Ford Drivers Atlanta Qualifying Notes

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Cracker Barrel 500 March 12, 1999 Atlanta Motor Speedway Haas-Carter Motorsports has announced that Joe Snyder will be taking over as interim crew chief for the No. 66...

FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Cracker Barrel 500 March 12, 1999 Atlanta Motor Speedway

Haas-Carter Motorsports has announced that Joe Snyder will be taking over as interim crew chief for the No. 66 Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus driven by Darrell Waltrip. Former crew chief Donnie Disharoon decided to accept a similar position with Larry Hedrick earlier this week. Carter, Waltrip and Snyder spoke about the change and what their hopes are for the future.

TRAVIS CARTER, Car Owner -66- Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus -- "Donnie (Disharoon) talked with us last week a little bit and we weren't sure exactly what his future plans were, so, I guess, over the course of the weekend at Vegas he decided he was gonna take another job that was offered. Obviously, we were scrambling and Joe Snyder, who I refer to him as Computer Joe, he's worked with PI Research and his experience dates back several years to some open wheel racing. He's been around and done a lot of test work with a lot of these Winston Cup cars and he's served in a team manager and crew chief capacity before in a short stint before. Nonetheless, he called us several times and was interested in working with this team, so when this opportunity opened up he called again on Monday. I felt we had to do something and I think Joe's experience and organizational skills, I'm hoping that his presence can bring something to us in a positive way. I would like for it to work out long-term. Obviously, it's on an interim basis until we see how things mesh. We have not gotten the combination of things together with this team that we need. You take a veteran driver like Darrell Waltrip, who is very set in his ways, I think it takes special kinds of people to be compatible with that situation. That's not to be critical of him because I think that's good. The man is very experienced. He knows race cars in and out. He has a tremendous feel for them and give great feedback, but, again, it takes the right kind of people and I think that this is almost an exception, so those are the things we're still trying to search for and find that combination. Certainly, I'm hoping that Joe can be part of that combination, and I think from that point we will continue to find another guy who we might name as a car chief to work with him, if in fact he can continue as crew chief in that capacity and fulfill what we need to get done."

DARRELL WALTRIP -66- Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus -- "Joe has been around a good bit. He's helped a lot of teams at different times as a consultant. He worked with the people who worked all the computer systems, the PI System, so he brings a good bit of information to this team and when you're a new team that's what you need. You need somebody who has a lot of knowledge and some leadership ability. This is kind of an oxymoron, but you've gotta be smart and you've gotta be dumb too because if you were smart enough you wouldn't do this. He brings a good bit of information to us and that's what we're looking at, so we'll just see how it goes. We don't know what we're gonna do right now. When you're a first-year team you're gonna make adjustments, you're gonna make changes. You try to use your knowledge and give it your best estimate as to how things are gonna work out, but you don't always know. I hope it works out well for him because he really wants to be a crew chief and he really wants to do this and that's important. I'm looking forward to working with him here over the next few weeks and, hopefully, it will work out for a full-time permanent deal."

JOE SNYDER, Interim Crew Chief -66- Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus -- "I've been around these cars for four-and-a-half years and I've supplied a lot of the computer equipment to all the teams, plus I've taught a lot of the crew chiefs a lot about the cars. I've got Indy Car experience and was a crew chief with several different teams over about a 25-year period. This is an opportunity for me just to step up. I've been working with a lot of teams as a consultant. I've done a lot of testing with a lot of teams and working with one team is a lot more beneficial for me to try and improve one team going well rather than working with several different ones at the same time."

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN HELP THIS TEAM AND DARRELL RIGHT OFF THE BAT? "I'm 51 years old and I have a lot of Winston Cup experience although I've never held the position so I bring some maturity to the team. Darrell and I communicate real well. I've worked with Darrell several times testing over the last four years, so we'll see what happens here. My ideas about how you set-up a car are a little bit different. A lot of the technology that we train through computer models and such are what several other bigger and competitive teams are using, so I have a lot of knowledge along those lines and transferring that knowledge to this team is what I hope to do."

WHAT IS PI RESEARCH? "PI Research is the world leader in automotive electronics and technology. PI is the main electronics system for the Stewart Grand Prix program and they're the number one black box program and technology for Indy Car -- both CART and IRL -- and they're number one here in Winston Cup. I've supported 37 teams for three years with technology, so it's a matter of just doing it now for this team."

MARK MARTIN -6- Valvoline Taurus -- "That was all I could hope for. I've been driving that thing as fast as I can and not hit the wall. We're three-tenths, four-tenths, five-tenths off the pole. We were at Vegas too, but we raced good. We'll race good here. The Valvoline team has got a great race package, but I can't even get close to those kind of speeds with this car."

KENNY IRWIN -28- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "We brought back a different kind of car than what we had in the fall and we were hoping it would run as fast and qualify as good, but we're banking on it racing better than the other car, so we'll just have to wait and see."

JEREMY MAYFIELD -12- Mobil 1 Taurus -- "We wanted to be a little faster, but it seemed like we got a little tight in qualifying. I think the track changed a little bit, but we'll take that. That will get us somewhere in the top 10, top 12, something like that." WAS IT AN ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE GOING OUT EARLY? "I don't know, it might be an advantage because I think the more these cars run the quicker and hotter it's gonna get, so we'll have to find out."

JEFF BURTON -99- Exide Batteries Taurus -- "We were way too loose.  We
should have made a change there before qualifying.  We saw the weather
getting hotter, but we didn't.  It bottomed out real bad getting into one.  
I don't know why we did that, we hadn't done that all day.  That really
messed me up in one and two.  I lost a lot of speed in one and two."

TED MUSGRAVE -75- Remington Arms Taurus -- "I'm pretty happy with that, it's conservative. Like I said to the guys, we just wanted to be conservative and make sure it gets in the show and not try be a hero this time. There may have been a little bit more left, but you don't want to goof up again. We've been pretty good all day. I wasn't gonna do like I did last week and try to go for the pole. I just tried to get the thing in the show and get our points up. It's a good car, it's a real good crew. Like I said, they know what to do. Jon Wolfe (crew chief) has been setting them up really good, I just didn't do my job last week. I tried to go for the pole and missed it and the second day was real slow and with no provisionals, so I just wanted to make sure I thought straight and looked at the big picture today."

CHAD LITTLE -97- John Deere Taurus -- "We're real pleased with that. The car was a little bit tight. We actually probably gave up more than we needed to coming off of turn four. I had to get back out of the gas late in turn four because it picked up a little push in the center of turn four, but other than that we were real pleased with it."

JERRY NADEAU -9- TBS Superstation Taurus -- "I guess we're pretty good. The guys have given me a good car every week and it's just a matter of me going out there and getting a good lap." HOW WAS YOUR LAP TODAY? "The track is definitely a little more greasier now than it was this morning, so you really have to hold your breath, although the car is really good. We feel pretty good about our qualifying run."

DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "It was cutting out for some reason. We were losing fuel pressure during the run, so that hurt it. I don't know how much, but we had a good run, it's a good car."

ELLIOTT SADLER -21- Citgo Taurus -- "I'm pretty disappointed right now. We bottomed out real bad and shot almost into the wall, so I had to let out of it in turns one and two. I was going for the pole, tried to go in there wide open and bottomed out. It's disappointing, but we'll try to get it fixed for the race." DID YOU MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS THAT MAY HAVE CAUSED IT TO BOTTOM OUT? "No, we just put some more tape on it and I was going for it. I was going wide open in there and when the pipes hit, it hit pretty hard and shot us up the race track. That's the way it goes."

DARRELL WALTRIP -66- Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus -- ARE YOU FRUSTRATED RIGHT NOW? "It makes you want to throw your hands up and quit. We just get ourselves in such bad shape. I had no idea what the car was gonna do. We had a lot of trouble out there this morning and we never got the car right. Then you try to go run a 190 miles an hour around here in a car you just haven't been comfortable in. The confidence level is at a zero right now, so even if they get the car better, which it was better, but how do I know that? The last time I went out it wasn't very good. It's just real frustrating and disappointing."

BILL ELLIOTT -94- McDonald's Taurus -- "Last week we ran awful well at Vegas and we just got caught up in one of those unfortunate deals, but I think we'll be good this weekend." WHAT ABOUT YOUR LAP TODAY? "The car drove really well, it just didn't go anywhere. I'm really puzzled at what happened because the car drove really well."

RICK MAST -98- Yarborough/Burdette Motorsports Taurus -- "That's our big goal the first four races (qualifying in the top 25). That's about what we ran. The car got a little loose the last time I went out in practice and I messed with it a little bit. I probably should have worked on the chassis just a little bit more, but I got through one and two perfect. I lost all my speed in three and four. The car got away from me a little bit, the back end got a little loose, but we'll take it. Where we're at we'll take anything."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip
Teams Stewart Grand Prix