No Rules Changes In Daytona. Yet
February 14, 2001 | 12:00 P.M. EST
However, pending the outcome of the Twin-125s, Nelson said he wouldn’t deny the possibility of a change before Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500.
“We didn’t rule out making changes for the Daytona 500,” Nelson said. “(NASCAR president) Mike Helton said that at this time it was highly unlikely we will make changes before 125s.”
The controversy surrounding the Winston Cup Series centers on Dodge’s return to Winston Cup competition, doing so in a big way last Saturday when Intrepid drivers Bill Elliott and Stacy Compton grabbed the front row for the “Great American Race.”
From that moment, all the General Motors and Ford teams complained Dodge had snookered NASCAR by getting clearance for a superior car.
Following Sunday’s Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, NASCAR confiscated one car from each of the four Winston Cup manufacturers to take to a wind tunnel test. According to sources, those numbers revealed Dodge had the least amount of drag – or air resistance – with Pontiac and Chevrolet a close second. Ford was at a decided disadvantage.
“Right now I’m not too concerned with what they do,” Ford driver Dale Jarrett said. “We’re going to make our car as good as we can possibly make it and race it from there because there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s all we can do because we don’t make the rules. I know they didn’t put us in this situation for a reason, it just happened. The only thing I can say is we’ve got a good car and we’ve worked hard to get it that way.
“We knew coming down here we were still at least a 10-horsepower drag disadvantage and nothing was done about it at that time. I realize the Fords got the first five positions here last year (in the 500), but we aught to at least be given a fighting chance because this isn’t something we did to ourselves. These are rules created by NASCAR and that’s why there’s a drag difference. To me, if you’re going to have rules like that then you should equal up all the cars, but we got what we got so we’re going to try and make the most of it.”