Dover II: Dodge drivers comments on new rules

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) On NASCAR's yellow-flag rule revisions... "I think it's something that's good. I think it's a great safety move. It's important for NASCAR to recognize that, and they have. There's going to be some ...

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)

On NASCAR's yellow-flag rule revisions...

"I think it's something that's good. I think it's a great safety move. It's important for NASCAR to recognize that, and they have. There's going to be some things that we need to work out and iron out, but overall I think they're going in the right direction. This has always been a problem, but it's definitely come up more recently."

"I'm totally clear on NASCAR's decision. I think the way they have it right now is better, and solely a safety issue -- both pit road and the racing back to the yellow situation. What they're doing for the pit road situation is, drivers can only pass on pit road to the right. So, if the car in front of you is below pit road speed or ran out of gas, or you do for that matter, that car needs to pull down to the left, so cars can pass to the right and not cause accidents."

"You can pass on the left leaving the pits, which is normal, totally acceptable and understandable. It's coming into the pits that you have to pass on the right. You only pass when you're in the pits - going into the pit stall, not like what happened at NHIS when the No. 24 car tried to cheat pit road speed and got himself in trouble. You can no longer do that. If you gain even an inch on the guy in front of you to the left, you will be penalized for that."

"It's pretty cut and dry in my opinion. When the caution comes out, the field is locked in. If the yellow comes out on lap 398 of a 400-lap race, then the front car will win, plain and simple. You just don't race back to the yellow. I mean, you take the risk of safety out of the equation because the reason there is a yellow flag is because there's debris or an accident on the track. Whether it's the last lap or any other lap of the race, the leader is the leader for whatever reason."

"The second part of the situation as far as racing back to the yellow there's a few things that need to be ironed out, but it's only with respect to NASCAR giving a car lap back each time there's a yellow flag. I understand where NASCAR is coming from, but the problem is it has opened up a whole different can of worms when it comes to the gray areas, so to speak. It's just a new topic for everyone to talk about for the next four months until something else comes about."

"Practice was pretty good. We're just trying to get the car all balanced out. The track was pretty green, in reference to all of the rain and stuff. It'll be more interesting to see what happens after the Busch race, when the track's more in race-condition. Other than that, we're just working on balancing out the car. The ALLTEL Dodge was pretty fast. We know what we can do to make it faster, so we'll be doing that."

"Coming to Dover is a little bit different, but it's not a big difference. The cars still pretty much drive the same way. It's just got a little bit different frequency of bumps because of the way the concrete is sectioned. I really like this racetrack, and it's a whole lot of fun."

RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid)

"I think Mike Helton made an awesome decision by not racing back to the yellow flag. Man, there are too many almost major crashes that happen when guys try to do that. I never have understood why a driver who's leading the race and has worked all day trying to get the lead would be willing to get out of the gas to let another guy get his lap back. Now, if it's one of your friends I realize what goes around comes around, but you've got to use a little sense too. Some of these guys who are jumping on the gas so early are causing a hell of a wreck behind them - the leaders were, with all of these guys darting back. Finally, NASCAR said, 'That's enough of that. We'll take it into our own hands. When the caution flag comes out everyone will hold their own position.'

"This is going to do a couple of things. It's going to calm all of that down and allow NASCAR to get their emergency vehicles down there quicker if there's a big wreck at a racetrack. They couldn't get everybody out there because these guys were still racing hard and running all over the racetrack. Now when that caution flag comes out we all slow down right now. We can move those emergency vehicles where they need to go, and that's smart."

"We'll definitely tweak it if it's needed in the future. That's the cool thing about NASCAR. Instead of them saying, 'This is the rule, and this is what it is,' they've said, 'This is the rule, and that's the way it'll be for now. If it doesn't work we're going to adjust this thing, and try to make it better and better.'

JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Havoline Dodge Intrepid)

"I'm glad they did it before somebody got hurt, because that's definitely something that someone one day would get hurt by. I think it's going to be a mess for a while until they figure it out. There were so many questions being asked in the meeting that we had. I think you have to do that. Guys get so crazy trying to get your lap back, and I've been there where you just need to get your lap back and you'll do anything. Definitely, I feel like it's a great idea. It just seemed like everybody has gotten greedy. Everyone has found a way to capitalize on something there, just like pit stops and everything else. It just keeps getting more competitive every week. Maybe only a couple of guys were doing that last year, and none the year before, and now everybody is."

"If you lose only one lap, no (it won't be ever tougher to get a lap back). I think it's almost going to be easier, because you don't necessarily have to beat the leader back, and if you are better than everybody else a lap down, you'll get there eventually. And it's going to guarantee that somebody every single time gets a lap back. A lot of times people don't get their lap back, especially like Bristol. This will guarantee at least one guy every time, so I think it's going to be better. I think that your strategy will have to be a little bit different. I don't know what, but it's going to change something for sure."

JIMMY SPENCER (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid)

"We weren't too good in practice. We were 11th quickest, or something, but we were not good at all on long runs. The car was just really, really loose. We'll have some work to do before tomorrow. We've got to get the car balanced. The car doesn't have any balance. It just pins the front end and tries to spin out right away. We've got to work on that."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid)

"We were pretty good today. The car was pretty good on long runs. We never even put any tires on the whole time. We're a little tight on exit, but that's normal here. These short weekends are fine for us, because we don't have to worry about qualifying. We should do it like this every week."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Helton