Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript September 1, 2009 Pat Tryson, Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Q: Two races left to the Chase, you're 192 points ahead of 13th position, what is the mindset heading to Atlanta? A: We're going to...
Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript
September 1, 2009
Pat Tryson, Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
Q: Two races left to the Chase, you're 192 points ahead of 13th position, what is the mindset heading to Atlanta?
A: We're going to go there and try and win the race and clinch our spot in the Chase so that we don't have anything to worry about in Richmond; so that we can try and go up there (Richmond) and get some bonus points there too.
Q: Do you anticipate the racing being at night for the first time at Atlanta making that much of a difference in the race?
A: I don't think that it will be that different from the spring just because the temperature is hot now. When it cools off, it will be like it was in the spring. So, hopefully, it plays in our favor and hopefully the Miller Lite Dodge will be back in victory lane.
Q: Quite a turnaround from the '08 season. How gratifying is it for you to see the success of the No. 2 team?
A: It's been pretty gratifying. A lot of hard work went in from everybody at Penske Racing. Everybody on the No. 2 car has worked hard. The real hard work is just about to get started and hopefully we'll get a reward for it in the end.
Q: Can you point to somebody on the No. 2 team that people might not know that stands out who has put forth an effort in getting your team in the Chase standings all year long?
A: I think probably the biggest one for me is Jeffery Thousand, the car chief for me this year. He eases my mind on a lot of things and (there's) a lot of things that I don't have to worry about because he's so experienced. Him coming onboard this year has been a plus for us and has made a big difference.
Q: Can you talk about what some of his traits and specialties are?
A: He's the guy who takes care of the car while we're making decisions and gets all the changes done. He's one of the few guys in the garage that if you see him and he's not next to the car, it's a rarity. He's always over by the car and it's his baby all weekend and he doesn't get far from it.
Q: Can you talk about night racing at Atlanta? What benefits will those have that were at the AMS tire test?
A: I think that the night race is going to be a lot similar to the spring race just because the temperatures will drop down and be similar. It will start off a lot slicker from baking in the sun. As far as the guys that did the tire test, there were only about four or five cars down there. Kyle's (Busch) teammate was one of the teams that did test...Denny Hamlin's car. I'm sure Kyle got the information for it. Tony Stewart was there...Jamie McMurray. I think all the major teams had somebody there and I think it will be a great race. Racing under the lights is always fun. It should be a great race for us.
Q: So you think that if you didn't tire test you don't have a bigger challenge?
A: I think that there's always some challenge to not actually doing it (tire test) yourself. I think that most of the major teams had somebody there. The Gibbs' car was there. Tony Stewart and the Roush car were there; most of the major players were there.
Q: Are all the teams pretty much doing the same things in preparing this COT for races?
A: I think there are still a lot of different things going on. I know when we look around and look at cars; we see different stuff going on. NASCAR let us run rear bars this year and there were a lot of different things going on with those. So I think there are still a lot of different things going on in terms of geometry and mechanical stuff. There's just not enough room to work on the bodies and that's been the biggest change for us...just not having that room.
Q: With all the stuff that the teams are trying to do to make this car run better, is it just as much the driver trying to figure out what makes the car better?
A: Yeah. I think the drivers are playing an important role. You have to try and get it to handle the best you can for what they want. I don't think anybody is 100 percent happy with one of these (cars), but I think it's a tribute to those guys who are in the top 12 that they've done a good job and make their driver happy most weeks.
Q: Are you seeing more information come from the 77 team that helps the 2 car?
A: I think both the 12 and the 77 have gotten better. Obviously, Sam has come a long way from where he was last year. I think they're getting better and better. The information coming our way is still kind of limited. I think it's still us helping them more than them helping us. But hopefully that will get better as we go along. Maybe if we make the Chase, they'll try some different things and end up helping us win the (NASCAR) championship.
Q: Is there an advantage to you knowing that you guys are essentially locked into the Chase?
A: I think the biggest advantage right now would be not so much focusing on the Chase tracks, but focusing in on trying to get yourself bonus points to get further up in the standings. I think that everybody, even the marginal guy, has already put some effort into focusing in on the Chase tracks. Unfortunately, they won't allow us to go test on those places. You have a little bit of an advantage, but we're not 100 percent comfortable yet. Just like at Michigan, we lost 120 points to 13th. Otherwise, we'd probably almost be locked in (the Chase). Anything can happen. We're fairly comfortable with our position, but hopefully this weekend we'll take care of business, get some bonus points and lock ourselves in.
Q: How will that affect the way that you call the race? Will you take more chances at Richmond?
A: For sure at Richmond you'll take more chances if you're locked in; you can just go after the bonus points at that point. This weekend at Atlanta, there's really not a lot of risks that you can take. You pretty much have to put four tires on and if you don't, you're in big trouble. I think Atlanta is a little bit more conservative the way you race, but definitely some gambling going on in Richmond.
-credit: dodge motorsports