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NASCAR Trucks: Chevy drivers respond to 'one inch' rule change at Daytona

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
NASCAR officials today announced that all NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams competing here must add one inch -- one-half inch on each side -- to the rear spoilers of their trucks. NASCAR said the revised spoiler dimension is effective immediately and would be required for today's final practice session. Officials said the move is an effort to add drag to the trucks (to slow them down.)

Following the final practice session:

RANDY TOLSMA, #61 TEAM RENSI MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO: YOU WERE QUICKER THIS AFTERNOON, DID THE HALF-INCH RULE AFFECT THAT?: "Without ever seeing data it could be the wind and weather conditions today; it's just a faster race track. The wind is down a little, so we're not facing the headwind. If you make more turbulent air and the truck knocks a larger hole in the air we still run through that air that much faster. If that's what happened, who knows? I was one hundredth (of a second) faster today than yesterday. They tried to slow us down, and we didn't see that much difference."

MARK CRAFTON, #88 SEALMASTER RACING CHEVY SILVERADO: "I was definitely a little tight in the draft, but we haven't got to draft a whole lot this week because we have had motor problems this week. We kept having ignition problems. We changed all the boxes, all the coils, coil wires and still haven't fixed it. We found it yesterday in the last 'happy-half-hour' after second-round qualifying. This weekend is a bad weekend. After this last session we found out something is broken again. We broke a rocker arm, and we think it's something internal. It's the second motor for us. All we're trying this weekend is to sacrifice something out of this. Let's go out here and finish this race and go to the mid-sized tracks and see what we can do. Let's get all our ducks in a row and let's go racing."

RICKY HENDRICK, #17 GMAC/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO: "Right now we are aero tight and chassis tight. But we're pretty quick. We can run with these guys." ON THE HALF-INCH RULE: "Nice. It didn't really affect it a whole lot. I guess it slowed down a little bit, but not a whole lot. They're getting more comfortable; it's not too bad."

LANCE NORICK, #90 AVENTIS BEHRING CHEVY SILVERADO: "Actually the truck was really good in the last drafting deal. Our time doesn't show it very well. It all depends on who you go out there with. Any truck we're around we can go high or low around them. Last night drafting we were eighth quick. We made the Silverado better this time. We didn't go out with the first group. They were really, really fast. Tomorrow we get to go out with everybody." ON THE HALF-INCH RULE: "It just didn't seem to slow us down. It seemed to make it not turn as good when trucks are around you. I don't know what NASCAR was trying to do. It's trickier. In this last practice I saw two or three people get into the side of other people. There's so much rear downforce the front just can't turn, especially in the pack. Here running that fast is not a good thing. The wicker did the same thing. Anytime they continue to put more spoiler on the rear and not do anything to us in the front to help us out aerodynamically it's going to slow you down when you're by yourself. In a pack you are still as fast; but you're not going to be handling as good. I think that's what happened in the bad wreck last year. I know, I was in the wreck. When you hit the tri-oval and the wheel is turned to the left and it's going straight, there's not much you can do. Obviously it didn't slow us down."

DENNIS SETZER, #46 ACXIOM CHEVY SILVERADO: DID IT SLOW YOU DOWN? "I think it did. It did affect the truck pretty much, more than I expected it to. I think we have to make a gear change to accommodate it. It seemed like when it was by itself it hurt it quite a bit. I didn't go any faster. I didn't see us slow down that much. I think the Silverado got tight through the corners. That's something we were combating anyway."

JACK SPRAGUE, #24 NETZERO CHEVY SILVERADO was involved in an incident early in Happy Hour Thursday. Sprague¹s No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Silverado suffered extensive right-side damage in the accident.: "I¹m really not sure what happened. I was hooked up with the No. 29 (Terry Cook) and we were drafting by the No. 43 (Carlos Contreras). All of a sudden, the 43 hit me in the back and I¹m headed for the back stretch fence. There¹s just no reason for that to happen. My NetZero Chevy is pretty torn up. The only good thing is I have a great team and I know they¹ll give me the best truck possible for tomorrow¹s race. Still, you hate it when something like this happens."

DENNIS CONNOR, CREW CHIEF: "It¹s pretty busted up. All the front and rear suspension is bent up, the nose is hurt and the back bumper cover is torn off. The whole right side of the track is pretty much flat. We¹re going to have to get with Wayne Auton (NCTS competition director) and see if he¹ll let us stay after the garage closes tonight because we have a ton of work to do. We have a very professional team and we have until 11 a.m. tomorrow to get it done. Practice is over, we¹re in race mode now."

Text Provided By Judy Stropus

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