Pruett, McMurray - NASCAR teleconference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Phoenix has announced that they're going to extend the race this spring by 63 laps, and California's going to cut back from 500 to on 400 in October. Wanted to get your reaction on one track increasing their laps, and...

Continued from part 1

Q: Phoenix has announced that they're going to extend the race this spring by 63 laps, and California's going to cut back from 500 to on 400 in October. Wanted to get your reaction on one track increasing their laps, and California decreasing theirs?

JAMIE McMURRAY: Well, I haven't heard that yet. And the Phoenix race, though it's a pretty short race, it seemed in the car that it took a while to run. I don't know that it did TV time. But it seemed like you were in the car there. For Fontana, I'd be for the shorter race there. It seems like that race takes forever to run.

Yeah, I think it is what it is. It's the same for everybody. So I don't really have an continue on either one of those. It's the same for everybody.

Q: Apparently Phoenix will start in the day and end at night

JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, I don't really like doing that.

Q: Would that be cool?

JAMIE McMURRAY: Well, it's hard to start in the day and go into night. The vision is what you struggle with there, because typically the sun is setting. And Phoenix has built like a barrier or stands to try to shield that getting into turn one. But you can't see anything there for 30 minutes when you start in the day and run into the night.

So not a big fan of that. But the length of the race is kind of irrelevant.

Q: Is California shortening to 400 is extremely welcome?

JAMIE McMURRAY: I tell you what, that seems like a long race. You run that, and it's 250 laps we had been running there, and it seems like it takes forever. And you can see the scoring pylon every time you go by, so you know how many laps are left every time you go by.

Some of those races you don't have that, so you kind of lose track of how much time you have left. But at Fontana you can always seeing the scoring pylon so you know how much time there is left.

Q: On the Grand Am front, would you like to run more of these races? How fun of a series is this to take part in?

JAMIE McMURRAY: The Grand Am is a great series. The cars are a lot of fun to drive. They have great braking, and the high speed handling is awesome. I mean, I would really like to run the Watkins Glen race that they have every year in conjunction with the NASCAR weekend.

So, yeah, I would definitely run more of these. It's a fun car to drive. I heard Scott say something earlier about having more than just one driver, I kind of like that. It's something I wouldn't want to do every single week, but I think that's fun when you have more than one driver and you're kind of sharing that role.

Q: Rolex Grand Am changed the point structure to kind of give a limit of how many points you lose if something happens early and you get far behind. Is that going to change anything either on how you attack the race or how your crew prepares for the race at all?

SCOTT PRUETT: Not really. Now we're always focused on the season without a doubt. And if you lose or have a problem, and we have. Back in '04-05, our first year, there was an incredible amount of rain. Some pretty horrible set of circumstances, and it was a pretty tough race. But with the points the way they are, it's difficult to catch up. You've got to have just a flawless year.

It kind of emulates what NASCAR does as well to kind of keep the points so it really rewards those guys that are finishing consistently, you know, top three, top four. That's the way we focus it.

So with the 01 car different from the 02 car, not only do we absolutely want to win the 24 Hour, the Rolex is the biggest race for us. We start out with that race and just having that crown jewel is huge for the whole season.

It's like IndyCars. You want to win the championship or you want to win Indy 500. With NASCAR you want to win Daytona 500 or the championship as well. That's the way it is with us.

With that being said, we also are focused, you know, on the championship. And typically what happens is in that race uh-huh your group of guys and your group of drivers and the crew. Hopefully you'll be limited to just a few minor small problems throughout the race.

Or in our case we haven't had any problem whatsoever the last two years, and you're going to finish up at the front. That is one thing we see with Ganassi and their preparation and the cars and so on.

The only thing new for us this year will be the BMW power plant. But we've seen real good consistency in our testing and with the results they've achieved over the last three to four years in the Grand Am Series as well.

So we're cautiously optimistic, but ultimately with the 01 car, we're going for another championship as well.

Q: With the switch to the BMW engine, I know you only had one chance this weekend and the conditions weren't perfect. But could you compare that to the -- I know you had to switch over, but what is your initial impression?

SCOTT PRUETT: The drivability is incredible. From the time you put your foot on the throttle, even if you're in pit lane and drive off, you almost don't have to give it any throttle to get it up and going. Where conversely with the Lexus engine, at the other end of the spectrum, where you had to give it a lot of gas, it wanted to die, didn't want to get going. That was the same thing on the racetrack.

We really had to keep it up on the pipe. If you got it out of the working range, it was incredibly difficult to drive. So we had to adapt our driving style. We had to adapt a set-up.

What we're seeing for top, top speed, we're running the same gear and same down force drag numbers. If anything we might be a little bit less on top, maybe a mile, mile an hour slower. But with the drive ability and the grunt up off the turn, it's going to be an upgrade for us.

Q: Juan Pablo and Scott Dixon are two of your team's, you know, social media gurus there on Twitter. Are we going to see Twitter updates from either you, Scott or maybe you, Jamie? I'd like both of you to answer that question

SCOTT PRUETT: Go ahead, Jamie.

JAMIE McMURRAY: Well, I only heard the second half of the question.

Q: Juan Pablo and Scott Dixon have some pretty active Twitter accounts. Will we see Twitters from you guys?

JAMIE McMURRAY: Yeah, actually I just started my Twitter account about three days ago. And you know, it's weird. It amazes me the people that will try to be perceived as you but, yeah, I started doing that yesterday, so you'll see updates for me.

Q: Okay, what about you, Scott?

SCOTT PRUETT: I'm still a little old school. So I'm sure I'll get up to speed here, but I'll have to have my oldest daughter help me with my Twitter account, because I know they're very active on that.

Yeah, I think we're going to -- with a bit of luck, you know, potentially we could be doing the same thing.

Q: Of course the social medium, that was a great thing when Scott did that during the IndyCar Series, and it gives kind of an insight into what Juan Pablo thinks of the Sprint Cup and things like that. So just wanted to get that for the listeners, because we have a Twitter contest going on.

Q: Just finished the holidays with various successes and failures. How did your fitness survive the holidays?

SCOTT PRUETT: Great. I typically take about a month off at the end of the season. And I didn't this year. I just kept at it. I've just -- I don't know. I mean, I guess the reality is, you know, as I've gotten adding on some of the years, you know, I just don't want anything to slip through the cracks.

I don't want to have any part of me looking back and saying I should have been doing this or should have been doing that. So with that, I maintain my intensity for weight and cardio and all the other stuff that I do to stay in shape. So I've been very fortunate to have been healthy. No setbacks. And just hard at it.

There always seems to be this new intensity, especially as you lead up to the Rolex 24. Before you go to the test, probably between Christmas and New Year's, and then after the test, you know, for a lot of the guys they've gone there and gone Oh, my gosh. I've got to get up to speed, because that is a long race.

Q: There was a time when SCOTT PRUETT was the young gun, and shall we say now he's not. Do you feel any pressure from some of the young guys that are coming on board now? So much younger. To maybe take a little more time in the gym to increase your stamina?

SCOTT PRUETT: No, I don't. You really have a good gauge by the time you spend in the car. One of our most difficult races last year was our last race where he we had record temperatures in Miami. Our cars typically are incredibly hot to drive. I was in there almost, gosh, a little over two hours, two hours and 15 minutes. You know, the car temp was 120, 118, 120 or just a little over.

Had a great race there. Had a great season all last year. Felt like we were in a position where at least we had the car that could go out and run up in the front and win. So prosecute just self-examination side of it, I'm just going top keep doing what I'm doing and keep that intensity.

You know, there are a lot of young kids out there or younger drivers. They're all working hard, we're all working hard. You know, it's a testament to say look at what Mark Martin's done last year, and what I can continue to try to do.

You know, just more than anything else, I absolutely love it. I still absolutely, you know love going to the racetrack and part of that is you can run up at the front.

Q: How do you put that enthusiasm into the kids books that you write with your wife, I believe?

SCOTT PRUETT: That anything's possible. I think that's the biggest thing that I have learned. You know, starting at 8 years old, racing go-karts and just from a regular old middle class family, struggling to make ends meet every month. Now I've been very fortunate to compete in NASCAR and IndyCar and Grand Am. Won a lot of championships and a lot of races.

If you would have looked back, you would say there is no way that kid could have done that. So we try to put forth that you've got to believe in your dreams and go after them.

Q: Who have you got in the NFL Playoffs?

SCOTT PRUETT: I like the Colts. I always have liked the Colts. I think a piece of that comes with Indianapolis. I want to see those guys go all the way.

Q: What's it like driving in the same car as Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, and Dario Franchitti?

JAMIE McMURRAY: I'm just super excited about getting to be teamed up with those guys. Chip, you know, his team has done so well in the Grand Am Series over the last few years. You know, to get to be with the driver lineup that they've put me with, I'm just very honored, and I want to make sure that I am not the guy that messes it up. So I'm excited about it.

Q: Hurley Haywood's the all time winner the Rolex 24 with five. You've got three now. What are your thoughts on catching Hurley?

SCOTT PRUETT: Well, overall, yeah. I mean, I've won more races than he has in class. I'll keep doing it. What is this? His last race? And he's got me by a good, I think 12 years, I think. So I've got a few more years to catch up to him.

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya