RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 10 SUNTRUST RACING CHEVROLET DALLARA, comments following his first stints behind the wheel in the Rolex 24:
HOW WAS THE CAR DURING YOUR TURN BEHIND THE WHEEL? "Our car was fast for sure. We are lacking a little bit of top speed which was frustrating and you don't like running on the inside of the track. It was hard to stay calm with 20 hours to go, you want to race. But, there is a long way to go. The car was really solid. It was great that they guys kept us in front with a pit stop and with a driver change. All the boys are doing a great job and hopefully we can stay off the GT cars, there is a lot of action going on out there. It is still so early. Hopefully we can keep the car clean and if we do, the car is very fast."
NEXT WEEK IS THE SUPER BOWL AND YOU ARE A STEELERS FAN, RIGHT? "No, I'm with Packers and it has been a lot of fun. I have been to four of their games this year and been following them through the playoffs and really liking that Verizon is going to take us to the Super Bowl. I will be wearing my cheese hat for sure next weekend. It was pretty scary at Chicago last weekend, I'll tell you. All those fans up there. In the second half when they started coming back, it wasn't fun wearing a cheese hat, I'll tell you, at Soldier's field. At the end of the day, it was all good. We had the final say and hopefully we do next week as well."
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 99 GAINSCO CHEVROLET RILEY, came into the media center to give a during-race update on the team following his first turn behind the wheel of the car during which he steadily moved to the front but the team suffered a brake issue and went to the garage for repairs after Jon Fogarty took the wheel:
"We have some unusual brake issues going on right now with our car, so we're trying to get to the bottom of it. When I was in the car, we took a look at things, an initial look, but when we get a caution I think we have to go to the garage stall or on pit road, get in there and change some calipers, fluid and get inside there and find out what's going on with the car. The brake pedal is really long, and if I don't pump it before every brake zone multiple times, it just goes to the floor. And there's a few situations in traffic that were quite spooky when I didn't have quite enough time to pump the brakes up, and I needed to have the brakes. Man, I'm lucky I didn't run anybody over a couple of times out there. So, that's disappointing, to have issues early, but a lot of the big names have had wild things taking place, and if we can catch a caution at the right spot, I think the guys can get us out there with minimal laps lost and we'll be in contention."
ALL THE DRIVERS WHO HAVE COME INTO THE MEDIA CENTER HAVE SAID IT'S WILD AND CRAZY OUT THERE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO THE AGGRESSION IN A CUP RACE? "It's tough in these cars for a couple of reasons. One, you're not really sure who's in the car in front of you. After you yell and scream a few times on the radio, they say, 'Well, that's so-and-so,' and I don't really know these guys well enough to understand what that means, but I can tell in the inflection in my crew chief's voice a few times that I should be expecting that from a few guys. And the other thing, it is so hard to not just turn someone around and get rid of them. With the Cup car, you can do that easily. These cars, it will end your day. So, I had to stop myself a few times. And after two or three times of being there and getting chopped -- I'm like, 'Man, if you were in a Cup car you'd be sitting there backed in right now.' I miss that aspect of Cup cars. If Kevin Harvick was in one of these, I think he would just run 'em over."
IS THIS KIND OF LIKE A MARTINSVILLE WITH RIGHT-HAND TURNS? "With the braking zones and everything, you make up so much time on the brakes, and it's really your only opportunity to pass. The cars seem to hit kind of the same top speed and it becomes a braking duel, if you have position, if you're willing to get in there and be more brave than the guy you're racing with. And, with our brake situation -- I got stuck behind slow DP cars that I just couldn't take that chance. So, glad he didn't take it in the fence, but clearly we have to work on it. The brakes are so tough here, but hopefully we'll get situated and find out what's going on."
HOW LONG WERE IN THE CAR, AND WHEN DO YOU ANTICIPATE GETTING BACK IN? "We're looking at doubles for all three drivers, so in two (hours) out four and then back in. We considered running some triples through the night once the temperatures came down and things kind of mellowed out on the track, and that'll be just kind of as we think in the car -- if we feel good in there, it'll give the guys resting more times to rest which could be more beneficial tomorrow in the heat. So, we'll just kind of play that by ear. But, a minimum of doubles, maybe triples."
DRIVER AFTER DRIVER SAYS HOW CRAZY IT IS OUT THERE, BUT THAT GETS SAID YEAR AFTER YEAR, ESPECIALLY THE LAST FEW YEARS HERE. SO, NOW, SHOULDN'T IT BE NORMAL TO EXPECT THAT? OR HAS IT BEEN TAKEN UP A NOTCH OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS? "It's tough to get upset from a DP car to a GT car. I can only imagine how difficult it is to be that much slower, worrying about racing in your class going as fast as you can, and staying out of the way. So, in talking to Boris Said and Brendan Gaughan, it is full-time job, and then you have to race. I sympathize on that front and try not to get too frustrated there. Some of the DP cars that were multiple laps down, they just had to race for position because I was a DP car behind them. That part I didn't quite understand. I saw two guys in the process being so focused on me, ran into other cars, the 60 and the 55, and both got flats and damage in the process. So, eventually, they kind of took care of themselves, but it was pretty heated for a while."
WAS THE CAR OKAY? "The last four or five laps I had two moments where I pumped the brakes and into a braking zone and I couldn't really get the pedal back. I went into the International Horseshoe and then went into turn five, and when I got out of the car, kind of had a feeling that might be coming. When I got in it, Alex (Gurney) said the pedal was starting to become long and then as it went, there were two or three stages where I noticed that I had to be more aggressive with pumping the pedal to get a firm pedal for the braking zone. And, it was fading when I got out."
JIMMY VASSAR IS NOT HERE THIS YEAR. IS THAT A CHANGE IN STRATEGY? "Yeah, we miss Vassar, for sure. I think it's kind of a rhythm thing, to keep us three in the car and just stay more connected with the car and what's going on. In the past, I've run with three drivers before and enjoyed the extra seat time, and when Bob came to us about it, Jon (Fogarty) and Alex thought it would be fine and I did as well. I hate not having Vassar here, but I love the fact that I'll get more seat time."
I WENT OUTSIDE AND COULD SMELL A LOT OF CAMPFIRE SMOKE. HAS THAT BEEN A BOTHER FOR YOU? "No, I can't say the campfire smoke is. There are a few areas -- turn five, especially -- cars are turned up against the fence with their headlights on. And, it's amazing how difficult it is to look into the corner for your braking marks when headlights are pointed at you. It distracts you and hurts your depth perception. On top of that, you think it's a car that has spun, coming back on the track. So you're in a really weird situation, a panic situation. You get there, and it's somebody on the back side of the fence trying to look at the race with their high beams on. So that's the most difficult part I've had so far."
ERIC CURRAN, NO. 07 BANNER RACING CAMARO GT.R, was involved in a multi-car accident four hours and 45 minutes into the Rolex 24:
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE? "This Leighton Reese Performance Group orange No. 07 Camaro has been great. We got a little bit behind; we got a few laps behind the leaders, but we had a couple of restarts and kind of just kept picking them off and making up ground and were looking pretty strong. Going through turn six out on to the banking a couple of cars got together. One of the BMWs spun and was backwards in the track. I saw it all happen so I went real wide. I think one of the Mazdas didn't see it quick enough and glanced off and hit the BMW dead center and shot right over in my lane. I never saw it coming. I was all around it and it happened quick. It is disappointing because these guys have done such a good job and the car was just plugging along and just a case of wrong place, wrong time. What are you going to do? I'm totally fine. It is just disappointing. It is one thing if you do something wrong as a driver, but when something like that happens and you can't avoid it, it is sad. So, I guess it is what it is."
RICKY TAYLOR, NO. 10 SUNTRUST RACING CHEVROLET DALLARA, suffered damage in on-track contact approximately five hours and 45 minutes into the race and brought the car to the garage for repairs:
WHAT HAPPENED ON-TRACK, DISAPPOINTING BECAUSE YOU WERE RUNNING SO WELL? "It's not over. We were really having a good run, the car was good. I got stuck behind the No. 99 car for awhile, just trying not to take any risks. I got into a little bit of a dice with (Juan Pablo) Montoya and I was on the outside of him, pretty conservatively, I just felt a big hit on the side. I gave him of room. I don't know. I don't know."
IS THERE AGGRESSIVE DRIVING OUT THERE? "A couple of drivers but for the most part everyone is good. I don't think anybody meant to do anything or anybody meant to block me or anything like that. I think that just might not have known I was there. He was trying to pass a Porsche and I was already there and maybe he didn't see me or something."
THE TRACK IS ONLY SO WIDE? "Exactly, exactly."
-source: team chevy