Ford reaction to NASCAR rule changes for Superspeedways

After a series of tests aimed at improving racing and reducing speeds at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR is considering a series of rules changes for next month's Winston 500 at Talladega. Ford Taurus ...

Ford reaction to NASCAR rule changes for Superspeedways

After a series of tests aimed at improving racing and reducing speeds at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR is considering a series of rules changes for next month's Winston 500 at Talladega. Ford Taurus finished 1-2-3-4-5 in both races at Daytona this season, and Chevrolets finished 1-2-3-4 at Talladega in April.

Among the changes being considered is a rear spoiler alteration for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which reduces its width from 57 to 55 inches. Ford and Pontiac would both be required to continue with the current 57-inch wide rear spoiler.

GREG SPECHT , Ford Racing Technology North American Operations Manager -- "Everybody at Ford Racing is upset and disappointed that NASCAR may respond to the lobbying and pressure put on them by General Motors, despite the hard facts and figures that came out of the wind tunnel. I was told unequivocally that the purpose of the Daytona test was to add an equal amount of drag to the cars without making individual changes to one make or another. To hear that NASCAR is close to giving Chevrolet relief with its rear spoiler is unbelievably disappointing. What makes this even more upsetting is that it's coming this late in the season with a championship race hanging in the balance. Every manufacturer is in the hunt and to give one of those some help doesn't sit right with me, especially considering how well the Monte Carlo did at Talladega in April. This is terribly disappointing."

ROBIN PEMBERTON , Crew Chief --2-- Miller Lite Taurus -- WHAT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DAYTONA TEST? "The test was to try to give more horsepower, better throttle response with a bigger plate, more drag on the cars to slow them back down and make a bigger hole in the air. The hope was that the cars would draft up and it will be more competitive of a race. I don't want to get in the middle of it, but I would assume that because Chevrolet won Talladega and a Ford won Daytona -- you've had three races and two different makes have won the races, so I don't think it's time to start adjusting drag rules with one race to go. I would think that the same penalties would be enforced for everybody."

ROBERT YATES , Car Owner -28-- and -88-- Ford Taurus -- "What they're proposing is not a good deal. We all want the best of both worlds... to have high downforce cars on the smaller tracks and low drag cars on the plate tracks. Chevy's got a high downforce car. But that gives them more drag on the plate tracks and that's the choice they made. It looks like they've learned to make it work, by how they ran (AT TALLADEGA) in April. I don't like to get in this line of bitching, but I'm in the bitching line. I'm not happy to be on that side of the fence, especially when the facts are the Monte Carlo had the first four cars at the last Talladega race. It doesn't make sense. Now the Chevy is gonna have the best of both worlds if you let them run a narrower spoiler by two inches at the plate tracks. We're not happy about that and I think the facts speak for themselves."

FRANK STODDARD , Crew Chief --99-- Exide Batteries Taurus -- WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT DOING THIS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE? "It will be a sad day for NASCAR. People complain about the Earnhardt factor and stuff. You hear the fans sometimes complain that they think he gets an advantage here or he gets an advantage there. Something like this just plays into their hands to carry that on even more. I don't think he gets an advantage. I think that Earnhardt and Richard Childress have raced hard and the reason they've won seven championships is because they've worked hard, but they're not having to work hard to go fast at Talladega. They're just getting it given to them."

TODD PARROTT , Crew Chief --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- "I guess whenever it comes out it's gonna be ugly. We did all the testing and worked with NASCAR on this deal. We agreed to go to Daytona and do some testing, but when we all sat down and talked about going and testing right here (AT LOUDEN) back in July, we talked about what we could do to slow the cars down. What could we do to make racing better as if it wasn't already good. What they should have said was, what can we do to sit down and make the Monte Carlos better. We all went to Daytona, we all did the test. I mean, it was actually pretty neat to watch the Pontiac teams, the Chevrolet teams and Ford teams pretty much all working together to try to do this common deal. The reason for doing it was not to make the Fords a better race car or to handicap the Fords or to make a Pontiac better than a Ford or a Monte Carlo better than a Ford or even it up. It wasn't to level the playing field. I don't think that's what the test was meant to be, but I guess after going to the wind tunnel and results from that wind tunnel test, what I hear is they're gonna narrow up the Monte Carlo two inches for Talladega and I think that's totally wrong. In 1998 we begged, we cried, we did everything we could do. We must not have been doing the right things to try and get some relief because we had a drag problem and they just said 'keep working, keep working, you'll figure it out.' Well, we figured it out and in 1998 we went to Talladega and won a restrictor-plate race. This year, three plate races into the season, with the points championship on the line -- I know that they want to have the rules set for the Daytona 500 when they come out of Talladega next month -- that's going too far. They can tweak with rear spoilers over the winter and find out what they need to find out. But going to Talladega and giving the winning car an even smaller spoiler isn't fair. Where's the sense in that?"

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