Goldsmith: Yes, we did our own. We went to the Goodyear Proving Grounds in San Angelo, Texas. They have a 5-mile track I believe, and we did a lot of test work with tufts of yarn, like you do with airplanes, and we learned a lot about aerodynamics there.
MM: When the Plymouth Superbirds and Dodge Daytonas were released, it was obvious that they were put in production to satisfy NASCAR homologation rules. Did their dominating performance cause more harm than good with regard to NASCAR's changing the rules, and the hardships that might have created?
Goldsmith: I believe if the other car companies were supporting Bill France, like Ford, it might have been why he would do whatever he had to satisfy all the companies. When they put the nose and the spoiler on the car, it created problems. It helped an awful lot in handling, and that's how Richard Petty did so well for so long, because of the handling of those cars. Today, I'm not sure that those cars are handling as well as we had it.
MM: What do you attribute that to?
Goldsmith: A lot of it is probably that the chassis is flexing. They don't have the original chassis under them; it's a tubular frame. Maybe it's bending. I can remember a Chrysler car I had that was flexing at Daytona, and I couldn't handle it. I was really fighting it, and I finally hit the wall. Whether that is happening now with the test equipment they have today, I don't know.
MM: Before the Hemi came out, Chrysler was working with the 426 wedge engine. What sort of things were you allowed to do to extract more power out of it?
Nichels: Pistons, crankshaft, everything. We were also allowed to play with camshaft profiles and exhaust pipes also, so that helped a lot.
MM: You had a chance to test the 426 Hemi in late 1963. How were they compared to the wedge engines?
Nichels: Horsepower-wise there was no comparison.
Goldsmith: Ray would know as far as actual horsepower comparisons, but the initial testing told us a lot. We know that when we went to Daytona, we had the upper hand and when we rolled off the trailer there, we figured that we should be on the pole. As it turned out, we were.
MM: Did you see the Hemi becoming the wave of the future, or were you concerned that it might become just another engine that NASCAR would outlaw?
Nichels: It was too expensive, no doubt about that.
Goldsmith: We weren't really worried about outlawing the Hemi. That basic Hemi design was already in production before with DeSoto and the others so we didn't see that as a problem. I think they put that engine in some Dodges as well, because in ARCA they ran the early Hemis in Dodges. I think Marvin Panch drove one at the Detroit City Fairgrounds and some other tracks.
MM: During this period, Dale "Tiny" Worley was your right-hand man. What were his duties and what was his influence on the operation?
Nichels: If you wanted it, he'd make it!
Goldsmith: Ray would take in all the work that Tiny could handle!
Nichels: He would encourage me to do that.
MM: We hear you guys had a little trouble not being from the Southeast?
Nichels: Yeah, that war wasn't over.
Goldsmith: France had to take care of his local talent. With our coming from USAC and going down there to race, we were the outsiders. If our car was a half, or even a quarter-inch lower than his "good ol' boys," we had trouble. And that happened. Another thing that happened when we were racing Pontiacs, was we won Daytona one time and didn't get credit for it. Isn't that right, Ray?
Nichels: Yeah. But they gave it to another Pontiac. There were two Pontiacs ahead of him in the final standings. As long as they put two Pontiacs ahead of us, we didn't care.
MM: What were the main differences between racing stock cars under USAC as opposed to NASCAR?