Daytona Preseason Thunder - Toyota teams morning notes 2008-01-08

Session 1, Day 2 AM JACQUES VILLENEUVE, No. 27 Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing How are things going so far at Daytona International Speedway, and has your experience at Talladega been helpful here? "So far, I'm enjoying it. There's more...

Session 1, Day 2 AM

JACQUES VILLENEUVE, No. 27 Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing

How are things going so far at Daytona International Speedway, and has your experience at Talladega been helpful here? "So far, I'm enjoying it. There's more driving here than there was in Talladega. You really have to get the setup right to get a good lap. Drafting is going to be interesting I think. I think racing at Talladega will be helpful. Slightly different, but it's going to be beneficial because they are the two most similar tracks. It will be beneficial mostly because the other guys know I can do it now, and they won't be worried with me in the middle of the pack."

Have you talked with other drivers since you've been here, and how is your relationship with your new crew chief? "Whenever you go testing, you get to the track early, leave late, go for food and go to sleep. When you come testing, there's no time to mingle or chat, so unfortunately, I haven't had much time to talk to some of the other guys. Me and Slugger (Labbe, crew chief), have been making progress throughout the two days, which means we're communicating properly – both with him and the guys on the team."

STEVE ADDINGTON, Crew Chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How important is it for you to build a good relationship with Kyle Busch at this test heading into the season? "I think the biggest thing right now is everybody working together. Since we are only doing qualifying runs, it is what it is. You make your changes and see where you're at. We've done a couple of tests now together, and everything went good. We work well together. All of these guys on the team are pumped up having Kyle in the car. It makes life a lot easier when everyone is getting along and working together. Our saying right now is, '100 percent, 100 percent of the time.' That's what everybody is giving, and I'm really happy with that right now."

Do you change your demeanor when you start working with a new driver to adapt to his style? "I think the key is to find a good balance. The communication will take a while to work through, understanding what he's feeling and him understanding what I'm trying to do. There's just little things about each driver's personality that you have to pay attention to and deal with it the way you have to deal with it."

What types of things can you work on at this test to get the car handling right for the Daytona 500? "We've been working on two lap runs since we've been here, but we're going to switch one car over to a draft setup this afternoon, and we'll find out. We just need to find out what he likes, and how we can get the car going through the corners good for him. That's what we've always concentrated on here. I think we'll get it. We might not get it the first time, but we'll keep working on it. I've seen him in the draft, and I know he's always up front. I'm looking forward to it."

RYAN PEMBERTON, Crew Chief, No. 00 Aaron's Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How are things going so far with David Reutimann and the Michael Waltrip Racing team? "Things are really good. It's a different animal here at Daytona because it's all about the aero and the motor. We're going to have a lot more fun when we get to Las Vegas and California when we can do more conventional work on the car and get that relationship going. We're just making David get in one car and then the other, back and forth. He just goes out there, holds it to the floor, runs two laps, comes back in and gets in the other car. We're going to put a race package in one of the two cars this afternoon and let him get him some race practice in the draft."

Do you change your style with a new driver, or do you try to be the same? "You always have to adapt to what the situation might need. I prefer to be on the calm side. If we need to address things differently, we will. So far, it's been great. David's been awesome to work with."

What do you think the future holds for Michael Waltrip Racing as an organization? "I think the team definitely has the idea in place. That's why I'm here. They have things lined up and that's what I like to see. In a year's time, or two years' time, you'll see a big difference in Michael Waltrip Racing. They have great vision and some nice goals to shoot for. I think we're all happy about that."

-credit: toyota motorwsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR SPRINT CUP
Drivers Michael Waltrip , David Reutimann , Kyle Busch
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Bill Davis Racing