DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- His teams change and his drivers do, too. Tony Glover's list for success in the Daytona 500 stays the same.
1) Have a plan.
2) Stick to it.
3) Never, ever waver.
"He makes a list and he doesn't get off that list," said driver Sterling Marlin, whose latest joint effort with Glover officially begins at Daytona 500 pole qualifying, which will be held today at 2 p.m. at Daytona International Speedway.
"If he's got 10 things he's going to do to see if it makes the car faster, he's going to do those 10 things. He doesn't go off in another direction. When he gets through with them, he'll go to another list."
Glover's lists are a topic this week because Glover is a topic at any Daytona 500, particularly this year because:
1) He has won three Daytona 500s in the 1990s, all three with Morgan-McClure racing.
2) He won two with Marlin.
3) He and Marlin are together again, but ...
4) Not with Morgan-McClure.
Thus, a mini-drama for this year's Speedweeks. Glover not only won the 1994 and 1995 races as Morgan-McClure crew chief with Marlin driving, he also won with Ernie Irvan in 1991.
1) Morgan-McClure never has won the 500 without Glover.
2) Glover never won without Morgan-McClure.
"Sure, that's motivation," Glover said.
"I don't know that that has much to do with this year," new Morgan-McClure driver Bobby Hamilton said.
Marlin agreed with Hamilton -- "that's water under the bridge," Marlin said -- and the owner who reunited Marlin and Glover this season, Felix Sabates, said there was far more to getting the two together than winning Daytona.
"I don't think it's so much this place -- I think it's in all the places," Sabates said of Glover. "Tony's a very ... dedicated worker. He's a very analytcal person.
"His strength is the bigger track (Daytona and Talladega), but he's equally good on the shorter tracks."
Sabates hired Glover from McClure near the end of the 1996 season. Glover's initial role was the same as with McClure, crew chief. After last season, Sabates expanded from one to three cars. He hired Marlin from Morgan-McClure and expanded Glover's role to team manager overseeing three cars, driven by Marlin, Joe Nemechek and Wally Dallenbach.
But on race day, when crew chiefs typically coach drivers, Marlin's crew chief will be spotting. Glover will be on Marlin's headset.
"Tony will be calling the shots," Sabates said.
Which is how Marlin wants it. Marlin's best seasons came with Glover as crew chief and his two Daytona 500 victories with Glover are the high points of his career.
"He knows what I want in a car," Marlin said. "He's thorough and he keeps to what's important. Some guys, they'll be in the middle of testing something and get a bright idea to do something totally different from the program they're on. They jump here and jumping there and change three things at a time. You don't know what helped and what hurt."
Glover said the lists are about paying attention to detail, which he said comes with experience.
"Or age," he said with a laugh. "We try to be as organized as possible. That's one of the skills or habits or traits you get as you go on -- getting a game plan, and sticking to it. You try not to get excited and solve every problems every time out."
One thing that would excite Glover? The following list:
1) Win fourth Daytona 500.
2) With Sabates and ...
3) Without Morgan-McClure.
"Obviously, I'd like to win here with a different team," Glover said. "That would give me a lot of satisfaction. I'm sure those guys on the four car (Morgan-McClure's car) feel the same way. They'd like to win without me being their crew chief. We've each won here together. Now, we've got to see if we can do it on our own."
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