FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING, February 6, 1999 Daytona International Speedway RUSTY WALLACE -2- Miller Lite Taurus -- IS THAT TIME GONNA HOLD UP? "Well, I hope so. I don't really know. It's a good run. It's the best...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES DAYTONA 500 QUALIFYING, February 6, 1999 Daytona International Speedway
RUSTY WALLACE -2- Miller Lite Taurus -- IS THAT TIME GONNA HOLD UP? "Well, I hope so. I don't really know. It's a good run. It's the best we've run for the last two months down here and you never know what happens when you go through the tech line, but the car was right when it went through tech and the guys did an absolutely wonderful job. The motor was super strong and wherever we end up, that's where we end up. If the Lord wants us to be there, by God we're gonna be there. It's been a fun week and I've had a great time. Let's just hope it gets us on the front row."
WAS YOUR LAP A LITTLE SCARY? "No, not really. My car bottomed out a little bit more than I wanted it to, but that's good. When we get here you want to get as low as you can get and it was a great lap."
ELLIOTT SADLER -21- Citgo Taurus -- HOW HARD IS IT YOUR FIRST TIME QUALIFYING HERE IN WINSTON CUP? "Well, it's pretty hard. These guys with a lot of experience, these veterans, really know how to get their car to go around here at Daytona. This is my first time working with these Winston Cup cars and it's pretty tough on a rookie. We've got a great race team. The Citgo guys really worked hard. That's not the fastest time that we need to run, but we think we're gonna have a good starting position come Thursday and these guys feel like they're gonna have a good, steady race car for me for the twin 125's, so I'm looking forward to getting my feet wet and doing that and putting on a good job for Citgo and the Wood Brothers."
JEREMY MAYFIELD -12- Mobil 1 Taurus -- YOU ALMOST BEAT RUSTY? "I tell you what, Rusty has been real strong here the whole Speedweek and at least we'll have one up front anyway on the front row, hopefully. The Mobil 1 team has done a great job and thanks to Penske Engines and everybody involved. We came up a little short today, but that's about the best we've run since we've been here, so you can't ask for any better than that."
JEFF BURTON -99- Exide Batteries Taurus -- "I'm gonna tell you something, I'm really proud of my guys. The Exide team worked really hard as well as everybody at Roush Racing on our restrictor plate program. That is by far the best we have run all winter. We played it pretty safe for two days. We had a little bit left the whole time, but we were afraid to kind of show it because it seems like everytime we go through tech we end up having to give something back. We were able to run a lot quicker than we had because we had held some back. We were trying not to be too optimistic about things and kept working hard. I'm just really proud of Frank Stoddard and everybody at Roush Racing because that's a heckuva lap for us.
WHAT'S BEEN THE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR RESTRICTOR PLATE PROGRAM? "I think that this year we had some time to work on the restrictor plate program. Last year we didn't have any time at all, we concentrated on our downforce program with the Taurus. We spent a lot of time on the restrictor plate program without taking away from our downforce program and last year we weren't willing to do that. We couldn't do that because of time. This year we concentrated on both programs equally hard because we had a year under our belts with the Taurus. I think you'll see everybody at Roush Racing run better today than what we've run."
ROBERT PRESSLEY -77- Jasper Engines Taurus -- HOW DOES THAT STACK UP WITH HOW YOU HAVE PRACTICED SO FAR? "That was about what we tested down here, and what we practiced. These guys worked real hard on this Jasper Engine Ford Taurus. We're getting there. We've just been a little bit slow. We'll get back and look at everything, and make a judgment about what we do for Monday."
DARRELL WALTRIP -66- Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus -- "Well you know, my philosophy has always been, if you can't be good at least look good. I think we've got the good look going for us. If we could get a little speed out of this Kmart car we'd be a lot better off. Every time we go on the race track we're basically testing. Right now we're trying to work through some things here. I just look forward to the 125's. I know I'll race good in those. I like the car, and the guys are doing a great job. We're just a little behind the curve right now. I've been on the wrong road and lost, and didn't know how I was going to get home, but I'm on the right road. We just have to pick up the pace a little bit."
YOU SLOWED DOWN A LITTLE BIT FROM THE PRACTICE SPEEDS THIS MORNING. "Yeah, we're a little disappointed in that. As you always do, you do little things to make the car go faster. We didn't do the right things. We did all the wrong things. The car just didn't get down like it ought to have, and we lost about 300 rpm. I told the guys before qualifying there would be guys walking around, shaking their heads saying 'I don't know what happened'. I just hope we're not one of them. Unfortunately we are one of them."
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU QUALIFIED A FORD? "A Ford, 1973. Right here. Marty Robbins was driving then, so it's been a long time."
DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED WITH HOW YOU QUALIFIED? "You're always disappointed unless you're on the pole. But we worked awfully hard. I think we expected to run in the 40's, and that would have gotten us up a little further, but we've got a good race car so we're looking forward to this coming Thursday and Sunday."
CAN YOU MAKE IT THREE WINS NEXT WEEK? "Obviously, there are a lot of good race cars here, and a lot of good drivers so it's going to be a real challenge, but I think we've got the car and the team that we can get it done and try to get it in that victory lane again."
BILL ELLIOTT -94- McDonald's Taurus -- YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE MORE, I SUPPOSE. "Well obviously. We've worked hard all winter, and it seemed like we were on a positive direction. And then you come here to qualify, and I see like a lot of the little tricks some of the guys over the winter analyzed things and decided to do things different. Obviously I think we give up a lot right there. But when you get all these cars with all this stuff out from under to go race, I think we'll be in pretty good shape. Still we give a good effort to get where we're at. We'll concentrate now on the 125's next Thursday
RICK MAST -98- Yarborough-Burdette Taurus -- "I'm not sure what we did. The car had been a good bit faster than that yesterday and today and, really,we duplicated our qualifying this morning from yesterday evening and didn't really change the car. We didn't do anything to it and we slowed down a little bit. It's a decent speed, but it's not fast enough to guarantee us anything yet, so we might have to come back Monday and re-do this thing. I don't know, if we can figure out why we slowed down. The pressure these guys have been under, a week ago this car didn't have a snout on it and that's pretty unheard of five days before you leave to go to Daytona, but they worked 24 hours a day and got it back together. They went in the right direction and even though it didn't pay off today, the week's not over yet."
RICKY CRAVEN -58- Hollywood Video Taurus -- "That's not what we're looking for, but it's progress. I'm pretty excited about racing with these guys. There's a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy and we're gonna gain a little speed here before we leave."
YOU DON'T GET A LOT OF TIME ON THIS TRACK. IT'S TOUGH ISN'T IT. "You don't get enough (time). That's why January is so important. We capitalized on the testing, but not as much as we needed so we need to make use of our time. We'll probably go again Monday and then get ready for Thursday, and I'm pretty excited about the 500.
CHAD LITTLE -97- John Deere Taurus -- "Unless you're on the pole you always want to go faster, but we're pretty pleased with that. That's about where we were practicing and that's a little better than we tested, so I think everyone's done their homework. We've got a good race car and the motor ran well, so it's just a matter of putting everything together now and concentrating on the twins and have a good run for John Deere and Roush Racing."
HOW MUCH HAVE YOU PICKED UP FROM LAST YEAR? "We picked up quite a bit because we just really started running the Taurus. We had the Thunderbird last year, which was a proven car from Jeff Burton's team, so starting with the Taurus at the beginning of December I think we've learned a lot."
BRETT BODINE -11- Paychex Taurus -- "That's the best we've run. I've gotta hand it to this whole race team, they've just really worked awfully hard and that's a second faster than we tested down here. That just shows you how much work was done in the last couple of weeks. I can't say enough about my guys. It's not enough speed to be up there contending for the pole, but they've worked awfully hard with this Paychex Ford and they just squeezed as much out of it as they could."
YOU'VE ADDED SOME NEW PEOPLE? "We've got a lot of new faces here at the race track, but I'm looking forward to working with these guys throughout the year. I think we've done the right thing for our race team and our sponsors and, hopefully, we can turn the wick on the performance up a little bit over last season and do a little bit better for everybody."
JIMMY SPENCER -23- Team Winston Taurus -- "It's not fun out there. I think this is nonsense to qualify this way. I mean, the car owners spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for these two laps and it's absolute nonsense. I'm probably a big advocate against it because it doesn't mean anything. It's what counts on Thursday in the twin 125's, that's where you get the starting lineup for the 500. It's the only place we do it and I hope NASCAR does something about it."
MARK MARTIN -6- Valvoline Taurus -- "This just makes me so proud to be a part of this Roush Racing team with Jimmy Fennig and all the people who work at Roush Racing. The Valvoline team, we came down here last year and we were a second-and-a-half off the pole, probably 35th in time or something like that, and we had so much work to do. There were some Tauruses up front and we were stuck in the back, so we didn't have anything to blame it on but ourselves. This team has really buckled down and made horsepower and made some nice Tauruses and did the right things on everything. This is one of the happiest days, I tell you."
TED MUSGRAVE -75- Remington Arms Taurus -- "It's pretty much what we've been running all the while we've been down here. We tried a lot of things to get a little faster, but it didn't seem to pick up any. I'm just setting my sights on the 125, get the car drafting well. We've always done well down here in Daytona, and I know I can do it again. We'll just have to scrap the qualifying and go for the race."
JOHNNY BENSON -26- Cheerios Taurus -- "It was about what we ran in practice. We were hoping to go a little better but we didn't go any better. We're just going to get ready for Thursday, and gotta get in the race. I almost made it last year, and had a wreck in turn two and got involved in that. That was a pretty bad deal. Hey, that was last year, and this is this year."
JERRY NADEAU -9- Cartoon Network Taurus -- YOU HAVE BEEN THIRD FAST IN PRACTICE, THEN TO 12TH FASTEST AND RIGHT NOW YOU'RE 17TH IN QUALIFYING. IT'S BEEN KIND OF A YO-YO WEEKEND FOR YOU. "Not really. We practiced really good over the winter. We came down here yesterday and were third fastest. We seemed to have a little problem this morning in practice, and we decided to change engines. Pro Motors gave us another engine, and they did a superb job. The whole team did a really good job. That was really a good lap. We don't really know how everybody else got so much better. That will give us a fairly good starting spot next week for the Twin 125's next week. We just need to get a really good run."
KEVIN LEPAGE -16- PRIMESTAR Taurus -- "Actually that's the best we've run since we got here. It's a little bit quicker than what we tested, but we were hoping to get down in the 46's. Looking at the car right now, we've got a big burn mark on the left front top of the fender and that's speed. Any time tire hits metal under the car or anything under the car, it's going to jump down. Unfortunately for us, we've got to race our way into the 125's. James Ince has a great race package. If you look back to last year at our Talladega effort and then here at Daytona we had a great race package. We'll get in the show with the Primestar Taurus. We'll get up to the front. I can guarantee you that."
RICKY RUDD -10- Tide Taurus -- "It's been a good week in the respect that we had a bad test down here and the guys went to work on the car. They chopped it up, cut it up, sawed it up, and we came back with a pretty respectable 46.90. We wish it had been a 6.70. A couple of tenths would have made a big difference. We ran about like we expected. We didn't expect the field in general to be this fast all the way through. We've got good engines. We've got Penske engines, and they're making good power. It's all in the aero and the way the car rides, the bump rubbers and the shock package. We've come a ways with it, but we're still not there. We've got to race our way in, it looks like. We'll have to get a good 125 in because of the points." KENNY IRWIN -28- Texaco Havoline Taurus -- "It's very disappointing for the whole 28 team. We just don't know where it's at or what happened. Everybody works as hard as they can and does everything that they can, we just honestly don't have any idea where it went. We're thinking we're gonna pick up and we actually go slower by a couple tenths, so it's very disheartening."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THE RACE SETUP FOR THIS CAR? "Well, we sure hope so. It's a brand new car, so we're hoping it's a good race car. I guess you might say we're counting on that."