Ford Taurus drivers Ricky Rudd and Greg Biffle are back at Daytona as the second week of testing takes place ahead of the Daytona 500 next month.

They took time out after the first session on Tuesday to have a brief chat to the press.

Q:
Ricky, how do you view the 500?

Ricky Rudd - #21 Motorcraft Taurus:
This is the biggest race and it comes at the front of the season. I've been saying that for years, but that's why these test sessions are probably more important than maybe we realize because this is the only real experience we have preceding the Daytona 500.

It's a big race. It's still the biggest. The Brickyard has kind of caught up and then it's lost some ground, but the Daytona 500 is still the big one

Q:
When do you expect the move to Charlotte will pay off for the team?

RR:
That's kind of a tough question to answer because with a move comes a lot of changes and you wonder how much time have you lost working and preparing race cars when you decide to make a move like that.

It's a pretty major move and, I think as it turns out and the way we've tested so far, these guys haven't missed a beat. They've gotten really good over the winter and I understand the way the move took place there wasn't really a lost day of working on cars.

Even though the move took place, it was done really organized. Time will tell, but right now going into Daytona, and I'm just basing it on how the car drives, how it feels, how fast it's already run on the race track, I'm pretty excited about it.

Q:
Greg, how do you feel coming back to Daytona?

Greg Biffle - #16 National Guard/Subway Taurus:
It was kind of neat when I was walking in this morning because I thought about the fact that the last time I was here we won. That's pretty exciting.

I don't know if we're going be back in that position or not. I know the guys worked really, really hard all winter long to speed our program up. We haven't found any speed yet, but it's typical Daytona - it's tough to see that.

We're a little bit better in race trim than we are in qualifying, so we're working on it. We're going to take the best car that we can this afternoon and work on it for the next couple of days to see how good we can get it

Q:
What's your view on the changes to the points system?

GB:
I don't know all the pros and cons to it yet, so it's hard to comment on it. There are only selected teams that are down to the end of it, so when they ask all 43 teams to still participate in a play-off, when some of those teams aren't actually participating in the playoff, I don't know how that's going to work.

One of the other good ideas was maybe having more points at the last ten races and last five races. Maybe double the points system or something like that to reward somebody for coming on late in the season. But it seems like it takes the character away from our sport, the consistency. A team that runs the whole season and gels and then have to start over at ten races to go, I don't know if that's the right thing.

Q:
Do you think there will be a change in the decision making process for the driver and the crew chief?

GB:
It's going to change our sport more than anybody ever thought it was going to. Sponsor packages are going to change and driver contracts are going to change.

Everything will change because no longer will I have a 36-race contract, I'm going to have a 26-race contract and then a bonus ten race contract. It may be as extreme as seeing people out of a job with ten races to go depending on whether or not your team makes the play-off. What's the sense in being in the play-off if you're not in the play-off?

I guess we're locked in for this year, but it certainly can impact how a team is going to test and what their game plan might be. It might not be as conservative as far as points racing at the end of the season like we have for the past 40 years or however many years we've done that.

Q:
How do you see the sponsors fitting into it?

GB:
I don't know a whole lot about that side of it, thank goodness. I don't get into all of that, but I see it having a big impact on it. I see it having a big impact on our sport. It's going to definitely change it around.

Comments

Loading Comments...