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Concrete-Asphalt Mixture at the Glen Makes Crew Chief Nervous Paul Andrews Says Narrow Concrete Groove in Three Turns Could be Exciting
August 11, 1999 - Racing PR

(Mooresville, N.C.) -- #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo Crew Chief Paul Andrews doesn't know whether to cringe or smile at the thought of racing at Watkins Glen this weekend. In 1995, the 42-year-old Maine native equipped Geoffrey Bodine with a fast car and used some clever pit strategy to visit Victory Lane on the twisty New York road course. The Watkins Glen victory was the ninth of Andrews' ten career victories. He hopes this weekend his efforts will enable New York native Steve Park to claim his first career victory. But Andrews, his second-year driver, and the rest of the NASCAR Winston Cup field must combat a new and often dreaded element when the series visits the 2.45-mile course this weekend -- concrete. A new patch of concrete has been laid in the inside of the groove in three of the track's turns.

Andrews On Concrete-Asphalt Combination:

"I understand why they laid the concrete because nobody likes to see the asphalt break up in the corners. But, racers get a little scared whenever the word concrete is mentioned. There were an awful lot of bad experiences when they first put the concrete in at places like Dover and Bristol. Concrete was rough on the tires, caused wrecks, and it was hard for the teams and drivers to get a car to handle on it. Goodyear has a better handle on the concrete now and the tracks are doing a better job of smoothing out the concrete since those days. Unfortunately, the hearsay about Watkins Glen is that they laid only half a groove of concrete in each of the three corners so we aren't' real sure what to expect and we won't know until we get there. I guess that is what makes everyone a little nervous about this weekend. That is usually the problem with concrete. You never know what to expect. "Martinsville has asphalt straight-aways and concrete corners, but the challenge at Watkins Glen is that half the corner is concrete and half the corner is asphalt. Sounds like if you only stay on the concrete portion you will be fine and if you only stay on the asphalt portion you will be fine. If you try to split it you will be in trouble. That's because of grip. There are different grip factors in each type of surface. Asphalt has more grip than concrete. It'' kind of hard to get set up for both of them""


"I don't expect the concrete to do a lot of mechanical damage to the cars, but you could have some interesting corners and a few nice little pileups with everyone blaming the combination of concrete and asphalt. I don't think we will see problems until after we qualify. Once we start racing and running side-by-side it's going to be interesting."

Geoffrey Bodine's 1995 Victory:

"Back in 1995 we were probably one of the first teams to make the "pit as soon as you can make it on gas" strategy work. I think a lot of teams have adopted that strategy since then. It takes such a long time to get around the track that you won't lose a lap. Then if a late yellow comes out and the leaders pit you inherit the lead. The thing about that race with Geoffrey, was that we had to have a good car that could hold the lead. Track position is crucial, but if you don't have a good car you are still going to get passed."

Differences Between Watkins Glen and Sears Point Roadcourses:

"This place is a little faster than Sears Point with the same amount of turns. Now that Sears Point has less left turns you can take the same type of car to Watkins Glen that you races at Sears Point. We are also a little more used to this road course. We have been going to Watkins Glen longer and our drivers have raced at Watkins Glen in either the Busch or truck series so they are pretty familiar with the track."

Steve Park on Watkins Glen Strategy:

"You absolutely have to take care of the transmission and stay on course at Watkins Glen. That's hard to do. But, if you do that all day long you will finish in the top ten. Now, if you can do that and maintain track position then you have a shot to win. Like Paul has said, as soon as you can make it on gas and tires you'd like to pit even if it is under green. It takes so long to get around that track that there is really no way you can lose a lap even pitting under green. If a yellow come out and all the other guys have to pit then you move into the lead.

"New York is my home state and you better believe I'd like to win at Watkins Glen. I'd like to win anywhere but here would be a bit nicer. Last year we lost most of the gears and ended up with only fourth gear. But we still finished 18th. I have some unfinished business on road courses. If you remember our Pennzoil Monte Carlo got a little airborne at Sears Point and it flipped over. In fact the New York State Police called this week and wanted to use some video from that wreck for a seatbelt commercial we are filming in Albany on Thursday. We got some TV time the deal but this week I'd rather get TV time by leading or celebrating the win."

Watkins Glen Race Facts
Race: Sunday, August 15, 1999 in Watkins Glen, NY
TV: ESPN 12:30pm/et
1998 Race Winner: Jeff Gordon
Track/Race Length: 2.45 mile road course, 90 laps, 200.5 miles
Practice: Friday, August 13th, 10:30am-1:00pm/et; Saturday, August 14th, 8:30- 10:00am/et
Happy Hour(final) Practice: Saturday, August 14th after the BNS event before the FMS Event, TV-ESPN2
Qualifying Draw: Friday, August 13th at 10:30am/et
First Round Qualifying: 1 lap for positions 1-25, Friday, August 13th at 2:00pm/et, TV-ESPN2, also live via MRN radio/internet
Second-Round Qualifying: Saturday, August 14th, 10:45am/et for 1 lap,
positions 26-36 Track Qualifying Record: Dale Earnhardt, August 1996, 120.733mph
Last Year's Pole Sitter: Jeff Gordon, 120.331mph

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Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site was born on July 26, 1998 and is owned and maintained by Gary Harris.  This site is a tribute to "NASCAR's Greatest Driver" and his up and coming son.  We are not affiliated with any official Team, Sponsors, Media Group or NASCAR.  This site is solely for entertainment purposes.  Information and statistic's on this site have been collected from various NASCAR related sites on the internet, from Winston Cup Scene, Newspapers, Television and our personal experience at Winston Cup and Busch Grand National races.  All statistics are believed to be accurate at the time they are updated but cannot be guaranteed.
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