Matt Borland happy be back with Ryan Newman

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MATT BORLAND, CREW CHIEF, NO. 39 QUICKEN LOANS CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed his reunion as crew chief with driver Ryan Newman, the progress of the 2013 car and other topics.

Matt Borland and Ryan Newman, 2006
Matt Borland and Ryan Newman, 2006

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE BACK AT THE TRACK? “It’s nice. It’s good to be back with Ryan (Newman) and we’ve got a great group of people at Stewart-Haas. Everybody has just jumped on board and hopefully make a good run at these last four and get things rolling for next year.”

HAVE YOU AND RYAN (NEWMAN) STARTED OFF LIKE RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT OFF ON THE SAME PAGE? “We are getting there. It’s going to take a little while. He’s obviously been doing this every weekend for the last 15 years and I’ve been not doing it for the last six or so. It’s getting me back on the same page, but things are going pretty good.”

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO WANT TO COME BACK AS A CREW CHIEF? “It’s just a situation with our company it made sense right now. We needed to get a good strong team under Danica (Patrick) for next year with her coming on board full time. Tony Gibson and that No. 39 team have done an awesome job the last four years so it’s a good solid group to work with her and make that program solid.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING BACK? “It’s nice it’s good to see everybody. It’s good to be back in kind of a familiar job setting.”

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AND HOW HAS RYAN (NEWMAN) CHANGED? “I’m not sure yet we will find out when things get really bad (laughs).”

TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOB AND HOW YOUR DAY HAS CHANGED NOW TRANSITIONING FROM WHAT YOU WERE DOING: “The biggest thing is just being at the track more and being a lot more hands on with the set-up side. The last four years I’ve been spending a lot more time working on parts for the car, working on more R&D (research and development) type stuff whereas now it’s more about tuning the car whatever we’ve got making the most of it on that day.”

WHAT DOES THIS TEAM NEED TO STAND UP AND GET BACK TO WHERE IT WAS A YEAR OR SO AGO? “I think the biggest thing we have just been lacking a little bit of speed. Obviously, other teams have caught up they have done some things to get faster. We are just that little step off each week that I think we are just still searching for.”

FUEL MILEAGE RACES HAVE BEEN A KEY FOREVER IT SEEMS LIKE, BUT WHAT HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS THAT IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE FACING THIS SCENARIO WEEK TO WEEK FROM A CREW CHIEF’S PERSPECTIVE? “I think the biggest thing I think is it’s always been there it’s just now every teams taking advantage of it whereas I think before you had 10 percent of the teams were really looking at it. Now you’ve got 80-90 percent of the teams really looking at it.”

THE 2013 CAR COMING IN NEXT YEAR AND IT BEING ALL NEW DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS PUTS YOU BACK ON A MORE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD WITH EVERYBODY ELSE NOW? “Yeah maybe; I think it’s still going to be the teams that are the strongest in being able to figure out things quickly. Definitely, everybody is going to go back kind of to ground zero and then it’s just going to be a race to see who can find that package that works.”

WHAT MADE YOU AND RYAN (NEWMAN) SO SUCCESSFUL BEFORE? “I think just attitude probably and work ethic. Everything was about racing, everything was about winning and everything was about that particular moment in time being the best you can be. I think having everybody on that team that was in that mindset the program was able to run very strongly. I think that was the big piece.”

CAN YOU RECAPTURE THAT YOU THINK? “You never know. Obviously that is the goal. We are going to do everything we can to get back to that, but a lot of the teams that is what they are after so it’s a challenge.”

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU GUYS, YOU WERE THE BEST MAN IN RYAN’S WEDDING, THAT RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAVE WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT? DOES THAT ESTABLISH A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP AS WELL? “I think the biggest reason is in (the) Cup (Series) you don’t have data acquisitions on the car. You’ve got to be able to trust what that driver is saying. You’ve got to be able to know that what that driver is saying is right. So you’ve got to spend a lot of time talking about what is going on with the car, what he’s feeling. Sometimes you might not get that answer in the first 30 seconds of a conversation. It might be four hours down the road and you’re talking and you’re like ‘wait a minute you just said something here, I remember you said something over here that matches that.’ If that relationship is not good you don’t have those two, three, four hour conversations you end up with those 30 second conversations. So then when you are making decisions you don’t really have all the information that you need.”

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2013 CAR WHERE ARE YOU GUYS AT WITH THAT? WITH YOU MOVING OVER HERE NOW, I KNOW YOU WERE BEHIND THAT HOW IS THAT GOING TO IMPACT THE 2013 PROGRAM? “We have got a couple of cars built. We just tested Phoenix last week. We are testing Charlotte with Ryan (Newman) in a week and a half. So the program is going along pretty good. Obviously, it’s a tough situation for all of the teams, everybody is trying to get sheet metal, trying to get cars built, trying to go testing at the same time. That part is tough. Hopefully, in this roll maybe I can help with getting us to packages faster that we can do well with. Like I said it’s going to be a race between all these teams trying to figure out how to make that car fast and if you can get to that answer three to four weeks before everyone else that three to four weeks you could get race wins and poles and all those good things.”

Source: Team Chevy Racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Interview
Tags borland, chevrolet, haas, martinsville, newman, stewart