FIRST GATORADE 125 NOTES DELMA COWART ( ...
FIRST GATORADE 125 NOTES
DELMA COWART (#0 Masters Inn Economy Ford) -- "We just had it set up too loose. The only chance we had to try to hang on to the draft was to set it up loose, and when the freight train came past me it loosened it up to where I couldn't save it. Once it broke loose, Houdini couldn't have saved it. They caught me at the worst possible place on the race track, coming out of 4. I apologize to Geoff Bodine, and I'm glad nobody got their car tore up but me."
PHIL BARKDOLL (#73 X-1R Chevrolet) -- "I ran into the 78 car (Billy Standridge) and I had a push in the car from that point on. Every time I came off (Turn) four, it would take me to the wall. When you back out, you're in trouble. We had to move up five (to qualify). I'm not sure I had the ability. We had the car, but I'm not sure I had the ability."
SECOND GATORADE 125 NOTES
RICKY CRAVEN (#25 Budweiser Chevrolet) -- "We were half a car length of clearing those two cars. I just got hung up and started to press the issue a little bit. Chad (Little) could have given me a break but he didn't. I don't know if there were two inches or two feet. I tried to squeeze into a hole. I felt him through three and four and he just wouldn't let go. I needed a break; I didn't get one. I screwed up."
LAKE SPEED (#9 Melling Engine Parts Ford) -- (After being x-rayed in the Monaco Infield Care Center.) "I just bruised my sternum. It's the same injury I got last year at Pocono. Craven was in front of me and he got over into whoever was next to him. That turned him into the outside wall, he bounced off when he did, I tried to sneak by 'em on the inside but he just barely clipped me and turned me, too. (Crew had back-up car into garage about 10 minutes after wrecked machine was returned.) I don't know how the back-up compares to this one -- we've never run it. It should be as good as the one we qualified and it could be better. It's the second car we built and we tried to incorporate all the changes we learned with the first car."
LOY ALLEN (No. 19 Child Support Recovery Int'l Ford) -- "I don't know exactly what happened... I think the cars up front got tangled together. I saw em get sideways, then everybody was trying to dodge the wreck or get slowed down and somebody tagged me in the rear. I feel worst for the crew -- they worked real hard -- and I'm just sorry our best car's all torn up. We'll find something else on the truck."
WALLY DALLENBACH (No. 46 First Union Chevrolet) -- "The car started out very, very good and as the fuel burned off, the car got tighter and tighter. I really was tight getting off the corner and we pretty much just had to hang on. I had my hands full the last 10 or 12 laps. I think we would have been all right but somebody's always got to get anxious and break the lead draft up. Then the lead draft takes off and you sit there and struggle the rest of the race. The Daytona 500 will be different. It's a longer race. (On the late-race incident with John Andretti.) John was up on the high side and, like I said, my car was real tight. When you turn your wheel down it takes the air off your spoiler. I just got sideways and there was no place to go."
(In an ironic situation, RICK MAST (No. 75 Remington Ford) failed to qualify for the Daytona 500. He was eliminated by MORGAN SHEPHERD (No. 1 Delco Remy America Pontiac) for the fourth and final provisional starting position. Provisionals are determined by the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup car owner points -- with the No. 1 (driven by Mast in 1996) finishing ahead of the No. 75 (driven by Shepherd last year).) "Circumstances all worked against us," said Mast. "If 98 (Andretti) didn't fall out with two laps to go, we would have been all right. Somebody brought that out as a joke last year (with No. 1 finishing ahead of No. 75). I don't worry about that stuff. We're here to race hard every week."
HUT STRICKLIN (No. 8 Circuit City Ford) -- "The car wouldn't turn at all coming off the corner and I was having to use a lot of brake to get it turned. We were off a little bit on the handling. The qualifying race was actually the first decent practice we've gotten, so now we can go back and change the car around. I feel good. I think that was one of the more important practice sessions that we've run since we came here, without a doubt."
(FELIX SABATES, car owner for JOE NEMECHEK (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet), announced that he had reached an agreement with PHIL BARKDOLL (No. 73 X-1R Chevrolet) to paint No. 73 in BellSouth colors and have Nemechek start the Daytona 500.) "Phil has been a friend of mine for a long time and he's always said, If you're ever in a jam, anything I have is yours,'" said Sabates. "Well, Joe didn't qualify for the Daytona 500 and I was in a jam." "I hit the home run and Joe Nemechek's going to get to run the bases," said Barkdoll proudly after qualifying for what would've been his sixth Daytona 500. (Team Owner BUTCH MOCK (No. 75 Remington Arms Ford) announced that the No. 75 car in which RICK MAST failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 would be re-numbered as No. 19 and that LOY ALLEN, who wrecked the No. 19 Child Support Recovery International Ford, would drive it, in the Daytona 500. Mock said his crew would pit the car and Mast would be in the pits in support of Allen.)
GARGOYLES 300 PRACTICE NOTE
DAVID HUTTO (No. 24 Mama Mary's Pizza Crust Chevrolet) -- "I was out there in the draft, getting some lap times and I was right behind the 43 (Rodney Combs). A car was getting up to speed in turn three and four and I didn't have any place to go. The 43 car shot down on the apron and I locked up the brakes and backed it into the wall. We've got a little frame damage but I think we can get the other car ready in time for the race."