are the things that concern you about the track at Darlington.
Is it intimidating knowing it’s a track that favors experience?
guess the most intimidating thing about Darlington is the way
you enter turn 1. It’s a big corner and the fast line unlike a
normal corner is to be high in the middle. Sabco took me there
in ’97 to test just so I could learn the way around it. The exit
of turn two is pretty narrow and the way the banking is you have
to turn down to exit, yet you’re still drifting towards that outer
wall. It takes some getting used to, but you watch and follow
other people and learn.”
has two distinctly different corners, making it difficult to set
the car up for both. Do you favor one over the other, and why?
up for this track is a give and take scenario. You want the car
to be a little tight in the middle of the corner and a little
loose off. Not too tight in the middle though because with an
abrasive track like they have up there if you squeeze it too tight
the tires go off like butter trying to fight the exit. (David)
Ifft has a lot of experience setting up cars at Darlington, so
I’m hoping we can change the tide here a little bit and come out
of the box pretty good. I’m looking forward to it.”
important is horsepower at Darlington?
is not very important at Darlington. But that’s not a problem
for the #4 car. If we need help it’s in the corners and Darlington
is more of a handling track. That’s the thing, if we can get that
side of the game tuned up a little bit better, the horsepower
will only make us that much better.”
it make things tougher to have the practice, qualifying and happy
hour all on Saturday, or do you enjoy the one-day schedule?
think it hurts us from a race team perspective. As a driver looking
at the 36-race schedule, it’s better for home life because it
gives us an extra day during the week. But I think it probably
hurts us as a team trying to get everyone on the same page in
such a short amount of time. We don’t have time to sit down at
night and digest everything to try and make a situation better.
There’s very little time between sessions now making it so much
more important to roll off the truck well."
was learned at Atlanta? Did you gain anything from running all
day and trying different things?
we changed lines a lot out there and I think we probably learned
more than anything how to drive a 20th-place car. I don’t mean
that in a bad way either. It’s important to know all the animals.
Now we know what that type of car is capable of. Hopefully some
day when we need to pull a good day out of a bad morning we can
look back and say we took that Atlanta car to the top-20 and scored
some points. It doesn’t mean much to anyone right now, myself
included, because we all want to come the track and run in the
top-5. But you have to look back and say, “Hey, we improved –
lets keep getting better.” Nobody is giving up over here; not
me, not Larry or the rest of the team. And I assure you there
is no better motivation on all sides than having to take provisionals.
We’re all tired of that, it’s time to step it up.”