Talladega: GM drivers comment on Daytona repaving

Team Chevy drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jamie Mcmurray participated in a press conference to announce the repaving of Daytona International Speedway. DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET: "I think is it a good ...

Team Chevy drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jamie Mcmurray participated in a press conference to announce the repaving of Daytona International Speedway.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET:

"I think is it a good choice to put a new surface down. The old surface was a lot of fun, but we have had some...it is kind of getting past its prime I think. The sooner we get a new surface down that can get some weather on it, the quicker we will get to the kind of race track that everybody wants. It is one of the most popular and important tracks on our circuit. I'm glad to see it get a facelift. It should be a lot of fun when we go back there. It should be a really good looking track and surface when we get back there."

DO YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR OPINIONS ON REPAVING THE TRACKS? SIT ON THE BULLDOZER? "At some tracks you do. But, Daytona is a different animal. There is nothing that you could really add to the track, such as progressive banking or anything like that, that the drivers would have. There is nothing wrong with the transitions or anything in the corners. They just need to put a new coat of "paint" on it and it will be pretty cool. I don't think there is anything you could do to that track itself to improve it. Why would you want to? It has been around for ages and with the history it has, it would be kind of foolish to fool with it."

DO YOU THINK IT WILL AFFECT THE RACING? "As far as the racing, Jamie (McMurray) was right in that we will be side-by-side and have the ability to race and run side-by-side for a longer period of time on the tire. Usually you would have to get all your work done and then you would need the whole race track, you wouldn't be able to run side-by-side after about 10 laps. We should have a lot more grip and be able to challenge each other for position a little more easily for a longer period of time in a tire run. I still think with the shape of Daytona and certain characteristics of the transitions and stuff, still near the end of the run could probably still, even at the first race, provide the drivers with handling aspects to be concerned with or whatnot. We'll just have to see. When they repaved it in '78 or '79, you know those cars were going about as fast as we go now; there was still some handling characteristics within that race. They were running about the same speed we do. We are driving different race cars today. I still think that track bears a certain few characteristics in the transitions and the shape itself that is different than Talladega. We don't ever have a handling issue at Talladega, the cars don't ever go fast enough to push or get loose. But, at Daytona, I think they still will. Goodyear will produce a tire that will us the opportunity to race side-by-side for a long period of time and should put on a great race for the fans."

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JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS CHEVROLET:

"It is going to make the racing a little bit different. Probably more side-by-side longer throughout the run. Daytona has always been the place you could run 10 or 12 laps wide open and then you start to slide around. With the bumps off of turn two and off of turn four, it made it harder to run side-by-side. I would assume we will see more three wide, side-by-side for longer throughout the run. It should be really exciting for the fans."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WILL NEED TO TEST AT DAYTONA? "I think if they do a Goodyear test, there are going to have to take a lot of cars down there so I assume most will want to go. It doesn't really do any good to go do a superspeedway test unless you can get 15 or 20 cars in a pack and really simulate the speeds and the dirty air that you will have. I agree with Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) that it's going to be a little bit different at Daytona even though the surface is going to be brand new, it is going to have a lot of grip. The transitions from the straightaway to the corner there, you are always loose in it seems like and it is always hard to get your car to turn off the corner. Even before they repaved Talladega, there weren't any handling problems here at all. Most likely handling will still be important; I think the cars will be able to run side-by-side."

DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT RUNNING BACK-TO-BACK RACES HERE AT TALLADEGA? "It will be a lot easier here I think that what it was at Texas. This track, you spend more time looking in the mirror and trying to make a decision about what is going to happen on the next lap so it is more mentally tiring here than physically tiring. I don't think it is going to be that hot either so it shouldn't that big of a deal."

-source: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt