JOE NEMECHEK (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It hasn't changed a whole bunch, mainly we've been doing a lot of things with the media and other activities. That's really picked up. The biggest thing about winning a race, it just gives...
JOE NEMECHEK (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"It hasn't changed a whole bunch, mainly we've been doing a lot of things with the media and other activities. That's really picked up. The biggest thing about winning a race, it just gives myself and the whole team a lot more confidence.
"We have a pretty big fan club right now. I think we're getting close to a thousand members in that. The fans, everywhere we go, there's just a lot of support for myself and the whole team. We went to New England. We had to do some things at some schools up there before the race and then we won, but there was a lot of excitement up there before and then more after. I think anybody that wins definitely gains fan support.
"I think it makes everybody take notice when there's a tragedy like this. Payne (Stewart) was one of the top golfers as far as myself and members of my crew watched play golf on the weekends. We're definitely going to miss him. The golf touring deal is no different than racing. They go from place to place every weekend putting on tournaments. I know we look at it. We're going to go back and look at it. I don't have a Lear Jet, so it's kind of a little different situation, but I think all the pilots throughout the racing community will look at that and see if they can learn something by it and try not to let it happen again.
"The year 2000 I'm going to be going to Andy Petree Racing and the sponsor is going to be Oakwood Homes. I'm really looking forward to it. Andy and the group of people he's assembled up there at Andy Petree Racing, I think they've got a lot of neat things going on right now. Kenny Schrader has finished somewhere between 10th and 15th in the points the last few years and
they've got a very good race team. Some of the new projects they're working on, along with the new 2000 Monte Carlo, I think we're going to be competitive next year. Hopefully I can bring a piece of the puzzle they've been missing to make them competitive on a weekly basis. If I can do that, I think we're going to be tough.
"Everything we've talked about so far, he's (Andy Petree) supposed to be the crew chief for the 33 car. I think eventually someone will get blended in there, but I think Andy and Tony Glover are good friends and we've talked about it. Even though I'm going to a different team, Tony and I are very good friends and I think he wants to see me succeed, too. I know Tony and Andy have talked and just get Andy back involved in it will help the whole program. Andy is a good man. He's won a championship with Earnhardt and he's won some races out there. So he needs to get that knowledge and get that knowledge back in there.
"It's difficult going to back to Homestead, but I love to race and my brother loved to race. If things had been turned and that had been me that got hurt, I would have wanted him to continue racing and I know he wanted the same thing. To go back to Homestead and run well will be wonderful. We need to go back there and have a good showing. I think we can.
"I wish I knew the answer to that one (what took so long to get things turned around at SABCO?). That would help. It's hard to point out any one thing, because it's not any one thing. We run good at the beginning of the year and through the middle of the year. We just seemed to not have any luck. We got caught up in six crashes early in the year and it was crazy. But we had some good qualifying runs, and we were competitive in some races. We just couldn't put the whole thing together. Then when they made the crew chief change, Tony came back over. Things happened that made it a little bit better, but it wasn't a big change. It was like all of a sudden we went to Darlington, and Darlington in the past hasn't been one of my great race track, but we ran the Busch race there and learned a few things and got the Winston Cup car driving better as far as at that race track. I thought we had the car to beat. We ended up finishing sixth. From then on, we've had pretty good luck.
"It was definitely tough when all the announcements were made about who's going where and who's doing what and not having anything locked up is definitely stressful. I knew I was going to end up somewhere in a good ride. Believe me, the situation I'm in with Tony Glover and Felix with what they've given me at SABCO, it's a really good deal. Whoever gets in that is going to have a good situation. I wanted to get hooked up with another good team. When we were talking with Andy Petree before we won that race at New Hampshire and afterwards the talking got pretty heavy. I guess deep down inside you always have to think about the worse situations. If you don't get a ride, what are you going to do next year? I think anybody that was out there looking for something to do has got to think that. In the worse situation, what can happen?
"From going from race to race and also out doing personal appearances and other activities like that, we're going (in the air) once a week, and sometimes we're going two or three times a week."
TONY GLOVER (Crew chief No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
"As tough as it is to win in Winston Cup, it was a great day for SABCO, and getting Joe's first win was a great day for him and something I'll always be real proud of.
"I think they're going to make the announcement (for 2000 plans) around November 19th or 20th in Atlanta. That's when Felix and the BellSouth people want to make the announcement. I guess a lot of people have been speculating who the driver is going to be, but in my position, I'm just waiting for Felix and the BellSouth people to make that announcement.
"It's really not a big issue for me because I've probably worked with at least two dozen drivers in Winston Cup, and I've become pretty good friends with all of them and have really enjoyed all of their different driving styles and different personalities and techniques. It's really quite pleasant sometimes to have a little change, and basically, I'm really not a crew chief.
"I've been a crew chief for probably 15 years. I've spent my whole Winston Cup career being a crew chief, but last year I was a team manager and had three crew chiefs working under me or three crew chiefs that I worked in assistance with. This year, right before Charlotte, we made a crew chief change on the 40 car. I elected to fill that role until we found an adequate replacement. Then a couple of weeks later, Felix wanted to make a change and put Scott Eggleston, who was Joe's crew chief, over with the 40 car."