DSR interviews -- Report 20

Valvoline Runoffs '97

by John P. M. Dillon JPMD@compuserve.com

1st: Michael Reupert
2nd: Al Beasley, Jr.
3rd: Lutrell Harms

Driver interviews:

Lutrell Harms: What kept you from lead: I had a really good start, tires working well at the start, they just wore me down. I don't think I went any slower, they just picked up speed.

Al Beasley, Jr.: Just before Michael caught up and something broke on the car, it wouldn't turn as well in one direction. I was gonna try to make a run on him on the last lap. THen we got caught up in traffic, he got away from me, I just hung on for second.

Michael Reupert: Won in '90 as well. Had the fastest qual time here. Strategy: I had to patient, had to wait for hard compound tires to come around. Couldn't run hard enough for tires to come up to temperature. Got a couple of breaks, when Jason went off in front of us, it came up. Planning and watching where I could get the other guys, knew where my strengths were.

Michael Reupert: Learned patience 2 years ago in the Turn 1 wall. Learned a lot of confidence in the car, never finished worth than 2nd. Thank all my competitors, it was a close race but clean, knew I could trust them.

Lutrell Harms: I thought Rueupuert was gonna run off and hide, I was surprised to hang with him. Third trip to ROs, finished 5th in '95. Weather has been excellent, but cold this morning.

Lutrell Harms: Engine is Yamaha FTR1000

Michael Reupert: Engine: Homebuilt by me and Terry Harvey (brother-in-law). Wanna give him credit, he's a big part of the engine program. Forget to mention him on the podium, want to make sure he's recognized.

Al Beasley, Jr.: Just switched to Yamaha this spring, still getting it sorted out. Doesn't have the same problems the old engine did.

Lutrell Harms: Bob Wirth R&D Services is doing the engine work. Engines have been no problem. [Laurie: wife reported some handling problems.] Came out with new shocks, but most of time fighting a water overheating problem due to changed radiator and ran out of time testing the setup.

Laurie: Mark Hoover broke crank on the good motor this one didn't do as well.

David Kaiser's not here this year, had a lot of bad luck, Laguna problem getting car ready, then crashed at top of corkscrew and bent the tub. Choice was mad thrash to put the car together or take the year off, so decided on the latter.

Runoffs News and Results / Richard Welty / Krusty Motorsports / rwelty@krusty-motorsports.com