Morgan-McClure completes Daytona testing session

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.--Morgan-McClure Motorsports completed a two day GM test session at Daytona International Speedway recently. It was the first official test for the new players on the team, driver Robby Gordon and crew chief David Ifft, to learn...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.--Morgan-McClure Motorsports completed a two day GM test session at Daytona International Speedway recently. It was the first official test for the new players on the team, driver Robby Gordon and crew chief David Ifft, to learn communication and car setup preferences with one another.

The fastest non-drafting, cumulative speed posted by the No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevy was 180.629 mph. Steve Park in the No. 1 Chevy was fastest in non-draft conditions with a speed of 182.190 mph, while Jerry Nadeau turned in the quickest lap overall, 185.755 mph.

Robby Gordon quotes on completion of Daytona Test Session:
"I think the test has been pretty good. Looking around and seeing how hard the guys worked, they did an excellent job. We are obviously not quite as fast as we would like to be, but the key was everybody kept their cool and I think we are making gains little by little. We have a long way to go still, and there is not a lot of time left before we come back down for Daytona. Everybody is just going to have to really put their heads together and talk about what we did at this test so we can build on it and be strong when we come back for Daytona. There are new team blues, if you can say that. Everybody is pulling in a little different direction, but I think David and Gary and Larry and myself and the whole crew are working good together. If you look at it, this is our first real test. The test we did at Lakeland, Gary was not at. It is important to have the engineer with us at the test. I think we can learn and build from this experience."

Larry McClure quotes on Daytona Test and New Daytona Rules:
"We struggled some. We had to work on both cars. We tried a lot of things the first day. Nothing worked for us. We regrouped last night (Thursday) and came up with a new game plan. We hit on a few things that picked the speed up. Instead of being seven or eight-tenths off, we might be two or three now. Legitimately I think the best cars have run about a .60 and we ran a .90, so we have got a little bit of work to do. I think we will come up with something. It has been good to work with Robby. This is our first official test session. Things are not perfect here with the race team, and he is certainly not perfect, either. We have got a little learning curve. We had real communication with him. He has done everything we have asked him to do. Everybody gets a little antsy to go fast. They think they are behind the eight ball. Then you do some things that are legitimate that picks up speed and you get a smile back. What we have got to do and what we have got to work at, is saving time and get where we need to be as fast as possible. I see how things are getting better. David Ifft has done a good job. I think the more he works with Robby and the more he works with the people here, we will be able to tailor the thing to fit Robby and to fit David a little better. We have people who have been here a long time. They get set in their ways. I need to tune them up as much as anything else. I know we have some work to do. We ran this configuration (spoiler and roof) at Talladega. We have not run it at Daytona, until now. This is a different race track than Talladega. We worked with it the last race at Talladega. David hasn't worked with it before. Robby hasn't worked with it before. It's a little bit of a learning curve with them. The car wants something different from the old standard things we used to do. Now you've got a built in drag factor. It's responding to some different things, so that's been a learning curve."

David Ifft Quotes on Daytona Testing and New Rules and Tires:
"We unloaded pretty good for the Daytona test. Then we tried other stuff and it did not work. We had to go back to basics. We searched to find a comfort level for Robby in the car. Some of the new things we experimented with are tailored towards driver preference. The focus of our test session on the first day was to find the communication, comfort levels and preferences between new driver, crew chief and team.

"We worked on qualifying and race setup the second day. The new spoiler rules, one inch added, and the roof blade that were in place at the last Talladega race are in effect for the Daytona 500. We are trying to find the right combination with these added elements. Daytona and Talladega are two different tracks, so what works for one will not work for the other. We need to find the best balance for Daytona so the motors and tires will stay with us.

"Teams are also dealing with new tire compounds here. The tires are harder. They do not have as much grip. This situation makes the car skatier in the corners. We are left with the quest to find a setup on the car to give it better grip, especially in the turns, without giving up speed. Robby (Gordon) is an important factor. The key is to learn whether he prefers the car tight or loose and how he likes his chassis.

"I have worked with so many different drivers over the years. I have learned how to pick this kind of information out of them. Once we learn his language, we will be on our way."

DAVID IFFT QUOTES FOLLOWING DAY ONE OF DAYTONA TEST "We were working on spring combinations, shock combinations, to try to get what's best. It seems we are at a halt right now. What we were doing was not helping it any, so we need to go in a different direction. I'm glad I'm back in Winston Cup. I'm going to go talk to all my old friends and try to get their secrets. That is half of the fun of being here.Everybody on the team working good. If we could run a little bit quicker everybody would be happier, but we're working on it. We kind of know what we need to do for the race."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Steve Park , Robby Gordon , Jerry Nadeau