Notes from TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola – Saturday, July 2, 2011

Notes from TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Race #4

Daytona International Speedway – Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola

Saturday, July 2, 2011
American Muscle

**** **** **** ****

Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut

Lindsay Czarniak (host), Larry McReynolds (analyst) and Kyle Petty (analyst)

McReynolds on how unpredictable the Coke Zero 400 is: “Every race, fans ask me, ‘who do you like?’ I promise you, there is no way to predict the winner of this race. Honestly, all 43 drivers that take the green flag can pull into victory lane.”

Petty on the difficulty of two-car drafting: “I was absolutely blown away by how hard these guys have to work in the car [while drafting]. The lead car has to work with the car behind you and work the brakes. You can’t see anything and that can’t be stressed enough. It’s blind faith when you pair off.”

No. 29 Kevin Harvick joined the crew on the rig prior to the race

Harvick on his team’s plans as they head towards the Chase: “We’ve already done that [experimenting] and now we’re starting to zero in on the different packages that we have and the different styles of race tracks and starting to fine-tune the things that we need. We are starting to get our cars in line for the Chase, whether we want new ones or current ones or what you want with the stuff that comes out of the wind tunnel. It’s all about preparation and our guys do a good job at that.”

Harvick on his team’s strategy with the two-car draft: “It does take two to tango and we think that we know what we’re going to do today with the guys. Hopefully that will work…it should be a fun night.”

Petty on NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough who was featured in TNT’s Pride of NASCAR series: “He may not physically be here at the race track but that should not be a mark against him. He loves this sport and he loves the people in this sport and the sport should love and embrace him. He’s in the Hall of Fame and he is a phenomenal individual.”

McReynolds on the importance of the spotter when drivers are in a two-car draft: “The biggest communication has to come from the spotter. Every driver has a spotter and when two drivers hook together [in a draft], one spotter takes care of both drivers…it doesn’t matter if they are leading or pushing.”

TNT’s Adam Alexander interviewed No. 21 Trevor Bayne who won the 2011 Daytona 500

Bayne on how his life has changed since winning the Daytona 500 earlier this season: “I had no idea [how much it would change]. It was like a light switch, it wasn’t like a gradual build-up. I went from not winning anything to winning the Daytona 500. The support from the fans and everything has changed overnight.”

Bayne on dealing with his health shortly after winning the Daytona 500: “It was tough but it gave me some perspective. I’ve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and I’ve gotten to see it from both perspectives. You realize how fortunate you are to be a race car driver.”

**** **** **** ****

TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola from Daytona International Speedway

Adam Alexander (host), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst)

Pit Repeorters: Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed No. 21 Trevor Bayne following his early-race crash that knocked him out of the race

Bayne on his early-race crash: “We didn’t really have a plan at the beginning of who we were going to work with. I was kind of dropping back, looking for a partner and I don’t know what happened going into turn-one but sometimes these things get loose when you’re the lead car. We wanted to be out there.”

Dallenbach on how miscommunication might have lead to No. 99 Carl Edwards’ crash: “When you’re the lead car and you’re telling your [draft partner] what you’re going to do, you don’t give them enough time when you react. Carl said, ‘Alright, let’s do this’ and did it and [No. 16 Greg] Biffle got the message too late.”

McReynolds on how total communication between teams is crucial to the success of two-car tandems: [Communication] is the key to this partnership that you develop. It has to happen on pit row as well…if you’re on different agendas, this partnership won’t work.”

Petty on drivers adjusting to the style of racing at Daytona: “[The] Daytona [500 on February 20] was different than Talladega [on April 17] and Talledega is different than this race as far as how the drivers approach the race and how they drive it.”

Petty on the Red Bull team: “A lot has been made over the Red Bull situation over the last few weeks. Those guys are looking for investors and Toyota stepped up and said, ‘these are good tires.’ They just need some financial backing to keep this thing going.”

Dallenbach on drivers boxing each other in: “I think when guys get to the front, they don’t have anywhere to go. When you start boxing things up in front of you, that’s when you get into a problem of running someone into a box. You get into a situation where you can’t check up fast enough behind you and that’s when things happen.”

Dallenbach on the importance of pitting at the same time as your draft partner: “If a guy gets hung up in the pits and your partner leaves ahead of you, he’s going to be waiting for you near the end of pit row. You can’t leave your guy.”

Dallenbach on drivers starting to get anxious late in the race: “The anxious level starts to go up at this point [late] in the race. This is when everyone’s voice starts to show a sense of urgency. You have to start putting yourself in position. The patience starts to wear off…’we’re not going to be working together as much as we have all race long.’”

Dallenbach on how it feels to be in a crash: “When you’re in a wreck in feels like it never ends. When you stop, you’re waiting for someone to hit you.”

**** **** **** ****

TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Post-race remarks

TNT’s Marty Snider interviewed the winner of the Coke Zero 400 No. 6 David Ragan following the race:

Ragan on moving past the restart penalty he received at the Daytona 500 earlier this season that may have cost him a win: “Everyone was talking about it. I just tried to zero-out, take some positives from it and move on.”

No. 17 Matt Kenseth on his teammate No. 6 David Ragan winning the race: “We didn’t give [the win] to [Ragan], we worked the whole night. David was in the right place for the restart, if I would’ve been in that spot, he would’ve pushed me to the win too. That was the plan and we stuck to that plan.”

No. 5 Mark Martin on the late-race, multi-car wreck he was involved in: “The accident that I was in, I lost my partner [No. 24] Jeff [Gordon] and I knew it was going to get crazy. Then on the restart, I thought [No. 20 Joey] Logano and I were going to hook up, he didn’t have a partner and I didn’t either. I must’ve been four inches not ahead of him and I was trying to get in front of him so we could go. I felt him touch me but then…I don’t know what happened…cars were flying everywhere.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here