Talladega II: Pontiac - Ince, Benson interview

JAMES INCE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: BASED ON PRACTICE SPEEDS YESTERDAY, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD CAR... "We're highly disappointed. We were 100 percent convinced we were going to be on the pole yesterday. We...

JAMES INCE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

BASED ON PRACTICE SPEEDS YESTERDAY, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD CAR... "We're highly disappointed. We were 100 percent convinced we were going to be on the pole yesterday. We had quite a bit left. We worked extremely hard to come here and sit on the pole, and all that was going to work out for us we felt like. You hate to work that hard for about a month and then not get the chance to do it.

"The other disappointing part, as far as our approach to this weekend, was that we were going to sit on the pole and then hang out in the back all day. There are going to be a lot of people in the grandstands that think we can't run tomorrow. But, if they wreck 40 cars we're going to finish third.

"It's frustrating, but we'll take it and we'll go on. We know we've got a good race car and we're going to take it out of here in one piece and get the best finish we can."

ARE YOU STILL PLANNING TO HAVE JOHNNY HANG OUT AT THE BACK TOMORROW? "I'm not building a new speedway car and I'm not going to the hospital. It's as simple as that."

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A GOOD SPEEDWAY CAR? "About 4,000 hours. That's as simple as I can put it.

"We work extremely hard on our speedway program. I've got a group of people - that is pretty much all they do. We work towards it all the time. We've done a lot of testing with Pontiac. We've done a lot of testing in the wind tunnel. We've done some track testing. We devote a whole lot of time to our speedway program. It's something we're proud of. It's harder to make a speedway car work than it is other stuff. And, we've got that huge asset of Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick does a fabulous job for us on motors. We work hand in hand with those guys because if you don't have a good motor, it doesn't matter how hard you work on the cars. We've worked with those guys really hard. They always do a great job for us. We knew they had an animal coming for an engine, so we worked twice as hard on the race car to make sure we made them look good, just like us."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW FUEL CELL REGULATIONS FOR TOMORROW'S RACE? "I think it's the best thing we've ever done in a long time. I'm confident in our pit crew. I'm confident in the things we do and I'm confident in our race strategy. It ought to make for a more interesting race. The cars are going to end up back in a pack, but it will be about the time that you have to pit again.

"We may get bit by it tomorrow. There are going to be people that are hurt by it, having to pit a whole lot, because any time you go on pit road things can go wrong. But, we're excited about it. It's probably the simplest, smartest thing we've done in a long time when it comes to speedway racing."

JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 VALVOLINE PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:

DOES IT MATTER TO YOU THAT YOU LOST THE OPPORTUNITY TO QUALIFY YESTERDAY? "The only thing that matters is that we had a shot at the pole, maybe. But, that didn't happen, so it doesn't matter now. You can probably start at the back and be fine. I would probably prefer to start at the back. We'll just have to wait and see, and see how the day goes. We're not sure exactly what strategy we're going to use, yet, but I know starting in the middle can sometimes be tough."

WILL YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT WITH YOUR SPOTTER TOMORROW AS COMPARED TO ANY OTHER RACE? "No, you just let him do all the talking. He just lets you know where everything is at and you just deal with it. If you hear you're four-wide, you try to get out of it. Four-wide is not the best thing. You can run three-wide here, although it's not overly comfortable. But, three-wide is not a big issue as long as somebody doesn't do anything wrong. Bur, four-wide is just not worth doing."

SINCE YOU SEEM TO HAVE A PRETTY GOOD CAR, WILL THAT LEAD YOU TO BE A LITTLE MORE AGGRESSIVE? "You can only do what the car is going to do. You've got to be patient and not do anything foolish and make sure you stay out of the wrecks.

"I'm sure we're going to hang out for most of the race. It may be in the back, it may be in the front, but it won't be in the middle."

-pontiac racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Hendrick Motorsports