BUSCH: Daytona race notes

GOODY'S HEADACHE POWDER 300 POST-RACE NOTES WINNER'S VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW STEVE GRISSOM (No. 29 World Championship Wrestling Chevrolet) -- That was a super call by our crew there at the end. We were trying to stretch our fuel mileage as long...


WINNER'S VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW STEVE GRISSOM (No. 29 World Championship Wrestling Chevrolet) -- That was a super call by our crew there at the end. We were trying to stretch our fuel mileage as long as we could, but they came on the radio and said we had to take a splash on this lap, so we came on down pit road and got gas and got back out. Then we caught up with Jimmy Spencer and he helped us get back up to Dale Jarrett. When we got to Dale, he was kind of a sitting duck and Jimmy helped me get right on by him. It's kinda neat to have WCW sponsoring us - - we've got Sting, Lex Lugar and Harlem Heat and all these guys here today. Billy Ingle joined us at the end of last season, came over here and went right to work. We didn't run exactly like we wanted to here at Daytona, but we've run super at some other tracks. We're ready for the (Daytona) 500 tomorrow.

CURTIS MARKHAM (No. 63 Lysol Pontiac) -- This Hensley Racing team worked hard all winter on this car. We struggled last year with the old Pontiac Grand Prix bodystyle. Like I told them on the radio, we've got us a race car here. We had a little trouble at the beginning. The guys in the pits did an excellent job of fixing the front air dam after I hit some debris and bent it. A little bit after that I got into the 25 car (Johnny Rumley) and bent it even more. On the pit stops they had to straighten it out. A couple of times we were in the wrong spot but they kept telling me it's a long race. Don't do anything stupid. That's what we tried not to do.

DERRIKE COPE (No. 12 Badcock Home Furnishings Ford) -- We're really pleased we could get a top 10 finish for our new sponsor, Badcock. The car is a little bit 'fat.' We'll have to go back to the shop and cut the body off and fix that. It just wouldn't draft that well. It was a day for patience where you had to stay in line, draft your way there and then keep it in position.

RANDY LaJOIE (No. 74 FINA Chevrolet) -- We were fourth but when we pitted we pitted alone, and we got seventh. We had a good car today.

JIM BOWN (No. 51 Luck's Foods Chevrolet) -- We missed the first couple wrecks, but the third one got us and tore up the front end. The alternator quit working and after that we went from having a good car to not being competitive. Altogether, I'm happy just to finish running, because this is my fourth time down here and I've wrecked three times.

PHIL PARSONS (No. 10 ChannelLock Tools Chevrolet) -- We dodged most of the junk, but got caught up in the last one in turn 1. It tore up the front end and tore off the rear fascia, and we ended up going a lap down. The car was really good before that. (Looking around the Busch Series garage) I guess we're not torn up that bad after all.

BOBBY DOTTER (No. 64 DuraLube Chevrolet) -- We were real fortunate today. We never got caught up in any of the wrecks, although we ran over a lot of debris. I'm really happy for the opportunity to be a part of this team and I hope to make the best of it.

JIMMY SPENCER (No. 20 Zippo Chevrolet) -- I don't know what to say. We just lost. We lost. We didn't help anybody, we just got out of the way.

CHAD LITTLE (No. 23 John Deere Pontiac) -- The car was pretty good -- we just had problems. We lost a plug wire, we had a loose window and we got banged up a little bit in the side. If you ignore the bad luck the car ran better today than it has all week. But you can't ignore the fact that we just had some things go wrong. Everyone kept their heads up though, and we'll learn from the experience. We knew when we came down here that it would be tough to repeat last year's win. We've got another chance next week. We're looking forward to defending our Rockingham victory.

RODNEY COMBS (No. 43 Lance Snacks Chevrolet) -- Chad (Little) was really helping me. My toe-in was out, and I was so tight it was bogging me down. Chad helped me keep up. The car could have stayed up there all day if we had strategy and everybody stayed together. The other guys pitted early on us -- we didn't expect it -- but if the No. 34 and the No. 4 hadn't have gotten in that tangle we had three good cars there. The 34 (Mike McLaughlin) accidently got into Jeff and turned him around, but the three of us was awful quick together -- I think we could have stayed up front all day. Richard (car owner Petty) said "Great job." That's probably the first time he's said that in two years, so I guess we proved we could run up front.

ANDY SANTERRE (No. 35 Dean Durham Outdoors Ford) -- We came here with one goal -- to finish the race -- and that's just what we did. We had to pit under green and that really cost us. But I'm real happy. Dean Durham and everybody really came together for this one race. It was a last minute deal -- two weeks to get a car ready for Daytona -- but it worked out well. I kind of hung back in the beginning, waited for things to sort out and ran hard the last 40 laps or so.

JAMIE AUBE (No. 41 QMI International Chevrolet) -- I'm pretty happy with it. We weren't real fast and we had to take a provisional to get in here. I'm pretty much a rookie here at this stuff. I had a good time, learned a lot and stayed out of trouble, and that's what we wanted to do. We got seat time here at Daytona. Maybe we can come down here next year and be a little more competitive. I've teamed up with A.J. Parker to run the full Busch North Series. We've got three brand new race cars and we're going to run for the championship.

JOHNNY RUMLEY (No. 25 Beverly Racing Chevrolet) -- I guess you could call it getting experience with the best. I got some drafting time and it's still in one piece. I made some mistakes, but I'm not going to make them again. We were a little bit loose at times and I can't tell them enough about the chassis. The crew did a super job. I'm looking at the next race at Rockingham, where you got to get off the gas and get back on again.

JOHNNY CHAPMAN (No. 55 Cracker Barrel/MADD Ford) -- I think we were the top finishing rookie, so we're happy about that. These guys worked hard all week and the car just kept getting better right through the end of today's race. We struggled early on, but knew the goal was to stay out of trouble and get a good finish. My spotter, Ray DeWitt, called all the wrecks for me and really helped me through everything. We did run over a lot of debris, but we were able to change tires and go back out. As long as I was in a draft with somebody I was OK, but if you're out there by yourself you can't do much.

LARRY PEARSON (No. 92 Stanley Tools Chevrolet) -- Finally, for the first time in five years, we finally got a decent run. I told 'em before the race, I'm going to ride and ride and ride. The car ran good. If the car hadn't been a little loose, I could have gone on and run with them (leaders). I was close to all of them (accidents) but one. I figured if we could get through all of that, we'd be all right.

JEFF PURVIS (No. 4 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet) -- (ON THE ACCIDENT IN TURN 2.) He (Mike McLaughlin) got up into me. He turned me into the wall.

DAVID GREEN (No. 95 Caterpillar Chevrolet) -- It was a great race. This is the first time I've ever been on the (score) board at Daytona and then I break. I don't know what happened to the engine. It dropped a cylinder, broke a rocker arm or something. We just needed another 10 laps. If we're going to go out, though, I'd like it to be after a day like we had today.

JOE BESSEY (No. 9 Delco Remy America Chevrolet) -- We were having a storybook day but the devil got us with a short period to go. We were backing up what we said we could do coming down here. The fast people wouldn't draft with us early but, later, when they saw how fast we were, a couple of the veteran drivers went with us and we came to the front. Eleventh? Well, I'd have been happy with 10th.


TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Actron Chevrolet) --I don't really know what happened. Somebody ran someone down to the apron. I don't know who got together, but they came back across the track and there wasn't anywhere to go. There was a bunch of cars and I hit somebody. Somebody was coming across the track and I was going down to try to miss them, but I hit them, and I don't even know who it was.

GLENN ALLEN JR. (No. 99 Luxaire Chevrolet) -- It was a good day for us, even losing the motor after 60 laps. We were able to come from the back to about 15th. I knew coming in that this would be the toughest race for us all year and that if we could get over this hump, we'd be okay. We got a lot of drafting experience. I'm excited.

TODD BODINE (#81 Pro Motion Chevrolet) -- My spotter said, "Slow down, slow down," but you just can't get her backed down that fast. I tried to get to the bottom but it didn't work. It was just smoke -- a lot of smoke -- tires spinning, and I hit Jason (Keller). I just couldn't slow down. It was running real good. I got messed up on that restart. It didn't want to pick up speed right away and we got passed by a few, but the car was handling great and drafting good. It's a darn shame, especially for our new sponsor, Pro Motion. We're going to try to get back out and get some points.

DARRYL SAGE relieved CHUCK BOWN two laps into the race in the No. 16 31-W Insulation Pontiac. Sage went to the garage during the lap 23 caution to replace the shift linkage. He was not involved in the incident and returned to the race.

JASON KELLER (No. 57 Slim Jim Chevrolet) -- I really don't know what happened. On those restarts it gets real tight. It was just one of those things that happens. Unfortunately, I was the car in the middle and I got nicked off. Everybody was racing hard. We were running great, staying in the top 10 and just drafting along. A couple guys who don't run the whole series drafted past us down the backstretch. I think maybe it could have been avoided. Seems tougher to take when this happens in the first race of the year so early in a long race. Apparently some of them don't take it as seriously as we do.

DOUG HEVERON (No. 75 Food Country USA Ford) -- My spotter hollered 'Heads up, heads up' and told me where the car was. I was just trying to follow the car in front of me. I couldn't see anything. Right at the last second I got into somebody. I don't know who it was. The car was running the best it had since we got here.

ANDY HILLENBURG (No. 52 ACDelco Chevrolet) -- I had the car slowed down and under control but when I was on the bottom somebody slid down and clipped the right front. It wasn't a hard hit at all, but we've got suspension damage. This is my first accident in a superspeedway race and I just barely got hit, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.

KEVIN LEPAGE (No. 71 Vermont Teddy Bear Chevrolet) -- Ray Hill (Busch Series Director) told us in the drivers' meeting this morning that you can't win this thing in the first 200 miles. Guys are just out there not giving and taking. I was in second, got shuffled out of the draft and waited until I could get back in line, even if I gave up six or eight positions. Some people, I guess, don't want to be that patient.

TOM BOLLES (No. 76 Bolles Chrysler/Jeep/Eagle Chevrolet) -- It's unfortunate that our day came to an end early. Jimmy Spencer gave me the opportunity to come down and drive one of his speedway cars. I'm really grateful for that. We just couldn't seem to keep a motor in the car. We had one break earlier and then this one. It was pushing coolant fluid out causing an overheating problem. We had to shut it down. It's my first trip to Daytona and I'm glad I was able to get some seat time.

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 87 BellSouth Mobility Chevrolet) -- Mike McLaughlin lost it in the trioval and spun into me. It didn't hurt the car and we kept on going. The second time, Tracy Leslie hit the flat part of the track and turned sideways. He might have gotten forced to the bottom, but I had no place to go and I hit somebody.

PETE ORR (No. 88 Farmer's Choice Fertilizer Chevrolet) -- I was in good shape going into the corner and then somebody bumped me. I think I got tagged from behind, I'm not sure. From then on, it was just a chain reaction. I hated that it happened. We cut a tire down early and got a lap down. I was just hoping for a clean finish.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 12 MW Windows Ford) -- Somebody had trouble getting through the trioval for the second time today. I picked the high side, but I ran out of room and got into the outside wall. At least our rear decklid is OK, because we've gotta have that to put on our Rockingham car.

MIKE MCLAUGHLIN (No. 34 Royal Oak Charcoal Chevrolet) -- I was boxed-in coming through the trioval. Evidently the air just came off my spoiler and the next thing I knew I was looking in the other direction. (On earlier backstretch incident with Jeff Purvis.) Jeff didn't quite clear me when he came to the outside lane where I was. I tried to get out of the throttle but I couldn't back off fast enough and he got turned.

HERMIE SADLER (No. 1 DeWalt Tools Chevrolet) -- It was some tough racing out there. I got myself into a bad situation. I was up on the top side of the race track running good. A car got down onto the apron and then shot back up onto the track. There was nowhere to go. Everybody was just racing hard. It's been bad luck for us.

LONNIE RUSH (No. 94 New Holland Tractor Ford) -- The 11 (Tracy Leslie) and the 88 (Pete Orr) might have touched. 11 got sideways ahead of us and I got my hand up in the air and got out of the gas but somebody behind me coudn't get checked up and hit me. It's a shame -- we had a car to run to the front with.

TRACY LESLIE (No. 11 Cracker Barrel Chevrolet) -- We were just riding around looking to race to the finish, but a lot of people were racing too hard too early. Early in the race somebody was pounding me in the rear. Going into turn one I followed Grissom on the bottom, but I guess the 88's (Pete Orr) spotter was asleep, because he chopped me off short just like on a short track. You've got a short track guy out there. You're supposed to hold your line when you go into a corner and not drive somebody down to the apron. That's all it was. Stupidity took out a car that was capable of winning the race.


NED LaWARRE (Team Manager No. 18* LaWarre Motorsports Ford) -- (LaWarre announced Saturday morning that the team had secured sponsorship for the Goody's 300 from Earl's Performance Products and Northwestern College Motorsports of Lima, Ohio. "We're right there with some good company with Michael Waltrip in front and Mark Martin behind. We feel good about our chances."

HONORARY OFFICIALS: The National Anthem will be sung by country artist Mark Collie. Grand Marshal, presenting the command to start engines, will be L. Dennis Johns, sales manager of general merchandise for Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. Honorary Starter, waving the initial green flag, will be William Scaife III, general merchandise corporate buyer for Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.

POSTED AWARDS: The largest posted awards in NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division history -- $772,975 -- will be up for grabs in today's Goody's Headache Powders 300. TRACY LESLIE (No. 11 Cracker Barrel Chevrolet) -- We were trying to repair the motor we qualified with, because we stuffed a piston qualifying. We could never get it to oil right so (engine builder) Sy Earnhardt brought another one last night from Charlotte and that's the engine we'll run in the race today. Sy and my guys are just finishing dropping it in now (10 a.m. Saturday).

KEVIN LEPAGE (No. 71 Lepage Motorsports Chevrolet) -- We are still seeking a full-time sponsor. Since I've never had the chance to race with The Vermont Teddy Bear Company on my car at Daytona (failing to qualify while carrying that sponsorship in 1994-95) and my car is empty -- I'm taking this opportunity to thank them for their support over the past two years. (The team plans to contest the full NASCAR Busch Series and continues to seek sponsorship.)

DERRIKE COPE (No. 26 Badcock Home Furnishings Ford) -- We're pleased to have a deal with Badcock Home Furnishing Centers to do 12 races. We'll run Daytona, Atlanta, Rockingham (twice), Darlington (twice), Bristol (twice), Charlotte (twice), Talladega and Homestead (Fla.). They are based in Mulberry, Fla. Their employees are NASCAR fans and they saw this as an outstanding marketing venue to be involved in. Mel Tillis does a lot of endorsements and a commercial for them and we'll do a commercial that will be out in the summer.

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Drivers Dale Jarrett , Michael Waltrip , Jimmy Spencer , Mike McLaughlin , Jeff Purvis , Johnny R
Teams Phoenix Racing