Suzuka Childress Racing testing notes

>From NASCAR Public Relations and Chevrolet Chevrolet NASCAR Winston Cup notes and quotes from Richard Childless Racing tire test for Goodyear on Thursday April 4. at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan . NOTE: Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup...

>From NASCAR Public Relations and Chevrolet

Chevrolet NASCAR Winston Cup notes and quotes from Richard Childless Racing tire test for Goodyear on Thursday April 4. at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan .

NOTE: Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and the Richard Childress Racing team completed the second of a two-day tire test for Goodyear on Thursday at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. After the tire test, Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace competed in a three-lap exhibitor race at the 1.4-mile road course. NASCAR scoring wasn't available to rule on the photo finish at. the end of three laps. After the exhibition, representatives from the two teamed NASCAR and Suzuka officials met the Japanese press. Here are highlights of answers to questions directed to Earnhardt and car owner Richard Childress. plus initial impressions of Japan from Goodwrench service crew chief David smith and team manager Bobby Hutchens.

DALE EARNHARDT (No . 3 GM Goodwrench Service Monte Carlo)

"It's a pleasure to come over here and tent and see What the circuit is going to he like. We found a setup close to what we run at Sears Point. And that's probably going to be the tire setup. It's going to be very competitive. I think the race Rusty and I had today confirms that. A lot of people who are IndyCar fans back home, once they come to see one of our races, they become NASCAR fans. I believe the Japanese will be the same way."

ASKED WHERE THE BEST SPOTS ARE TO PASS AT SUZUKA

"That's a secret, but of course on the front straightaway. There's still going to be certain corners where if a driver pushes out, you'll be able to get under him and beat him off the corner." ON HIS IMPRESSION OF JAPANESE DRIVER KEIICHI TSUCHIYA

"I was very much impressed with the Japanese driver yesterday (Wednesday). He is a very accomplished driver. Evidently he's very experienced and well known in Japan. He approached a different style ever than he's used to very well. He was up to speed in no time. With some time, I'm sure he can be very competitive."

ON IMPRESSION OF GRAVEL IN RUNOFF

"I found out how it was yesterday. It's a safe course with the runoffs in the gravel. When I did get off, I corrected and came out of the gravel with no problem. If you come to a stop, you may have a problem, but I kept the car moving and I came out of the gravel without a problem."

RICHARD CHILDRESS (owner No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy)

"The car seems to run better and better here the more we work with it. I think that's what you'll see here when the other teams get here, too. We are proud to be here representing our sport. To see a full field of our cars when they drop the green flag, to see the competition these guys put on, every lap is side by side racing, you're going to see a super competitive race when we come back in November."

DAVID SMITH (Crew chief NO. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy) "We wanted to find out which tire would be best for this track, and we wanted to find out what kind of setup and gear ratio and everything that pertained to the handling of the Car. It sounds like we're going to end up with the Sears Point tire for Suzuka. It'll be a good tire. It'll have good adhesion. It'll run 50 laps fine and that's what. We're going to need to run per segment. I've enjoyed myself, I like this track, and I like the people who run it. The people we've met here have been terrific. The food has been great, in spite of what we've heard. I've enjoyed the whole thing. It's an honor to be one of the first teams to come over here and test like this and prepare for this race. I'm looking forward is coming back in November. I know a little bit more about it now. We'll have part of this newness behind us. I was surprised how easily everything flowed. The preparation of the people for our arrival was impressive. everything was handled professionally and efficiently. You might have thought we'd be racing in Europe some day. but I never thought we'd be racing in Japan. This has been a pleasant surprise. It doesn't matter where we race. If we still raced in Greenville. SAC., they'd want to win there. Everybody wants to be the first one to win here. Just like a couple of years ago when we went to the Brickyard, everybody wanted to be tile first to win there. Even through it won't be a points race, it's still a race. Everybody will want to win it, and they'll put that extra effort into it. The pure distance we have to come is the biggest downfall, if there is one. Well be shipping our car back now, and we hope it's back in time to take to Sears Point for a backup car, but it'll be close. It might not make it hack in time, and if it doesn't, we'll take a short track car to Sears Point for a backup."

BOBBY HUTCHENS (Team Manager No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy) "Every part we ship back home has to be itemized and accounted for, We supply them a list of what we sent over here, and they have to see that part going back or there's an exportation fee. If there's something on the container going back that didn't come over here, there's an exportation problem. Things went pretty smooth for the most part. The facility is great. I guess it's sort of the same thing you have at Disney World now with the speedway there. It's a family oriented park, and it's real clean. I guess I'm a meat and potatoes boy, though. I've enjoyed attempting to eat some of the things they've provided us. but I'd just soon go to McDonald's. In fact, that's where I'm headed now. It's definitely a learning experience. I think when we come back we'll be one up on everybody else as far as what to do and what to look for and what to expect. Our driver in pretty pumped up about it, but he's been that way all year. Our main goal was to come over here and make sure we did a good tire test for Goodyear. we made a 40-lap run this afternoon, and the tires looked great after 40 laps. We learned some things that will help us when we come back to race. We needed a sway bar and didn't have one, and we couldn't find some lug nuts there for awhile. You've got to dot some I's and cross some T's to make this trip. It takes some real planning."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace
Teams Richard Childress Racing