RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) DISCUSS THE TEST LAST THURSDAY AT TALLADEGA "We went down to Talladega and took the plate off. I've always wondered how fast a car would run around Talladega without a plate. Fans have asked me and I ...
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
DISCUSS THE TEST LAST THURSDAY AT TALLADEGA
"We went down to Talladega and took the plate off. I've always wondered how fast a car would run around Talladega without a plate. Fans have asked me and I didn't know, but with the technology nowadays a car could run 220 mph. I didn't have any idea a car could run 228 mph down the straightaway. I was running three-quarter throttle through the corners just because it was too hard on the tires. I'd come in and the right-front looked funny after two laps. I didn't have the nerve to leg it knowing the tires were giving me some problems. These tires are made to go 188 mph, not 230. We only ran two or three laps. I can go back and say with the technology nowadays and how smart these crew guys are and the aerodynamics.... We should never race it. Let me preface it. You could never race a car that fast. They're just going too fast. I'd get front end float coming through the tri-oval. I had to turn the wheel. It was headed toward the wall. The motor was screaming. You're approaching 230 mph and as I got to the corner there was no way you could go through the corner as fast as you did in the straightaway. I had to roll out of it, and that's the reason you only saw the 220 mph lap. It was fun. It was exciting. It was something NASCAR and Racing Radios wanted to try out to try to see if they could move all the communications for the future around a little bit and try to get more crystal clear communications. The test was really for NASCAR and Racing Radios."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IT FELT LIKE GOING 220 MPH? "For some reason I noticed all the speed in the tri-oval. I noticed I was flying down the back straightaway obviously, but when I went through the tri-oval that's when I knew I was really smoking. I was holding on to it through the tri-oval. It was trying to fly the nose up to the wall a little bit. We came in and stiffened the rear springs up and laid the spoiler back a little bit. We brought the front fenders out just trying to shift the aero balance to the front. It helped quite a bit, but all in all, it was a test for Racing Radios and NASCAR and it was a real fun thing. Now I can say I'm the fastest man that ever went around... the fastest stock car in the world for that matter."
DID A LOT OF DRIVERS ASK YOU ABOUT IT? "Yeah, a lot of guys came up and asked me what it felt like. I would have asked the same thing, but it definitely was fast. You definitely wouldn't want to take the spoiler off at those speeds. You wanted that baby nailed. We've got too much rear spoiler in the cars now. The faster we went the more the back end sank down. We had to start working on the aero balance, but we accomplished everything Racing Radios wanted to accomplish. We were running five-lap runs at the most. It was a lot of fun and at least I've got something to talk about and hang my hat on right now and talk about to fans and stuff. It's been a conversation piece for awhile. Until somebody goes out there and does what I did, at least I can say I'm the fastest in the world, and that's pretty cool."
WILL NASCAR RECOGNIZE THAT AS BEATING BILL ELLIOTT'S RECORD?
"I don't know if they'll recognize it or not. Bill Elliott's record was legal under NASCAR rules at that time. If Bill Elliott had wanted to go faster he could have gone faster by changing the spoiler and things like that. This was definitely not NASCAR legal because it didn't have a 29/32nd restrictor plate on it. Other than that by taking the plate off it definitely went that quick. Whether you want to recognize it or not I know in my heart I know what it feels like to go 228 and I don't think many people around here that know that."
WHAT CAN NASCAR DO TO KEEP SPEEDS DOWN AT DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA? "The restrictor plate is the most economical thing. It's the thing that makes the most sense. Honestly they're doing a good job at it. In order to run 192 mph, which is the key thing you've got to keep thinking about because the reason we got the restrictor plate, the reason the speeds are where they are is because we can't run faster than 192. The roof flaps quit working after 192. That's the reason for that speed. People don't know that. They keep saying take the restrictor plates off and go faster. If you do that, it exceeds the limits of the roof flaps. It doesn't make any sense. They could stand a couple more mph than we're running at Talladega and still be within the envelop of operation of the roof flap, but all in all, the restrictor plate is still the right thing to do. We're not making a lot of big changes to these engines nowadays, different manifolds for the restrictor plate, maybe a little different camshaft, always working on the friction stuff and things like that, but they've mandated the rules pretty closely now with what you can do and what you can't do. I'm not a big fan of the restrictor plate, but I know that's probably the only thing that makes sense."
DID YOU TALK A LOT ON THE RADIO DURING THE TEST? "Yeah, I just talked and talked and talked. They wanted me to talk as much as I could so they could record as much information as they could. They've got a way to go yet, but it proved to Racing Radios that it's definitely a viable option they're looking at."
HOW WAS YOUR CAR IN PRACTICE? "My car right now is the best that it's been. It sucked all day yesterday. I couldn't get any speed out of it. I couldn't get it to run the way I wanted it to. We never have engine problems, but for some reason I feel like I'm down on power a little bit this week. We're going to get that front end locked on the ground, trying to get the aero really good. I've got the balance good right now. Now I've just got to get some more speed."
WHAT WILL DECIDE WHO WINS HERE SUNDAY? "Handling and track position does it every single time, and I guess pit stops are involved. It's really no different than what usually happens here. This is one of the biggest horsepower tracks. You need power. I think horsepower is important, but every single week, take out fuel mileage and track position got us, the overall fast car is always based on handling."
DOES THAT CONCERN YOU GOING INTO MICHIGAN? "We've got a fluke right here. We did a lot of testing this week. We were in Talladega, Sears Point, and I had Larry Carter and my chief engineers with me. An engineer got in the car that was a little bit off on horsepower. We should have changed it and kept up with the thing. Instead we've got the engine in the car. We're suffering a little bit right now. I've had a lot of times I thought I had motor problems and it's always been the car. I'm going to keep working on the car and reserve my thoughts on the engine until later because we've always had great engines. All I know is when I get halfway down the straightaway they pass me. I've got to work on making that quit happening."
DO YOU GO BACK TO BASICS THIS MORNING? "We went back to basics this morning and ran and had a really good balance. Then we went to the new age technology and it was better. Now we're taking it a step farther."