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NASCAR Trucks: Driver's respond to last minute rules change

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
NASCAR announced a rule change on Thursday to all the Craftsman Truck Series teams competing in Friday's race. All teams must add one inch to the rear spoilers of the trucks, one-half inch to each side. Teams will be given the extensions from NASCAR, and the teams will have one hour of practice on Thursday to adjust to the modification. NASCAR officials said the move is an effort to add drag to the trucks.

TERRY COOK --29-- K Automotive Ford F-150 - WHAT WILL THIS CHANGE DO? "When it's all done, I think it may make them drive better. Now here's the problem we're going to have. It will make them drive better because you're putting more rear downforce on the trucks, and it seemed that they were wiggling in the draft a little bit yesterday. When you add more rear downforce to the trucks, it will pick the nose of the truck up. Now the teams need to work on their shock and spring packages to balance that back out because we found out yesterday that getting more air to the rear spoiler helps it drive better, but makes it tighter off the corner because you have so much rear downforce. What we'll have to do is work on it mechanically with springs, shocks and sway bars to balance that back out to make the truck turn better with so much rear blade." IS ONE HOUR OF PRACTICE ENOUGH TIME TO ADJUST TO THE CHANGE? "It is. What they're adding is not that much of a change. If they came up to us and wanted to add a full inch on top of the blade, that's a motor change. One-half inch to each side of the spoiler isn't that big of a change." IS THE RESTRICTOR PLATE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER? "There is no doubt about it that we'll be on restrictor plates when we come back here in 2002. Depending on what the speeds are in the draft tonight, you may see them tomorrow. The only good thing about it is they only need to slow us down a little bit, unlike the Winston Cup cars, where you need to put a real small restrictor plate on it. If we did have to go to them, I wouldn't image it would be any smaller than a quarter of an inch from the bore size in the carburetor."

DAN BINKS, Crew Chief --50-- JR's Garage Ford F-150 - WHAT WILL THIS CHANGE DO TO THE TRUCKS? "I don't think it will do too much to the truck. NASCAR wants to slow the trucks down and add stability, and I think this change will achieve that to a degree. It will probably slow us down two to three tenths (of a second). I don't think it will make too much of a change in the draft. Some of the guys that are loose now, it might help them a little. The problem is when you get behind three or four trucks, there is not any air going over the spoiler anyway. If it was up to me, it was a change that should have been made before we came here. They thought that they had them slowed down enough, but some of the teams found ways to boost their speeds since the test. We haven't figured that out yet, but we're still getting into the swing of things. I think it will be pretty even in the draft, so I don't think it will mess up the show any." IS THIS ONE STEP AWAY FROM A RESTRICTOR PLATE? "I think so. I hope not, but we may not be far away. We heard rumors about a plate last year, so we've tested it some, but a lot of these teams haven't. We're probably prepared 50 percent for that change, but I think there aren't too many that are. We know what jets to run and what the timing needs to be, so it won't kill us. They don't want to put restrictor plates on them, but we were just too fast. It must be based off the Dodges because if you have a Ford it's not a problem."

RICK CRAWFORD --14-- Milwaukee Electric Tools Ford F-150 - "I've been in racing for 22 years, and I haven't seen many rule changes that help speed-wise. I think they're trying to make a little stability in the truck, but I wish they'd make the trucks a little more equal than hurting all of them. From where we're standing with the Ford, you hope that things will equal out. You are trying to set your trucks up and then you have a rule change before the race, and you have only an hour to work on them in practice. It's a tough deal." IS THIS IN LIEU OF A RESTRICTOR PLATE? "I think they're trying to add stability rather than trying to slow the speeds down. It's going to slow the speeds down a little bit, but I definitely think it will add a lot of stability to the trucks in the draft and add more control. I think we need a little more downforce for tomorrow's race." HOW WILL THE PIECES BE ADDED TO THE SPOILER? "NASCAR has two pieces that they are going to install in the tech line. We just need to secure it."

Text Provided By Ford

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