Donohue, Haywood - NASCAR teleconference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: I appreciate your comment, but especially editing instead of creativity, that's one I need to use on my editors. I hadn't thought about that one before. DAVID DONOHUE: That comes from redoing my dad's book.

Continued from part 1

Q: I appreciate your comment, but especially editing instead of creativity, that's one I need to use on my editors. I hadn't thought about that one before.

DAVID DONOHUE: That comes from redoing my dad's book. (Laughter).

Q: My first question is, how does the earlier start time affect your strategy for this weekend?

HURLEY HAYWOOD: Well, the strategy, whether we start at 11:00 in the morning or it used to be at night, the difference is not that great. It's still crazy kind of hot. You've still got humidity. Even though it's a little bit cooler, maybe by five to ten degrees cooler. That really doesn't translate back into the setup of the car much.

You know, hopefully it won't rain. But if it does rain, I think that's not a bad thing for us. It's just a bad thing for the spectators to watch it in the rain. But for us it's not so bad as at least we've done this race in the rain before at night. And that's pretty miserable?

So at least if it rains, it will be at least light. We just gotta kind of play it by ear. And hopefully we'll have a good package that will give David and Darren the tools they need to win. And I think the 9 car with the Porsche V8 is going to be strong also. So I'm looking for both cars to be very competitive.

DAVID DONOHUE: I think from the standpoint of the weather and the rain, what I've noticed at places like Watkins Glen when we run with Cup and it rains and we go out, the fans are especially appreciative. Because if they're out there in the rain, they want to see some race cars go around.

And we go out and race in the rain, and they seem to love to see that. So for some of those that do brave the weather, they'll probably be thankful that we're out there giving them something to look at.

And we do fare well in the rain in general. So if it's not raining and it's just sunny and hot, I suspect the track will be really greasy. So this will be really a true test, I think, as one of the hotter races so far this year to see who can hold on the grip the longest. So it's a bit of an unknown for us.

We tested recently and it was rather hot. And we were slipping and sliding all over the place. So whether that was a characteristic of that one day at that one track or if that's what we're going to experience at Daytona, what that could do is mix up what happens up front and throughout the field.

As far as strategy is concerned, like I said before, it's going to be flat out from the drop of the green flag, more so than probably any other race because the duration of this race is so short.

Q: With you guys having the flat 6 in the 59 and the 9 car having the V8, have you been able to share setup notes at all this year?

DAVID DONOHUE: To some degree, yes. The guys on that team -- there's two teams. We are kind of under the same roof. But the ties between us are almost more personal because they were our teammates last year and for years before that.

So the crew guys on that car are actually the crew guys that were on the 58 for the Rolex win last year. So there are things shared, whether it's identical or not. Sometimes it is; sometimes it isn't.

But it's more kind of comments in characteristics. For one thing, Joe, Al and Terry tend to like things a little bit different than Darren and I anyway. So the cars ultimately end up a little bit different. But it is nice to have someone else to bounce ideas off of and maybe even share data with.

Q: David, I know a lot is being made about this being the last race on the Super Speedway before the repaving. We use both the infield road course, which was repaved in around '05 plus the oval. What's your thoughts racing on the oval surface for the last time? And what changes do you think that will make to the race we'll see in the '11 Rolex 24?

DAVID DONOHUE: It's tough to say until you actually experience it. For us, it's much less of an ordeal than it is the Cup guys and the Nationwide guys and so forth because the banking is more or less a glorified straight for us. We're flat out and we can change lanes without much issue because our cars make more downforce and they're lighter and so forth.

So the bumps really have more of an effect when it rains. Believe it or not, even where the trucks cross over, which is between turn 4 and the tri-oval, it's a pretty nasty bump right there for us because we run pretty stiff compared to the stock cars.

But I don't see there being a huge change for us, except for under the braking for the back chicane, and probably even less so for the turn 1 brake zone. Probably pick up some there, but probably not much change for us.

HURLEY HAYWOOD: I also heard a rumor that they were going to move the bus stop, make it a little closer coming out of turn 2. So that will change things a little bit.

But I think the main thing will be just the grip level. So even though we're pretty used to the way the cars feel on the banking right now, I think with the new pavement, there will be more grip and faster times. I think the times will definitely be faster with the new surface.

I miss the bumps, though. David's been putting me under a lot of pressure to come back and get in at least one or two stints next year in the 24-hour race.

DAVID DONOHUE: Come on, everyone, help me out there.

HURLEY HAYWOOD: If I do that -- I know that pavement pretty well.

DAVID DONOHUE: Now you have to experience the new.

HURLEY HAYWOOD: Yeah, right.

Q: Hurley, considering we're talking about the 24, probably the most bonded race, 24-hour race in the history of mankind, and I do think that. When you look at today's DP times, we're 100 DP races into this thing. And when we started this gig in 2003, people were really, the criticism was high. Let's put it that way. And one of the criticisms was the lap times of the car. And here we are with an old pavement that's now going out. And to be replaced by a new pavement. The lap times are coming down into the range that are actually beating most of the 1980 and 1990 GTP cars out there. Where do you think that lap time will go with the new pavement?

HURLEY HAYWOOD: As I said, it will be faster than the lap time now. The lap time in 2010 at the 24-hour race will be slower than the lap time that the guys will be able to do in 2011. I'm almost positive of that.

So, you know, it's just the evolution. The cars have gotten better and better and better. The formula is getting stronger and stronger. So I would have never thought that that would be the case. I never would think that these cars would have been able to duplicate the times of a DP or a GTP car. But they're quick. We're going faster than we did with the DP cars.

So on the same surface, a little bit different bus stop configuration now. But you know the times are quicker. But that goes -- tire technology and just the evolution of development allows that to happen, with in some cases half the horsepower.

DAVID DONOHUE: Our car's just becoming more -- all the cars are becoming more and more efficient, if you will, and that's one of the comments this past Rolex 24 that Butch Leitzinger had, he was surprised that back when he was running with Dyson in the Rolex 24 and the Riley and Scott cars, they were in the 170 range and here we are three miles an hour under 200 miles an hour, with 200 less horsepower.

So the top speed differences are just enormous. And it's not really caught by the cameras, because where we see top speed in the tri-oval, the camera's down there kind of in turn 1 and watching us get on the brakes. So when I watch it on TV it doesn't look like it's 197 miles an hour. But that's kind of where all the cars are. They're anywhere from 195 to 197 top speed. And that again shows how tight the field is when you got that many cars with -- when you look at the packages and how differently set up they are and they all end up within the same three to four miles an hour top speed at the end of the straight.

Q: To add to that, Butch Leitzinger competed in 2004 and 2005 with Elliott Ford, Robinson, and Jimmie Johnson finishing second in the race in 2005 in a Crawford. So he's even got a feel for not only what the GTP cars did with Dyson and them, but he has a feel for how the DPs were when they were in their infancy. And now, of course, again in their later years. I thank you for that information, gentlemen.

J.J. O'MALLEY: Thank you very much, David and Hurley.

-source: grandam/nascar

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Jimmie Johnson