Las Vegas: Jimmy Spencer preview

The Spencer & Baldwin School of Las Vegas MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2003) - For the record, it took only two races into the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season for crew chief Tommy Baldwin and driver Jimmy Spencer to have their first disagreement.

The Spencer & Baldwin School of Las Vegas

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2003) - For the record, it took only two races into the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season for crew chief Tommy Baldwin and driver Jimmy Spencer to have their first disagreement. Some feared this might happen, but no one expected so soon. The issue - do dice have feelings? Spencer says yes; Baldwin says no. The United Nations Security Council says to give it more time - see if they can work it out.

It should be noted that the dice issue is really the only thing preventing the two from total harmony. They both agree, for instance, on cab drivers, cocktail waitresses, and the food in Las Vegas. They also agree that a strong run in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday could make up for any wages they've lost in Vegas casinos. "Hey, motivation is a valuable tool," team owner Jim Smith says. "I don't care where they get it."

As we prepare to go west for race three of 36 on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule, the driver and crew chief of the No. 7 SIRIUS Racing Team offers tips on surviving Las Vegas. The Spencer & Baldwin School of Las Vegas is now in session:

CAB DRIVERS

Spencer: "You better watch it or they'll take you on a 20-minute ride to a place only five minutes away. Always know where you're going. They'll say, 'We're going to drive the interstate to avoid the traffic lights.' I remember one (guy) drove us around, I'm gonna say, a good 10-12 minutes longer than it took us to get to the same exact place the year before. The year before the fare was $6, and this time it's $12. I made him give me my change."

Baldwin: "Us New Yorkers know about cab drivers. Sometimes you gotta watch them. Jimmy's right, make them think you know where you're going. Even if you don't, act like you do."

COCKTAIL WAITRESSES

Spencer: "You've got those who look really good. You've got those who wear a Hutchins Device for a uniform. And you've got those who run off business. The last time I was in Vegas, this cocktail waitress comes walking by, and I swear she reminded me of a guy who gassed my Busch car a few years ago."

Baldwin: "Some of them could have more, and some of them could have less. That's all I'm going to say."

GAMES

Spencer: "I pretty much stick to Craps and Blackjack."

Baldwin: "Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps. Those are my favorites."

ADVICE ON PLAYING

Spencer: "You know what makes me mad - people who throw the dice too hard. You've got to treat the dice with respect. Don't throw them hard; just toss them with a little love and compassion. The dice have feelings."

Baldwin: "No, dice don't have feelings."

Spencer: "You've got to talk to your dice. They got feelings."

Baldwin: "It's Spencer who doesn't have feelings."

THINGS TO SAY TO THE DICE:

Spencer: "It depends on what I need. If I need to roll a four, the dice like to hear me say, 'How do them ducks go to the water? Two-by-two.' If I need to roll a nine, the dice like to hear me say, 'What did Johnny shoot Jesse with? A forrrrrrrty-five."

Baldwin: "I just tell the dice, "Momma needs a new pair of shoes, com'on!'

(Editor's note: team spotter Carl Barnes, known as "Red Dog" to everyone but his momma, has just entered the room here at Ultra Motorsports and would like to say that his favorite thing to say when he rolls the dice is, 'FEVER IN THE FUNKHOUSE, RUN BOY RUN!"

DINING IN LAS VEGAS

Baldwin: "A lot of good food. Great place to dine out with your bride."

Spencer: "Don't plan on being on a diet when you get out there."

RACING AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Baldwin: "Since I've lost twelve grand there since 1988, it's about time we win a race so I can catch back up. The way I figure it is we better do well at the race track, because I'm not doing too good a job at the casinos. Vegas is a track you need to have the all around package to do well - the engine program, the handling, the pit crew, the driver, everything. Track position is very important here, because the aero push makes it hard to pass. It's a major factor."

Spencer: "I love racing at Vegas. I won here in the Busch Series, and I've always taken a liking to the flat tracks. I think we need to continue getting better. We had a good run at Rockingham, even though we ran out of gas with two laps to go. We'll learn from that, and continue to get better. People don't realize this is a process. We're still getting familiar with each other, and that's something that only gets better with time. I think it's obvious that we've already taken big strides in just two weeks."

-um-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmy Spencer , Jim Smith