DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T) @NOTE: Blaney had the fastest Dodge and fifth fastest car overall in Saturday’s final practice. He qualified 29th and finished 11th here in June. "We started the first practice this ...
DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T) @NOTE: Blaney had the fastest Dodge and fifth fastest car overall in Saturday’s final practice. He qualified 29th and finished 11th here in June.
"We started the first practice this morning basically the way we ended the race last time. We weren’t very good, so we changed the nose around a little bit and the body of the car around a little bit and widened it out a little bit and got more front down force. We changed the gear, and it really came to life. We ran fast and ran pretty good times for a dozen laps. I’m pretty happy with it. We could run a 55.20 about 12 laps into the run, and that’s a really good thing. I think it’s good enough to hang up front with tomorrow.
"We ran this car here last time, and it’s been a good one. This is an older car, but it’s got about the best body on it that we own. It’s got a lot of downforce and it’s balanced well. It’s a friendly, forgiving car. They try to duplicate the car. They do everything they can, but they take‘ em to the wind tunnel and there’s big differences.
"We’re pretty good in all three turns. We’ve got a good transmission setup. I’ve got to shift twice a lap, but I think it’s working out well. If I just don’t overdrive the corners, we’ll be OK. That’s the thing here. You’ve got to settle down and let the car do the work and don’t get it in there too fast.
"For us, shifting helps keep the engine in the rpm range it likes. I’d like to not shift. That would be easier on me, but it seems like our engine likes to stay in a certain rpm range, so that’s what we’ll do. I heard that a lot of guys aren’t shifting. I was surprised by that, but you do what your engine likes.
"No doubt, we’re better now than we were when the season started. Doug Randolph (crew chief) and I are working a lot better together. I think we’re gaining on knowing what to do with the cars, the new bodies and new engines. A lot of times it isn’t showing up, but we’re having our good days. Unfortunately, we’re having bad days along with it. We’ll just have to get those bad days slimmed down, and we’ll be in good shape.
"You’ve got to get over the bad days and take what you learn and go on. We weren’t very good last week at the beginning of the race and almost got a lap down from the start. A caution saved us. The run we crashed on, we were as fast as the leaders. We learned something about the car and what to do with it. We’ll use that next time. It gets everybody down. It keeps knocking you back in the points. You have a couple of good runs and then it knocks you back, but that’s the way it goes.
"The rule change for Indy will just change the balance of the car. We’ll keep working with it. It’ll give us more downforce on the front and in theory you’ll be able to hook the back end of the car up harder and have a better hooked up race car. The more aero, downforce you can have, the better you are. It should help us when we learn how to use it. I don’t know how much it’ll affect our Indy test. We’ll go back knowing what the car should act like with the nose and go from there.
"I think our car can run up front all day Sunday. If we don’t make any mistakes and keep the car balanced all day, we could have a good one."