DRO: If you
had to predict the final Top Fuel standings,
what would it be? Can you give me a 1-2-3?
pause] I've looked at this long and hard. Doug
finished ninth last year. The best he's ever
finished in his entire career was seventh. Not
counting ourselves short, but with the experience
and ability of all of these other teams, in
my opinion, I'd have to say that the Army car
is No. 1. Kalitta's cars are going to be right
up there. Now they've got three cars. Are they
going to finish 1-2-3 or 2-3-4? I don't think
so. But they're going to put a couple of cars
up close to the top. I think Bernstein is going
to be in there.
Dixon going to go?
18 cars. You sit here and think it should be
easy to finish in the top five. Look at their
third car with Grubnic now. That can be a tough
car. If we could finish in the top five or six,
I would be happy. Anything better than that,
I would be ecstatic.
DRO: What would
you do if Doug Herbert up and won the championship?
Ace: I would've
thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It would
be gratifying to me if we can be respectable
and not tear it up.
a lot of professional pride that goes into that.
And a lot of money, considering the new oil
issues with that. I understand where they're
at. If we're out there blowing this thing up
and tearing it up, then you need to make some
changes. But when you get in the middle of the
summer and you get on a race track that nobody
can get hold of, and on Sunday they're going
to drive it to the other end to get the win
and it's spinning the tire and it blows up.
Is that our fault? No.
DRO: Paul Romine
made that point last summer.
Ace: I told
Capps, "We want to win the race. But when you
go out there on Sunday and it comes loose and
you pedal it, you keep pedaling it until it
blows up, A.) You don't win the round anyway,
B.) You've blown up all your stuff, and C.)
You've got a penalty on top of it. If it goes
out there puffing smoke and it ain't goin',
shut it off. We're not that good today. We'll
come back and try it tomorrow or next week.
DRO: I hope
Prudhomme respected that.
Ace: We always
had a respect for each other. Lynn and Linda,
my wife, are very, very close friends. Were
Snake and I prior to this, did we go to dinner?
No. When I went to work with him, did I? Yeah,
we did. It was more because my wife and his
wife said, "We're going to dinner." OK. Snake,
we've been through a lot of years, and he knows
how far he can push me. So he used to push.
We've gotten into it before. We got into it
in Chicago. It came relatively close to an ugly
The spring race or the fall race?
see . . . it would have been the first race
from '02. It didn't come to blows, but he knew
when I stood up it was time for him to shut
up. And he did. He backed off and he cooled
down and said, "Don't get mad, now." We've had
our ups and downs.
you have hit him?
I? In a heartbeat! Sure I would.
he have sued you or hit you back?
Ace: We would
have probably rolled around in the dirt. I don't
think there'd have been a lawsuit. We're both
from the old school.
you could still take him, huh?
why he has that respect for you.
Ace: He knows
where to stop.
given him credit for plenty, but you certainly
have to give him credit for being smart.
Ace: He still