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Simpson: No, I don't think it was cut either. I think it was torn, but I don't think it was torn all the way through. I think there was still a seat belt there. When I got to that car on the Wednesday night, they had removed everything out of the driver's compartment. What you're doing is taking Gary Nelson's word that this is what was found. Gary Nelson was the greatest expander of rules in the garage area for years. You understand what my thoughts are there? It would be of no value for me to make a public statement for him that he should take a lie detector test to say that's the way that stuff came out of that car - but it would be kind of nice if he would.

CRO: Could you say how Simpson Racing sales have been affected since that first news conference?

Simpson: I don't really know now, because I haven't been involved with the company for a couple of months. I'm not privileged to that, even though I own a third of it. My partners are not thrilled with me.

CRO: Why not?

Simpson: Because I won't shut up, man.


CRO: They're of the mind to let it go?

Simpson: They want to make peace with NASCAR, and I left Simpson because that's fine - they can make peace with NASCAR. I'm not going to make peace with anybody that I feel is - they've got a home run on their hands with Winston Cup racing, the Busch series, the Truck series - but it can't be at the cost of peoples' well being.

CRO: Your well being, in particular?

Simpson: Forget my well being! I'm talking about the people that work on the cars, drive the cars, the people that are there on a daily basis, you know?

CRO: Earnhardt was a friend of yours, even as many racers are, also Richard Childress - you've been going through garage areas for years pointing out safety concerns here and there . . .

Simpson: That's been my function and I can't for the life of me understand why Richard would say that - when he says to me that he doesn't think that I had any conversations with Dale Earnhardt [about safety issues - Ed.]. How the hell does he know who I had a conversation with or didn't, or what my conversation's content was? I have affidavits from seven people present during those conversations - so it's not even a question.

CRO: So why wouldn't Earnhardt have changed his belt mounting to your recommendation?

Simpson: I don't know. You can't ask him that question. I just feel that Dale got away with a lot of things for a long time and he was told at some point it would bite him - not just that, there were other things as well.

CRO: Could you be specific about these "other things"?

Simpson: How about when he never wore gloves? It took me ten years to talk him into wearing gloves.

CRO: And you never could get him to wear a full-face helmet.



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