Continued from part 1 Q: Terry, now that you have won the Rolex 24, how does that change your outlook on the season, winning that first race with your sort of new team? TERRY BORCHELLER: I don't think it changes my outlook really at all.
Continued from part 1
Q: Terry, now that you have won the Rolex 24, how does that change your outlook on the season, winning that first race with your sort of new team?
TERRY BORCHELLER: I don't think it changes my outlook really at all. It's always great to leave the first race with the points lead. As we saw last year with Brumos winning the 24 Hour, then the rest of the year, they tended to struggle quite a bit. It was really an uphill climb. When you win that first one, you're kind of the target. Everybody is gunning for you.
It's not going to be any easier. If anything, I'd say it's going to be a little bit harder. But it always is nice to leave with good points from Daytona because it really does impact the season. If you have a bad season at Daytona, you're at least half the season catching that up. Depending on how your competitors do, sometimes you never can gain that ground back up.
I'm really happy to be leaving Daytona with the points lead. I know it's going to be a huge battle for the year because there's so many great drivers, great teams and cars out there. But we're definitely starting out on the right foot.
Q: With Brumos in the past, how different was it racing with Action Express this year? Was there any difference?
TERRY BORCHELLER: I would say there were differences, for sure. Some of the personnel has changed. We don't have every single person. The other thing that happened was the crew that was on the 59 car last year was on the 58 car this year. We actually got the crew that was on the 58 car on the Action Express team. So there were significant changes that were made. It wasn't a totally smooth transition.
But, you know, again, I think speaking from the side of Action Express, from the top, Bob Johnson, who I've known for quite a while now, his character, his integrity, the way he deals with people, I'll never forget the first time that I drove for Brumos in 2007, my payment was in my hand before the start of the race. I'd never had that happen before, ever. I called them up. I'm like, do you realize you already paid me? Actually, the comment back was, yeah, that's something Bob Snodgrass started a long time ago. He wants the drivers, when they show up to the track, that they were committed to and that they have people that believe in them. They don't want them to be thinking about anything other than doing their job.
That just really hit home to me because it was so different than anything else I ever experienced in the racing world. I'm sure Ryan can speak to this. How many times have we been chasing money even into the next season. Sometimes it involves getting on a plane, looking people in the eye, saying, don't you owe me this?
It was a great joy to experience that. But, again, I say that to say I think it says a lot about the organization and just what they're about. They are about people. They're about winning and about racing, but they're about the people. Whenever you are about the people, that's a priority, you get a lot of loyalty back. That's a great thing in this small community. It goes a long way.
Q: You both have gotten to drive some different engines in the Grand-Am series. How does the Porsche V8 stack up against them?
RYAN DALZIEL: You know, I think I've driven everything other than the six cylinder Porsche to this point. The other thing is it changes every year. Sometimes one engine is strong and three races later another engine is strong.
The one thing, Grand-Am does a good sure of making sure nobody has the advantage. If they do have an advantage, it's short-lived. Everybody gets their opportunity to shine, I think.
I actually drove the Porsche V8 in a Riley chassis at the end of 2008. It was so bad that we pulled out of the car and turned up at the 24 Hour race with a BMW in it. I was completely shocked and impressed at how much they've done with the engine.
Obviously, when you look at the race, we never really got passed on the straight. I think that was a factor for a couple of different things. The V8, it definitely looks a little bit in torque, but what it lacked up for torque, but it made up for it the car. I think it's going to be strong. Action Express are going to be a contender at every race. I think the motor is only going to get stronger. For sure, there was stuff that we didn't have on the motor that we didn't put on for reliability issues. The one thing was the car or the motor ran extremely well, just reliability-wise. We had absolutely nothing with the engine all the way through the race.
I think the top engines are still a little bit of the race. I think the Ford is extremely strong. My concern throughout the race actually, I felt the one car that could be the upset was the 6 car. I think if you had a little bit of legs on us and on the Ganassi car, and the 10 car with the Ford motor was extremely quick.
I think Ford seemed to kind of keep themselves under the radar and not cause any issues, the political side of the Grand-Am series, but I think their motors are definitely the stronger. The Porsche V8, hard to compare to the other Porsche, but for me it's going to be extremely quick through the season, maybe not right away, but it's definitely got a lot of potential.
Q: Ryan, do you know anything about who is going to be in Starworks second car with Bill?
RYAN DALZIEL: Yes and no. Yes, I do, but, no, I can't really say anything about it.
Q: Terry, it was only six years since you were in victory lane at Daytona. What was it like being in the new Victory Lane? Have you communicated with Forest Barber? For both guys, the 24 is a unique event, but what did this show you about the team that proves you can be competitive throughout the season?
TERRY BORCHELLER: As far as the Victory Lane, I think 2004 was the last time they used the old Victory Lane the. The next year I walked by and it was, come one, what is this. It was a huge improvement. I've walked by it every year since thinking I can't wait to get back in there.
As far as Forest goes, he was not only my co-driver, but he also was a very good friend, a good friend of Grand-Am. I know he was one of the ones that pulled the trigger to be involved at the very beginning. We had some great meetings with Jim France and Jim France laid out kind of the vision of Grand-Am and the Rolex series, what he wanted to accomplish. I relayed that information to Forest. Forest said it sounds like a good thing, he sounds like a good man, so let's do it. So that was the beginning.
I actually got off the phone with Forest probably 10 minutes before this call. He sent me a text. I responded to his text. He called me immediately and was overjoyed and happy about the victory. He's building a lake house in Texas. He's racing a little bit. But not at the level that he was. I think he's enjoying his girls growing up and building his lake house.
He's still very much a fan and stays tuned into what I'm doing and what Grand-Am is doing.
Q: Terry, what did the 24, which is a unique event, show you about the team that proves they can be competitive throughout the season?
TERRY BORCHELLER: Again, I can't say it enough, but it so important as the season progresses that you're able to communicate as a team. Every single team is going to encounter obstacles. It's too much stress and too much pressure as you go through, especially if you end up being in contention as the season moves on. With the travel, with the time away from family, there's just so many things that start to creep in, not to mention the late nights at the shop and all the other normal stuff that the team as a whole is going to be encountering.
I think being able to navigate through all of that really starts from the top and works its way down. If you have a lot of things going on in the team, a lot of turmoil, when the fire gets turned up mid season, like I said, especially if you're in contention for a championship, it just goes from bad to worse. It doesn't get any better.
I think that this team with the adversity we had coming in, getting started late, to just the car not handling the way that we were hoping it would, to the engine not hoping the way it would right off the bat, just even with weeks in between from one test to the other starting from December to January, then into the race weekend, it shows the ability of the team to just keep moving forward.
I was completely impressed with the way the team as a whole handled the whole situation. Again, I think the drivers would all agree on this statement. Coming into the race weekend practice, Rocky, myself and Ryan, we didn't get more than -- I don't think Ryan and Rocky got more than 10 laps in. Because I drove in the test, I didn't get but five. With that in mind, you go in and you're thinking, man, I don't know how good of a chance we have, if any, to be on the top step. But, like Ryan said, if we can just be there at the end, maybe we can salvage a podium, get some good points. But to win, I don't know if any of us thought that was possible unless something really strange happened.
Man, come the start of the race, all the work, just some rolling of the dice with the setup and different things gave us a car that was competitive and on pace, which was really incredible.
Q: Ryan, you have some open-wheel stuff in your background. Is Grand-Am a viable career option for professional racecar drivers these days?
RYAN DALZIEL: Absolutely. I think my past, back to Champ Car, was through Grand-Am. At the end of my ladder system, I did pretty much everything I could do in Atlantics, still couldn't get the opportunity to go into Champ Car at the time. In 2005 I ended up completing a double season in LeMans and Grand-Am. For me, it was a bit of a shell-shocker. You go from making no money in Atlantics to people are actually giving me checks to racecars here.
Throughout the couple of seasons, '05, '06, I felt at home, especially in Grand-Am My kind of journey back into Champ Car was a little bit strange. When I actually had resigned for 2007 with Pacific Coast, it was to compete in Grand-Am. Not many people know this, but I was the one to try to convince them not to go to Champ Car. Even though it was a dream for me, I felt it was the wrong decision. I kind of made my home in Grand-Am.
But I think there's so many drivers there that never really quite got that opportunity. A lot of guys should have an opportunity. We're there making money. The competition is huge. I've raced in so many different series. I went back to Europe end of 2008, competed over there again. I don't think there's a series in the world that has so many funded drivers, drivers that are actually making money, this is a career, this is a professional opportunity for them.
Yeah, I mean, I think it is a good place to be. I think it goes all the way from Grand-Am Rolex series all the way down through what is now the Continental Tire Series. I think there's more drivers in Grand-Am being paid than any other series in the world. As long as they keep doing what they're doing, I think they're getting stronger and the fan base is getting stronger, I think it's two years in a row where the Rolex 24 came down to the last lap. No other series has even done that.
Q: 45-car field, competition wasn't there. I daresay I understand where you're going to come from, but I would like to hear your comments about the strength of your victory as compared to others in the past.
TERRY BORCHELLER: Well, I think for me winning this year, when I won in 2004, Ganassi was just getting in. SunTrust was just kind of getting rolling. Nobody really had their feet wet. We had the 2003 season championship under our belt going into the 24. I heard a lot of -- there were a lot of things said about the team, about the drivers that we had in that 2004 win. There was some validity to it. The series definitely was not as competitive as it is now, not even close.
But when you're around the sport as long as I've been around it and you've co-driven with as many guys as I've co-driven with, you know where you rank. I know there are guys that are out there as good or better than me. I never believed that in my 20s, but I think reality hurts sometimes. I know I have a gift, I have a talent, and I just need to do the best job that I can do.
This year for me, you know, all of those teams that were coming in 2004, they've been developed now in 2010. We had the best teams in the world in Grand-Am represented at the 24 hours of Daytona and we beat 'em. That speaks volumes to me. Ganassi still came with two cars. The field was smaller than last year. The toughest teams, not only at the 24, but the toughest teams always in contention for the championship, were all represented. It doesn't get any better than what we experienced at the 24 Hour. Just because there were a few less cars, it doesn't change my thinking at all. I think everybody that knows motor sports knows that we beat the best teams in the business and nobody can ever take that away from us and I'm really, really proud of our team and our driver lineup and that accomplishment.
RYAN DALZIEL: I totally agree. I think there's a couple of different factors. I remember somebody asking me something similar on the buildup to the race. I actually went and looked on the entry list. Yeah, there's 15 cars. How many of those were very experienced, Formula One experience. The level of experience throughout those 15 cars was huge. For probably the first time as long as I've been involved in Grand-Am, there wasn't many non-pros in the cars. It was a 15-car field. If Ganassi has two cars, that's who you have to beat. I don't care how many cars. There was some chatter even between the Ganassi cars, which was a little disrespectful to what we've done. Ganassi made out like they lost the race. That's not what happened. We won the race. We beat them fair and square. We hunted them down, passed them. I think you could have put two cars in the race and it would have been probably a similar outcome, or you could have put 30 cars in the race and it would have been a similar outcome. I think we beat the best Grand-Am team on the course of the past five years on average.
Everybody wants to see 90 cars there, but we still had a 45-car field. NASCAR has their field, one of the largest in the world. But there really aren't many series, and we start earlier than most people, but come March and April, we'll see how many other series really get above 18, 16 cars.
Yeah, it's disappointing for all of us that there's not more cars out there, but I think the depth of field is huge.
Q: How did the team or you as drivers go about celebrating this victory?
RYAN DALZIEL: Trust me, mine is not what you're expecting. I live in Orlando. Daytona is kind of my home race. I didn't get out of the track until about 6:30, 6:45. I saw Terry. We left the similar time. I called my wife who already left. She was starting to call up friends, let's go out and do some stuff. The truth of the matter, when you're doing well at Daytona, the last thing you want to do is sleep, for the worry you wake up, the car is out of the race. I never slept for the whole race. Obviously we put everything into it. We did a long stint at the end. I actually had to plead with my wife not to celebrate.
She invited some friends over. Had a quiet dinner. I was in bed, wrapped up by about 9:45. That's been the extent of my celebration so far. I'm actually going back to Scotland this weekend. It's my brother's 30th and father's 60th in the same week. We're doing a triple celebration. Hold my celebrations till I get back there and then I can make a clown of myself.
TERRY BORCHELLER: Mine was pretty low-key also. I had a lot of friends and family that drove up from Vero Beach, Florida, a couple hours from Daytona. They all hung around until all the post race stuff was done. They met me at a restaurant close to the Speedway there. We hung out and talked and hung out with family and changed a diaper, did all the normal stuff. Didn't change a whole lot.
I actually had kept my room booked for Sunday night because in the past I've driven home. It's a pretty miserable drive. It's the last thing you feel like doing. I had gotten sick towards the end of the race. I was real happy I didn't have to drive home. I could just go to the hotel and crash. The next morning I consoled Darren. Our family knows his family pretty well. Our kids enjoy hanging out with his kids. We went to his hotel, hung out, spent the morning, first part of the afternoon with him, took a drive home. It's been pretty non-stop. I have about a thousand text messages and emails that I'm intently trying to work through. But it's been really, really difficult to get them answered. As soon as I get a couple answered, there's a few more that come in. That part is a bit overwhelming. This didn't happen in 2004, I can tell you that.
Q: Ryan, does the winner's Rolex feel heavier than a regular watch because of its inherent awesomeness?
RYAN DALZIEL: I took it to a friend who owns a jewelry store. Can you size it? Yeah, I have a Rolex specialist here. I think the guy was more excited than I was to see this watch. Anybody involved in racing or maybe involved in Rolex knows what it is. The watch is incredible. For years I've said to myself, like I said previous about Daytona, I've not given it enough credit. I don't think I gave Rolex enough credit because I could never afford to buy one. If I could afford to buy one, as a principle, no driver will buy one. To win it, it is another satisfying thing you've done in your career.
I've had it on non-stop. I've had a lot of compliments on it. I wish I could wear it back to front so people could see the engraving. I have to figure out how to get a mirror on my wrist so people can see the reflection on the back. It doesn't take me long to unclip the band and see the engraving on the back.
Q: Terry, future plans to modify the Cheyenne motor in seasons to come?
TERRY BORCHELLER: I don't know what the future of the Cheyenne motor and Grand-Am hold. I know that Grand-Am is really enjoying having the V8 out there. I know politically there's things going on within Porsche where they're not so happy about that. Again, I don't get into the politics of it.
But Porsche is a great brand, and the motor ran flawlessly, like Ryan said, throughout the 24 hours of the race. I sure hope that the development continues and I think that it will. I'm looking forward to that showing itself throughout the season.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan and Terry, congratulations once again on winning the 48th Rolex 24 at Daytona. Best of luck March 6th at Homestead Miami Speedway. I'd like to thank the members of the media for taking the time to join us. We appreciate your coverage.