Balwin, crew chief: What does the new rule change do to the CAT team heading into the Brickyard 400? "I believe it is definitely going to help our aerodynamic problem that we've been having all year long. We've been okay while the car (grill)...
Balwin, crew chief:
What does the new rule change do to the CAT team heading into the Brickyard 400?
"I believe it is definitely going to help our aerodynamic problem that we've been having all year long. We've been okay while the car (grill) has been taped up, but as soon as we take any tape off then it shifts the balance of the car to the rear and causes the car to push too much. It should now put the nose of the car back in the race track a lot better and help the car turn better." Does the change affect what you have already tested while at Indy a couple of weeks ago? "I don't think so. We're going to take the 22 and 93 primary (what they plan to run at the Brickyard 400) cars to the wind tunnel on our way to Indy. We're going to do a couple of runs with them and see where were at, but I think we'll be okay."
Have you already tried the rules change, even before NASCAR approved it?
We've tried the change to the valance at the wind tunnel and we think we have a pretty good idea of how it's going to affect the car."
Is this the change what the Dodge's were looking for? Is it enough or do you still think you need more?
"I think it is exactly what we needed for the front. I'm not sure if it is going to take too much off the rear of the car. When we first went after the rule change, we asked for a little more rear spoiler to compensate for the loss of the rear downforce that we gain in the front downforce with this change."
Will this change do for the Dodge what it did for the Chevrolet's last year?
"I think it will put the group of Dodge's up a level into the mix of running for the win instead of running for fourth to 10th. That's where we've been running when we've been running good. We haven't had a car capable of winning, a couple of times we did this year, but nothing like we did in the past."
Can these changes put the No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge in contention to win the Brickyard 400?
"I think we can. We've been going through a lot of unknowns every week with this racecar. We're taking a car back that we didn't test a couple of weeks ago because we took the cars that we tested to the wind tunnel after the test and found that they weren't very good race cars. We've been trying to build a lot of race cars to try to make cars better and we haven't been able to duplicate cars, so we're going to take a car that we know is good in the wind tunnel and with this change it should make it even better. We're taking the car that we ran at Rockingham, but we rebuilt it after Rockingham and it blew pretty good in the tunnel so we're going to see how it does at Indy."
How does your performance from Pocono last week affect your chances for this weekend?
"We didn't change one spring all weekend. We feel like we had a motor problem during qualifying that put us back to a 34th-place starting spot. Once we put our race set-up in, we felt like we were pretty good. We had our practice motor in for "Happy Hour," so we weren't blistering fast on the practice sheets, but once we had our race motor things fell right into place. We didn't get passed on the track all day. We took some information we learned from our test at Indy and applied it to our set-ups at Pocono and we also took some things that we learned at New Hampshire because of the Indy test and applied to Pocono. So, I think we learned an awful lot the past couple off weeks to make our team better for the rest of the year."