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Coke Zero 400 – Sprint Cup Series Drivers Meeting July 5, 2008

Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, Trackside.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Todays driver’s meeting was typical for pre-Daytona.

Rule change regarding suspension changes announced at driver’s meeting:
“Crew chiefs – any major suspension parts must be changed behind the pit road service work wall and this will include springs and that’s a change. Major suspension parts must be changed behind the pit road service work wall,” Hoots explained.

Race Director David Hoots gave drivers the normal pre superspeedway warning:
“I would remind you drivers that this is your warning about racing above the yellow line. You’ve had this rule down here for several years and you understand it and abide by it and we’ll enforce it. Along with that there is an aggressive driving zone that will be considered all the way around the race track – and we’ll be watching it very closely. Any questions?”

This week two questions were asked – one by Jeff Gordon the other by Carl Edwards – interesting questions from the drivers. When drivers ask questions sometimes it’s not just because the don’t know – but sometimes because they want NASCAR to make it clear to others in the room or to look at a rule to clarify something that others are not following. The answers came from Sprint Cup Series Race Director David Hoots who leads the Drivers Meeting.

On coming on to Pit Road side-by-side:
Question: Jeff Gordon: “If it just so happens that two cars come on pit road side by side – even though we’re not supposed to but if we do -Does the car that’s ahead when they get to the yellow line have the position and the other guy has to get in behind?”
Answer: David Hoots:”If that happens -You should attempt to make every attempt to come on single file. You are the worlds greatest race car drivers..this should be a very easy task…and I have all the confidence in the world…we’ll police it you come on single file. There’s no reason to try to come on two wide You know that you are planning to pit in turn three and four.”

On going past timing loop to avoid a wreck (what happened to Carl Edwards in the Nationwide race Friday night).

Question : Carl Edwards: “If we were to avoid a wreck and go past one of those timing loops or whatever is there a video replay thing that you guys can look at?”
Answer: David Hoots: “Last (Friday) night when we had an accident on the back straightaway -the car went below the timing loop and was not picked up and we incorrectly positioned Carl on a restart. We have taken some steps to correct that – if there’s a miss we’ll go back and look at it under a caution for that one particular instance.Good luck to each and every one of you…Tim are you going to lead us in prayer?

And we prayed for a safe race for all competitors

Pit Road Speed : 55 mph
Caution Car Speed: 70 mph
Pit Road Speed Begins: 190 feet before the first pit box
Pit Road Speed Ends: 88 feet past the last pit box

Media Center/Drivers Meeting Highlight:
Actor/musician Kevin Costner was at the drivers meeting. He sat on the stage off to the left and wore a red cap – and his band played pre-race. He came into the media center prior to the race and addressed the media. We got a chance to ask questions and I had to ask him what was on my mind. Well part of it anyway 🙂 :

Question: What do you think about NASCAR and NASCAR drivers in general especially racing at places like Daytona as you watch that?
Costner: “You know… I’m going to go back to that word DNA you know when you don’t grow up with it – it’s hard to grasp it. But, you know, my wife came in and we brought our one -year-old and we drove through here and our eyes were just like we were looking for a new home – we ended up with a pool. We thought, these people are really smart we’re going to get a little pool for Cayden so Cayden is swimming right now he’s 13 months old. There seems to be, like with anything great, a lot more than just the race. But the passion is really strong and it’s a phenomenon to me. You know somebody told me – the first time I heard about how popular the sport was and, forgive me, was about seven, eight years ago when somebody said, ‘You know, that’s the most well attended – its the biggest thing in the United States.’ And if you grow up kind of playing the national pastime you almost can’t believe it but I do and I have. There’s another problem – I’ve never been a speed guy ok? I never had to get that out of my system in high school. In fact ,nobody wanted to go with me because I was like 20 mile-an-hour-Costner. I was the guy that got everybody kinda home. So speed has never been a thing so even they asked me today, ‘Do you want to go around the track ?’ and I went , like, ‘No, I don’t think so. Are you going to go fast?’ and they said, ‘We always go fast.’ I was, ‘No am not going to do it -I’d rather go to the press conference.’ I know most everybody in the room goes – what a weasle – why would you not take the opportunity to go…..I think weasle is the wrong word..woosie.”

Commentary on Costner:
Kevin Costner was clever and funny and seemed humble and appeared as if he was just checking out the phenomenon that is Daytona in July at the Coke Zero 400. He seemed to be having a great time. It’s fun to watch these celebs come to the infield and soak it in. There are pools everywhere, and the set ups that the infield race-watchers have assembled is, in itself, a sport to view.

Enjoy the race!

Kyle Petty on driving the pace car said he might not go back to the booth because, “This is the first time I have led anything for about 20 years,” which drew loud laughter from the journalists working on their computers here in the deadline room.

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