So we came in and aired the right-rear tire up a little bit with air, we took some wedge out of the car and made a chassis adjustment there and went out. And when I qualified it was absolutely perfect, it didn't lose the front end, it didn't lose the rear end. I told 'em, 'If they can go faster than that, they can have it,' because that thing was right in the race track and runnin' quick there." DO YOU NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE IN TRACK SURFACE? "The track's real super smoothe. I'm a real advocate of concrete tracks, I love concrete tracks because they're consistent and they don't seem to have problems during the winter months and stuff like that, and I don't know why anybody wouldn't want to run a concrete track. I love it a whole lot. It's great at Bristol and it's great here. I told 'em last week up in New Hampshire that if they did that to New Hampshire they'd have a lot better track up there too." WHAT ABOUT GOING FOR YOUR 50TH WIN? "I think about it every week and it's just a number. Sometimes I think it jinxes me when I keep thinking about it because somebody mentions it all the time. Every time I think I've got the possibility to do it, something goes wrong or I don't run as good as I want to. Last weekend we led the most laps only to come home sixth from the pole position. Hopefully, I was fifth here last time and we've got some good notes to go off of...how to make the car better, and, hopefully, we'll have a better car Sunday." HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SUNDAY? "I feel really good. I feel confident. I feel prepared. That's what a driver has to be, he has to be confident in his crew, his pit crew and everything. When you start on the front row and the car is that good a car like it's been. This car, we ran at a couple other race tracks and it always seems like it wants to run good. It ran at Indy and it ran good there, we finished eighth, which wasn't as good as I wanted it to, but this thing really shows some speed at certain times. If we can ever get it harnessed and get it right on, we'll have a good car. But this has been one of our best cars in the stable. I've had some great runs with it at a whole bunch of other tracks, so I think we've really got it tuned up pretty good now. I think we've got a chance to get a win on Sunday." THE LAST TWO RACES HERE HAVE BEEN FUEL MILEAGE. "You definitely gotta think about the fuel thing. Every race we go to right now seems like it's got some type of thought about fuel with it. Even the short tracks now. Who would have ever believed at Loudon the first race on a short track we'd have a fuel concern there? But we work on the motors and get the best fuel mileage we can. Our mileage has been really good, I don't think we're gonna have a problem there. You've gotta work on everything. If your crew chief is talking to you and you're in a window where maybe you can conserve a little fuel, you need to do that, but our concern is definitely on fuel." THE TEAM IS COMING TOGETHER, ISN'T IT? "I think it's something you go into every race thinking you've got the best car you can possibly unload and you've got the best qualifying package, but some places are just better than others. Why we've been a second-half team, I don't know, but thank God we won the race earlier in the year and if the second half of the year is better than the first part, then we'll get a couple more wins. We almost won Daytona, we almost won the Firecracker 400. We almost won here and almost won there. We've led a lot of laps. We led the most laps last week only to get sixth. This team always has been gelling, but I think we're just doing better yet. We're paying more attention to detail. I think the engines have gotten better and we got our rear end kicked in pretty good on some pit stops, so we worked on our pit stops to get those better. That's just free track position out there when you can do that." HOW DO YOU TURN THOSE ALMOSTS INTO WINS? "You've got to just pay more attention and just work harder. Just about the time you're paying all the attention you can and you're working harder, somebody somehow has stepped it up a little bit more yet. Testing, trying new things. We went through three sets of shock absorbers before qualifying just to say, 'OK, what we've got on the car is the best.' So we're trying a lot of things. We're not just sittin' still taking for granted that we're gonna be fine, but we've gotta work on aerodynamics, work on pit stops and we're doing that right now. I think that's made us all better."
ED BERRIER --90-- Nestle Taurus (Qualified 23rd) -- "That was pretty good. We're tickled with it. I told the guys I let 'em down a little bit because there was a little more out there, really. It just got bound up a little bit getting in the corner there. I've just gotta thank Junie and everybody for letting me drive the thing. All the guys worked hard on it and they deserve it." THIS WILL BE BETTER THAN DARLINGTON, RIGHT? "Yeah, we had some things way off at Darlington. I'm kind of glad it rained, but we just had some things the weren't quite right, but this car here has been good since we unloaded it. We're just trying to get it a tick better."
KENNY IRWIN --28-- Texaco Havoline Taurus (Qualified 12th) -- "It's good. We just backed up what we did earlier. I think they're happy (the crew) because I said the car's faster than I drove it, so it makes them feel good that they did a better job than me (laughing). It was good. We wanted to get a solid lap and we did. The car is really nice. The car is driving really good."
CHAD LITTLE --97-- John Deere Taurus (Qualified 22nd) -- "Looking at it now, it looks like that will squeek in the top 25 and you're always happy when that happens. The car feels good and I think it's gonna be a good race car. It feels like it's really into the track, so I'm happy."
JIMMY SPENCER --23-- Team Winston Taurus (Qualified 18th) -- "That was the fastest lap we ran all day. We're still off a little bit on both ends of the track in the corners. We were good on the straightaways, so we still have a little more work on our car for qualifying. We learned some things today and that's about the best we've qualified here. We've had some good qualifying runs and then we've been inconsistent too, like last week we really tried for it and this week we didn't think we had a shot at the pole so we decided we needed to try to get a solid run and a top 25 and that's what we did. When you don't have a car capable of doing it, usually you can't do it. I'm still hard-headed, I still try to figure I can do it and I sometimes get in trouble, but I think we'll have a good car. It's the same car we had at Bristol and we're excited about it. We think it'll run really well in the race."
KEVIN LEPAGE --16-- TV Guide Taurus (Qualified 21st) -- "Pat Tryson and the guys did a great job preparing the car. I let 'em down a little bit, I left a lot on the table in one and two, but we're just trying to keep this TV Guide Taurus running up front every week. We had a good qualifying effort last week, we didn't run that good during the race because we had a little problem, but maybe this week we can turn it around."
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Citgo Taurus (Qualified 16th) -- "We're real happy about that. The car is driving unreal. We played with the gears a little bit, trying to switch around and get the motor turning different rpms, but these guys have got me a great race car. If it turns this good on Sunday, we're gonna have us a pretty good finish."
MARK MARTIN --6-- Valvoline/Cummins Taurus (Qualified 8th) -- "That's better than maybe I expected. I think this Valvoline car is gonna run good on Sunday. This is the one we won with a year ago and we led 385 of the laps. Of course, we sat on the pole too and it was not a pole contender, so things have changed and what used to work doesn't work anymore. I haven't been real happy with the way our cars have run in the races lately, so we wanted to bring this one back out to see if it was us or if the equipment we were using was just off a little bit. We're gonna be good in the race."