Sears Point Ford qualifying report

June 23, 2001 Sears Point Raceway There will be six Ford drivers pitting on Gilligan's Island in tomorrow's Dodge/SaveMart 350, including Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield and Jimmy Spencer. Those four veterans spoke about the task...

June 23, 2001
Sears Point Raceway

There will be six Ford drivers pitting on Gilligan's Island in tomorrow's Dodge/SaveMart 350, including Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield and Jimmy Spencer. Those four veterans spoke about the task ahead of them and how they hope to overcome not being on the main pit road.

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus

YOU HAVE A TOUGH TASK TOMORROW.
"Tough? I like your humor. There's nothing impossible, but we're as close to that as you can be. Our goals and expectations for this weekend have changed with just one lap. To stand here and say we can't win, that's being negative and I never think that, but, realistically, if we can somehow someway find ourselves into the top 10 tomorrow, that's gonna be a wonderful day. We've struggled since we've been here. We made a bad decision before qualifying yesterday. We've got our car better, but we just have a huge task in front of us. We've dug our hole and now we've got to try and kind of dig ourselves out of it. Hopefully, we can do that. Strategy will be a big part and, hopefully, we can make the right calls."

MARK MARTIN --6-- Pfizer Taurus

WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN FOR YOU GUYS TOMORROW TO OVERCOME PITTING ON THAT ISLAND?
"Having a fairly superior race car would be the easiest way where you could drive up through there with everything else going flawlessly. We could recover from that. That's not likely. That's hard. We've been good enough to do that before, but with today's standard that makes it less likely. Some of the other ways, I can't really share with you. There are some things that can be done, but those things I really don't want to share."

OPTIMALLY, WOULD A CAUTION-FREE RACE BE THE BEST CASE SCENARIO?
"I think if we had a superior race car and it went green all the way that would be the best case scenario. I think there is a way to dig ourselves out of this hole. We're digging in. We're not gonna wave the white flag and surrender because we think there are some things we can do."

JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart/Route 66 Taurus

YOU HAVE YOUR WORK CUT OUT FOR YOU TOMORROW DON'T YOU?
"I've never been there before, but from what I'm hearing there's absolutely no way that you can really be a competitive car from over there. That sort of resembles the old double pit roads at Darlington and Rockingham and those places -- you knew you were in trouble. We sort of know we've dug a pretty big hole and we've got to try to figure out some way to climb out of it. Naturally, pit strategy or fuel mileage are possiblilities, but we're not getting good fuel mileage so I don't know what we're gonna do yet. We've got our hands full."

WOULD A CAUTION-FREE RACE HELP?
"No, because you're still gonna be held 18 seconds. I don't see how they can figure 18 seconds from where that is to here. I talked to some guys that pitted there last year and they said they would lose about six to eight positions automatically. Maybe NASCAR will look at it. Hopefully, they will but I think probably the worst situation would be having the race run green all the way because there's just no way. Can you imagine pulling in and having a scaling pit stop and then having to sit there and wait 18 seconds? The time they make you wait is longer than the time it takes to pit the car, so, mentally, it's bothering."

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO OVERCOME THAT PIT POSITION?
"It's gonna be tough. Anytime you're at a disadvantage on pit stops you're gonna have trouble, but we've just got to keep digging. Heck, it could go our way if we get the right break. I've been out there a lot, so I'm used to it."

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE WORST THING ABOUT BEING ON THAT ISLAND?
"It's not really fair. The time they hold you is more than what they need to hold you. I think NASCAR needs to make it a little more level playing field or they need to get all the pits on one pit road. You're always at a disadvantage out there, but I feel the time they hold you is more than what it needs to be."

DO YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY TO FINISH UP FRONT?
"I think so. We're gonna try to do everything possible, but we might have to do something you realistically shouldn't do. Anytime you're in the back, you can re-pit during caution periods and get fuel so, hopefully, you can stay out later and maybe get track position. I think the thing to do is to be able to pit and then have a caution come out to where you wouldn't have to pit and you could stay on the track and get up front. You have to get off sync with them to make it work because if you go head-to-head with the guys on the front stretch pits, you're not gonna be able to win the race."

YOU HAVE TO GO INTO THIS RACE STILL THINKING YOU CAN HAVE A GOOD DAY, RIGHT?
"Oh yeah. We're going into it knowing that we're gonna have a good day. We've come from the back in a lot of places and we kind of like that."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Jeremy Mayfield , Jimmy Spencer , Mark Martin