Ford Daytona Pre-Race Quotes

JEREMY MAYFIELD -12- Mobil 1 Taurus -- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DAYTONA AT NIGHT? "I think it'll be different for us. I think I'll like it better because all the years I was doing my short track racing was a night, so to be able to go...

JEREMY MAYFIELD -12- Mobil 1 Taurus -- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DAYTONA AT NIGHT? "I think it'll be different for us. I think I'll like it better because all the years I was doing my short track racing was a night, so to be able to go there and run at night at Daytona is gonna be pretty neat as far as the speedway because it's something nobody has ever done." WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE LIGHTING? "It would be just like Charlotte or anywhere else. When we're out there running, you don't really know if it's daylight or what. The only thing you know is you look up and it's dark. The race track will be clear and lit up pretty well. I think we should be able to go there and be in pretty good shape." THAT RACE MARKS THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE SEASON. YOU'VE GOT TO BE PLEASED WITH WHAT'S HAPPENED SO FAR AREN'T YOU? "It's been everything. I'm just hoping right now that we can have as good a second half of the season or better than what we've had now and I really think we can. We've run really good and learned a lot the first half, and feel like the second half should be even better for us." DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit -- WHAT DO YOU LEARN DURING THE DAYTIME IN PRACTICE THAT MIGHT HELP YOU AT NIGHT? "We have no idea at a place like Daytona. It'll be foreign to the majority of us, but the guys I've talked to that tested there said that they didn't really see any difference in the race track from day to night, especially speedwise. There was no difference speedwise. We can certainly know that the track is gonna be a little bit cooler at night, so I don't think it will be quite as treacherous as it normally is on July the Fourth in the heat of the day. But, as far as speedwise, we're not gonna see anything. We're probably look at things being closer to what they are for the Daytona 500 in February." IS THERE ANY APPREHENSION DRIVING AT A TRACK THAT BIG UNDER THE LIGHTS AT SUCH HIGH SPEED? "No. We race at places where we run faster than that at night going into the corners. The biggest thing is everybody adjusting to being in a pack. Even though we race fast at a lot of other places, we're not normally in a 30 or 35-car pack for that period of time. We usually get strung out, but that doesn't happen at Daytona with the restrictor plate. That's the only adjustment, but I think it's gonna be great for everybody. It's gonna be better racing, more exciting for everybody and the cars are gonna look like they're going faster, so it should be a lot of fun." IS IT REALLY A LOT OF FUN FOR THE DRIVERS? "Oh, yeah. I love night racing. I'd like to see us do more of it. I think it's exciting. It's where we all started, racing at night and there is just something about it that gives it a little different atmosphere. Everybody gets a little more excited. I guess you have all day to think about it and get excited for it and I think it's gonna be great. What's gonna happen with restrictor-plate racing at night? We could all change our minds about it but I think we're all looking forward to it." GEOFF BODINE -7- Philips Taurus -- YOU TESTED UNDER THE LIGHTS AT DAYTONA, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS WEEKEND? "We're anxious, not excited. I love racing at night and I've never heard anyone complain about racing at night at Charlotte, Richmond or Bristol. I think most drivers do enjoy night racing. Daytona presents some unknowns. We haven't raced on that size track at night ever, so no one really knows what's gonna happen. When we were down there testing we all ran by ourselves because of this crazy qualifying thing we have to do. You spend a lot of time and money just for one or two laps at Daytona and no one got out there and did any drafting. They wanted us to, but, because of this crazy qualifying thing, we have to spend all our time just trying to qualify and find our qualifying setup. "So, we still don't know how it's gonna be out there running with other cars, around other cars, behind other cars. We're gonna have to wait and see. I'm optimistic about how it's gonna be. There were some shadows down there and the lighting people and NASCAR said they were gonna try to fix that, so we'll have to wait and see if they were able to." DO YOU LIKE SEEING THIS MOVED FROM DAY TO NIGHT AND WILL IT BE MORE COMFORTABLE? "Comfort and, that was a Saturday race anyway, but the advantage of night racing is that they normally take place on Saturday so you have Sunday for a rain date or as a day to travel home. I would like to see all races on Saturday night so we could have our backup for Sunday and, possibly, have the day off. Teams need it, crews need it, families need it. It would be really good, but I know the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. It's very unlikely that all tracks would spend that kind of money and race Saturday night, but it's very successful where they do it. If I had a race track, I'd be drilling some holes for light poles." KENNY WALLACE -81- Square D Taurus -- WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT RETURNING TO DAYTONA? "We're coming off a strong run at Talladega and we're taking the same car back. We fought for the lead and ended up seventh at Talladega, so I can't help but be excited about going down there. But, everytime you go from Talladega to Daytona doesn't mean you're gonna run good. The big forest fires have been a real concern for everybody but I hear everything is OK now." WHAT DOES THIS RACE AT NIGHT MEAN TO YOU? "It means a lot. Throughout my Winston Cup career there has been a first for everything. First race at California, last race at Wilkesboro, first race at the Brickyard, so this is gonna be a pretty historical event. I don't think it's gonna be just some other race. I think there's gonna be a lot more people there, just so they can say they were part of the first night race." HOW DO YOU LIKE RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS? "I think everybody's racing career goes back to their roots, the old days, and we all grew up racing at night. When we raced locally throughout the United States, we raced on Friday or Saturday nights and everything was night racing. There's something pretty neat about night racing. "First of all, we're in mid-summer, it's very hot, and NASCAR has done everything they can do to make things cooler on us. They moved the race to night time and they also moved the second Talladega race to later in the year so it was cooler for everybody. So, besides just being used to racing at night at the start of our careers, the cooler temperatures mean a lot and I think it's gonna mean a lot more people in the grandstands." JIMMY SPENCER -23- Team Winston Taurus -- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RUNNING UNDER THE LIGHTS AT DAYTONA? "I had my doubts about running underneath the lights the first time we ever did it at Charlotte. Nobody ever thought you could light a big superspeedway and Charlotte was the first one to do it and they did a great job. I think they've gotten better at it since, so I think Daytona naturally had the same people do it. I think it'll be a lot better race for the fans. It'll be a lot cooler for the competitors. It'll be a lot better event all around." YOU'VE WON THIS RACE BEFORE, HOW MUCH DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO GOING BACK? "We think our team is running pretty good this year. We're just going back there with the intention of being in the top 10, sort of like we did at Talladega. This is the same car we had at Talladega and we think we'll have a good opportunity to be in the top 10 as long as we miss the big accident. Hopefully, there won't be one. If there's not a big accident, then I think we'll be in good shape." HAVE YOU TALKED TO ANYBODY WHO TESTED AT DAYTONA AT NIGHT? "When we get down there we'll practice under the lights ourselves. I don't think them telling you something is going to help you learn anything."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup