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NASCAR Winston Cup Preview

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Winston Cup

NASCAR Winston Cup Preview

Harry Gant
January 18, 2003


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

Q. Harry, what have you been doing in recent years? Aren't you spending a lot of time on two wheels now (Harley motorcycle)?

HARRY GANT: All the time, every chance I get. I still work for the U.S. Tobacco Company; for about 22 years now. We still do a lot of promotional work in and around the race tracks; not inside the tracks. And we work with the people that sponsor the Busch car the last year 1994. I still work with those people. And, the rest of the time, I raise cattle on a farm and stay there. Basically, I do a lot of promotional work.

Q. Is the youth movement good for this sport?

HARRY GANT: Yes, I think so. It's happening in all the sports. I think it's great for this sport. It's going to help the sport as a whole with the sponsors and the TV coverage and all they got now, that's the movement; the way it's going to be.

Q. What do you think about how big the sport has grown?

HARRY GANT: It's hard for me to believe that it went so fast. Of course TV coming in there about the time I was quitting, right after I quit racing, so that made a world of difference. I was listening to the comments and questions that you were asking the drivers a while ago about the common templates and things like that, in those days it was real simple if a Ford was faster you drove a Ford. If a Chevy was faster you drove a Chevy. Sometimes they would have 25, 30 Fords and just a few Chevrolets and next year reverse, very few Fords and a lot of Chevrolets. But you took the car, the product that was going to be the quickest and that's the one you raced, it really wasn't no problem.

Q. You won one of those races in that September run without any sheet metal. Can you say now what sparked that run, that great September run?

HARRY GANT: Well, we had an Oldsmobile and we wasn't as big into aerodynamics then as now, but it had a flat nose in front and a longer deck lid and it didn't have a lot of down force on front; more on the rear. The chassis we ran was dated way back in the Ford days, Leo (Jackson) had converted that over with a front steering box . Anyway, the radial tire come out and our car would turn with the radials and never got loose, so for the first few races we were good and then they changed the tire and everybody turned good. We was doing good as long as they kept those tires like they were.

COMMENT: You still look as if you could still drive a Winston Cup car!

HARRY GANT: If Bobby (Labonte) would let me drive one of his cars and get me a good crew chief, I can drive.

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