FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Pennsylvania 500 Qualifying July 23, 1999 Pocono Raceway 9 JERRY NADEAU - TBS Superstation Taurus - ON PRACTICE CRASH: "Two big things have happened this week, but we didn't want this to...
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES Pennsylvania 500 Qualifying July 23, 1999 Pocono Raceway
9 JERRY NADEAU - TBS Superstation Taurus - ON PRACTICE CRASH: "Two big things have happened this week, but we didn't want this to happen. We've been struggling a little bit, but not too much. We finally got the car running really good. We made a last adjustment and did some stuff to the back of the car to help free it up and it was too big. It was my fault. I was just trying real hard trying to get a good lap. The car ate it up pretty good. I feel bad for the Dinner and a Movie car. The guys worked their butts off, but I'm sure we'll get this backup car up front. It's a good race car and these guys are a good race team, so we'll see how we do. HOW BIG OF A HIT WAS IT? "It was a pretty good hit. It knocked my glasses off and broke the steering arm and head rest, so it was a good hit. I was OK through the whole thing and that's because these guys built a good race car."
88 DALE JARRETT - Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus - "It was a pretty good lap, a little bit tight in the center of both one and three and that probably hurt us a little bit, but we're pretty happy. This is a brand new race car. It had never seen a race track until today and the guys have worked awful hard. I think we've got a pretty good car for Sunday. I think we've probably, if possible, got a better race car than what we had here last time. The other car was awful fast, but this car seems to maybe have a little more downforce, which should help us whenever we get to Sunday." HAS ALL OF THE GORDON STUFF SUBSIDED AFTER A WEEK OFF? "I don't even know what happened at Loudon. That's past and gone and we're at Pocono right now ready to go race anybody that's up front." DO YOU LIKE HAVING THESE RACES SO CLOSE TOGETHER? "I think it's pretty good and it keeps the interest up in this area. The other thing for us is we come back in and we know there's not gonna be a tremendous amount of difference in the race track. It's probably a little slower this time because of the heat we've had here, but I think it's good. I think it makes for a more competitive race here the second time because everybody has everything pretty fresh in their mind."
99 JEFF BURTON - Exide Batteries Taurus -- "That's a decent lap for the Exide Ford, I hope. Everybody who qualified in front of us was pretty much faster than us in practice anyway. The 18 picked up quite a bit, so I hope that's OK. It was a good lap. The car drove good. We're just not quite as fast as we need to be, but the car drives real well and, hopefully, that means good things for Sunday. The car drove well. We always have something happen. The generator, where the cord goes to the generator, broke and we didn't have the oil temperature in the engine, so we know that hurt us some but those things happen from time to time. When we took the green the thing was still sitting on the peg, so that hurt us a little bit. The car drove well and that's not a bad run. That might not be a great starting spot, but that's a decent speed."
6 MARK MARTIN - Valvoline/Cummins Taurus - "It was a great run. My knee is gonna be the that takes a long time to heal. Everything else is perfect. I feel great in the car. I'm the most comfortable of anywhere in the race car and the Valvoline team gave me a great car to work with. I gave them everything I had on that lap." HAVE YOU HAD ANY PROBLEMS COMMUNICATING WHAT YOU NEED TO THE TEAM WITH YOUR INJURY? "I think that our communication in New Hampshire was hampered by the distraction that I had with pain, but here we haven't had any trouble. I don't have pain now as far as driving the car. In New Hampshire I was in pain all over the place. I was only two days out of surgery with my knee when I was trying to qualify in New Hampshire, so things are much better now. The weekend off was good. Jim Fennig and I have had a great day today. We've made some good improvements on our car and we feel good about it."
10 RICKY RUDD - Tide Taurus - "I'm not quite sure what the deal is. This is the same car we had here last time and it really hasn't been touched. We brought it back just like it was and we're just way off the pace for some reason. We picked up a lot, but not what we needed to. It doesn't seem like it's running in the straightaway, but it's awful hot up here. I'm not sure if we don't have the tuneup on the motor just right or we've got too much drag built into the car." WHAT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? "There are some opportunities out there and we want to make sure we do the right thing. The sponsorship lead, that's the first thing I want to work on. That's the number one priority and it looks like we're gonna get pretty close. I'd like to say in the next two to three weeks we'll have something wrapped up one way or the other. The absolute deadline is like the middle of September, but I don't think my heart can take going on that long. We owe it to our crew to let them know what's gonna happen, too, because we've got some awful good guys and we want to keep them together and I'm pretty confident that will happen. We've got two good sponsors we're working with right now, but we'll just take it a day at a time."
2 RUSTY WALLACE - Miller Lite Taurus - "The car handled really good. I don't know where the speed when to. We ran a 53.46 in practice and just ran a 53.32, so we did pick up but it looks like a lot of other guys picked up a lot more than I expected also. It's handling good. I'm real happy with it. We'll just put the race setup in it now and get ready for tomorrow. I feel real good about the race setup. I'm real comfortable with that." WHAT ABOUT YOUR LAP? "It's driving really good and when I ran a 53.32, if I would have ran that earlier today I would have been really, really pleased with that, but everybody picked up. A lot of cars picked up and we didn't pick up as much as I wanted to, but it's driving good and the motor seemed like it ran good. There were a couple of aero things that I think we could have done to make it a little better in the straightaways that we didn't do and didn't really think of it until after, but I'm happy with it."
28 KENNY IRWIN - Texaco Havoline Taurus - "As long as we picked up that's always good. I didn't really know what we could run. I saw the times were quite a bit faster than practice and it just goes to show that the guys on the 28 team are doing their job well."
66 DARRELL WALTRIP - Big Kmart/Route 66 Taurus - "The car's been too tight the whole time and it's just killing the speed. It feels good, I mean it's real comfortable to drive, but I ain't going nowhere. We just need to free it up a little bit. We did a little bit and it helped it some, but we need to do a whole lot more, but it just killed the speed." WHERE IS THE TROUBLE SPOT? "For us it's over the tunnel and coming out of turn three. When you come across there and you've got the wheels cut so hard left that it's just killing the power and it makes it feel like it won't run. I believe we've just got the chassis bound up and we need to free it up more."
23 JIMMY SPENCER - Team Winston Taurus - "The last time here we had to use a spot (provisional), but now we can work on the race setup. This is the same car we had the last time here. We were off a little bit on the straightaway and I really think something happened to the motor the last practice when we made the run and we'll have to diagnose it and see. I hope nothing happened. The Team Winston guys are working hard and I'm really excited about Sunday. I think we're gonna have a good day." THIS PLACE JUMP-STARTED YOU LAST MONTH. "It really did. We were sort of just lingering around there. It's really produced some great runs for the team. We ran out to Sonoma and ran really well and we ran really good at Daytona and ran good at New Hampshire. I had an ignition problem at New Hampshire, lost a lap and made it up. We made a lap back up here at Pocono, so we've gotta quit doing that and try to stay on the lead lap and put ourselves in a position to be there at the end of the race."
11 BRETT BODINE - Paychex Taurus - "I feel like we learned something there. Unfortunately, I wished we could have learned it a little earlier and I would have made a few changes for qualifying. But that's a lot better than we've run. Hopefully, that will get us in the show without having to worry about second-round tomorrow. We really need to work on race setup. We weren't very good here at the last race and a lot of it was due to the fact that we had to go second-round and didn't get a lot of chances to work on the car, so I'm hoping we can concentrate tomorrow morning on race setup."
9 JERRY NADEAU - TBS Superstation Taurus -- "We've got some work to do with this backup car, but who knows? I know we're gonna be in the race Sunday. The car is good enough to get in the race. If we have to go again tomorrow we will, but these guys did a good job. I feel bad because we've got a torn up race car, but then again, these guys stuck behind me and gave me enough confidence. The car is not that bad. We've got some work to do. We had the wrong steering box in the car, but when you've only got 10-15 minutes to go qualify, there's only so much you can do. We'll get it ready for tomorrow." YOU HAD TO BE CONSERVATIVE, RIGHT? "Yeah. I didn't know what this car was gonna do. It's a lot different race car. It's a good race car and the guys did a good job. It's still a second off, but I think we've got a second in this car."
75 TED MUSGRAVE - Remington Arms Taurus - "I was just a little bit loose. I had all I could do to keep it freed up and keep it off the corners and off the walls. As long as we get up near there. In the spring we came up through the pack from the back because we had that wreck off the tunnel turn and we had to work on the car. The guys did a good job and we ran right up near the front again. We can do it all the time here at Pocono." WHY IS THIS ONE OF YOUR BEST TRACKS? "Yes it is. Pocono is a really neat race track. Don't get me wrong, we want to start up near the front, but a guy can start last and still win this race and that's our intention -- to win this race."
98 RICK MAST - Universal Studios Taurus - "It's the same car and same setup, but we were off a little bit with the chassis. We got it pretty good and then when I qualified we made a couple more changes and the car felt perfect to me. I don't know if we pulled the wrong gear or exactly what we did wrong as far as speed goes. That's the fastest lap I've run since I've been here, but it's still half a second off what it needs to be and I don't know why. I hustled it pretty hard too. It wasn't like I slowed up a little bit to make the car feel good. I thought I overdrove the tunnel turn and turn three both, but the car stuck good, turned good and got off good. I really thought I had run about a flat or maybe a little quicker, but it wasn't. We'll see what happens next."
12 JEREMY MAYFIELD - Mobil 1 Taurus - "It got hotter as we went. The sun came out and all that stuff, so it's hard to tell, but we're happy about it." HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ALL DAY? "We finished right about the way we started. We've been about the same all day as far as the position we were in. I told our team that 20th here is good for us. Even though we run good here, we race really good, but we just never can qualify. I've qualified in the thirties so many times and to come here and qualify in the top 20 is a pretty good accomplishment for us." YOU BROUGHT THE CAR YOU WON WITH HERE LAST YEAR FOR THIS RACE, BUT DIDN'T BRING THE FIRST TIME. WHY? "We've been running some new stuff, but there came a time where we felt we needed to go back where we were before. I think we got out away from where we should have been in some areas. I'm not sure what it is, but we decided not to take any chances and decided to bring out old faithful here. We'll see what happens."
MARK MARTIN PRESS CONFERENCE (Qualified 2nd) "I don't anticipate any problems physically with this race. The New Hampshire race was a challenge, but the real ultimate challenge was Daytona. People including myself didn't realize the extent of my injuries at Daytona and I ran that race 24 hours after the accident. That was the real killer. That was the one that hurt." DO YOU THINK LARRY MCREYNOLDS' ANNOUNCEMENT OF STAYING WITH THE 31 TEAM HAD AN EFFECT ON THEIR PERFORMANCE? "I do believe that you can't measure the impact that emotion has on a performance, but even I will admit that it exists. I just probably wouldn't say it's as big as some other folks, but emotion does have an impact on performance. It certainly didn't hurt them any today and the same thing for me. I had a great run today, much better than I had in June and I believed we had a shot at this pole in our heart because we had a better car in practice than we had when we were up here in June. That could have had something to do with Mike's success, but mostly it was that he got an awesome lap. He had a good car, but he got an awesome lap. I wouldn't say he had a better car than myself or any of the rest of us from looking at the practice times. I would say that in today's racing to get that incredible lap than anything because the cars are so close. You go out and you put your effort out every time, but only one out of 10 is so spectacular. The rest of them are just good. They're your best effort, but it's just like if I'm shooting from the free-throw-line. I'll make one in 10 and the rest of them I'd miss, but I would try just as hard in all the nine that I would miss.