Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports, has had four races to assess his three-car operation, featuring Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland and Kevin Conway. Jenkins spoke about the season to date and the commitment he's made to NASCAR. WHAT'S...
Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports, has had four races to assess his three-car operation, featuring Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland and Kevin Conway. Jenkins spoke about the season to date and the commitment he's made to NASCAR.
WHAT'S YOUR IMPRESSION OF HOW THINGS HAVE GONE SO FAR? "I'll get the negative out of the way first, but it's tough getting everybody on the same page. Sometimes we still tend to fall into operating as three separate teams and we're now just really starting to learn how to pull together and learn from each other. Five races into it, we're starting to figure out that maybe there are some synergies that we haven't tapped into, and for a team the size of ours, it's critical that we do it. But we're learning how to do that. For example, one day this week we had a car at Talladega testing, we had another one on the seven-post, and another one headed to the wind tunnel. At the end of the day, hopefully, all three of those crew chiefs get together and debrief and talk about what they learned and how it can be transferred to the other cars. That's been the biggest challenge.
"The pleasant part of it is that the two veteran drivers on our team have done well. We've had some mechanical issues, but on any given week they've done what we thought they would do. Kevin, as a rookie, has really exceeded my expectations because, for the most part, he's driven smart and he's stayed out of people's way. He's learning and as I watch him each race, as the race progresses his lap times become more and more consistent and typically by the end he's been able to run with a pack of cars. That's our goal for him is just to learn, so when we go back the second time around, he can be more confident and other drivers will have more confidence in him so he can be a little racier then."
DO YOU FEEL YOUR PROGRESS WILL BE BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS OR SMALL STEPS? "I still think it's small steps. On any given day, I think the 38 can have a good run. They're great guys and they've got a bunch of talent. The 34 team has been together longer and I think over time we're gonna see more consistent performance out of them. We've had some decent runs with the 38, but we've also had some opportunities to improve. My goal is for both of those teams to race up there in the top 25. There was a time last year when we were caught up in the drama of trying to stay a top 35 team, but that's last year. This year, our focus is to really move beyond that and compete against some guys more in the middle of the pack and not so much concern ourselves with how we hang on to a top 35 spot."
IT'S ONLY BEEN FOUR RACES, BUT ARE YOU HAVING ANY SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS THREE-TEAM OPERATION OR ARE YOU ALL IN AT THIS POINT? "I'm all in. I really never have looked back. I was telling my guys last night that I couldn't be happier with the driver lineup we have. As I saw other drivers get signed or do something else last year, I was so thankful that the two guys I really wanted to drive for me were still available. I know that sounds a little trite, but it's just the truth. As I've done this over the last six years, I've watched guys and I've watched their attitudes; I've watched the way they drive; and I've watched their consistency, and I think Doug Yates had it right when he had Travis and David in his cars. To be able to reunite them and get them together on our team has been big for us."
-source: ford racing