JIMMY MAKAR, CREW CHIEF, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: (ON NEW HAMPSHIRE) "This was a race for everybody in the garage to be able to see how well their teams could react to a situation thrown at them in a short period of time.
JIMMY MAKAR, CREW CHIEF, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
(ON NEW HAMPSHIRE) "This was a race for everybody in the garage to be able to see how well their teams could react to a situation thrown at them in a short period of time. Everybody had the same deal. We had seven days, basically, to prepare a lot of engine combinations, a lot of chassis combinations, a lot of gear combinations to come up here and be prepared to do whatever it took to make our cars the best we could. There was a lot of anxiety and a lot of worry all week long. 'Are we covering all our bases? What are some combinations we've forgotten about that we certainly don't want to get up here and not be able to do?' I felt like we were as prepared as we needed to be to come up here. There were a couple cars that tested that maybe got a little jump on everybody to get to a point of running well. I think it got them there a little quicker, but I think a lot of the better teams at New Hampshire caught back up to the guys that went out and tested last week. I think once the race started we all had enough time to figure things out."
(WHAT ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF USING RESTRICTOR PLATES AT OTHER PLACES THIS YEAR TO SLOW THE CARS DOWN?) "The problem with that right now is, just like at New Hampshire, yeah, it slowed us down. And the key at New Hampshire was slowing the entry speeds down for the tragedies we've had getting into the corner. But what it did do was made the drivers drive halfway around the corner before they got out of the corner. So our mid-corner speeds are still way up, so if something should happen in the middle of the corner you could still be in big trouble.
"You go to places like Atlanta and Charlotte, even now the Busch Grand National cars run those places wide open. I'm certain we will run those places wide open around those places if we start taking horsepower away. I don't think that is the total answer for what we need. We certainly need to slow down at every racetrack we go to be able to put on a better show, for the drivers to be able to use their talents as drivers and get side-by-side and race, and bump a little bit and not be worried about being spun out because you're on the ragged edge.
"We need to slow the cars down, but it's a combination of things that we're going to have to do. Motor is part of it, but tire grip and aerodynamic downforce are the other two issues that we're going to have to look at taking away a little bit to make the combination work where we go slower, but the car still doesn't stick like glue in the corner, where the drivers still have to do a little something in the corners."