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NASCAR WCUP: Happy Hour Notes, Final Daytona Practice, Jeff Gordon

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DupontAutomotive Finishes Chevrolet Monte Carlo: “That’s our race motor, and something definitely broke in themotor. We’ve got other goodmotors. We’re in good shape there. The car’s fast. I want to make sure we find out why, so that if there wasanything that we had in there that would make that happen again tomorrow, wecan take care of it now. The track wasextremely fast. We turned a lot of rpm.Cool temperatures. You never know ifthose kinds of things could contribute to that, but we’re going to find out.

“What happened was it brokeright in the middle of the corner (one and two) and I had about 15 cars behindme. So I just got up against the wall,trying to let them go by. Just the airfrom those guys going by me so fast, pushed me into the wall. Jeremy Mayfieldwas behind me and he did a really heads-up job of getting by me. I startedwaving my hand. It broke so suddenly Igot my hand up there and at least those guys shot to the inside of me.

“It probably won’t be muchlike this tomorrow. It’s extremely cooland overcast. It might be cooler thatit’s been – like on Thursday and Friday – but it’s not going to be like thistomorrow. So is kind of a waste of timeout there anyway. But the good thingfor us is that we found out that that motor wasn’t going to make it today andnot tomorrow.

“We have so much practice atDaytona, that more practice is not that important at this point. We’ve got our cars dialed-in prettyclose. Today it’s just fine-tuning. But it was important for us today because weput that race motor in. And that’s whatmost guys are checking out is their racemotors. So it was crucial for us today because if we hadn’t had time with thatrace motor, we would have broke it tomorrow.

“We never break motors. We’ve got the best engine facility there isand I’m very confident we’ll put one in there and we’ll be in good shape tomorrow. Like I said, it’s more of finding out why ithappened. We want to make sure itwasn’t something we were doing. Itmight have been just a freak part that broke. Sometimes you get a stress in a piece of material, and maybe that’s whatit was.”

Text Provided by Nancy Wager

Editors Note: To view hundreds of hot racing photos and art, visit The Racing Photo Museum and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.