Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Tuesday, May 11,2004 DONNIE WINGO (Crew chief No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) OUTLOOK FOR RICHMOND "We had a so-so test. I think the track is going to be a lot different. It's going to be a lot faster, and...
Dodge Motorsports Teleconference
Tuesday, May 11,2004
DONNIE WINGO (Crew chief No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
OUTLOOK FOR RICHMOND
"We had a so-so test. I think the track is going to be a lot different. It's going to be a lot faster, and I also heard, I'm not for sure, that they sealed it after we left. It looks like right now it's just one groove, so after the Busch race maybe it'll widen out a little bit."
WHAT DOES THE TEAM NEED TO WORK ON?
"We struggled on the mile and a half tracks. We struggled a little bit at Texas and for some reason this year we struggled a little bit at Fontana. I don't know if it was the tire or what's throwing us a curve. We're going to try to get some tests in at Kentucky and maybe Nashville and try to improve in those areas. Some of the other tracks like Rockingham and Darlington where it's real slick we seem to have a good handle at those places, but we seem to struggle a little bit at the mile and a half tracks. We ran good at Charlotte the second race and last year toward the end of the year some of the mile and a half tracks were better. We really weren't worried about it. We had a good car at Atlanta this year and had an engine failure. We ended up with a decent finish at Texas, but Fontana kind of surprised us so we're going to have to sit down and work hard."
DO THE THREE GANASSI DODGE TEAMS WORK WELL TOGETHER?
"That's the one thing good about it. If one team is struggling we rely on one another to get answers. We work close together. We all get along good and the drivers get along good. I think that's a big plus on our side."
DISCUSS CHALLENGES OF RUNNING 600 MILES AT CHARLOTTE
"It's pretty tough. You have to put a lot of adjustability in the car. Charlotte is heat sensitive, so when the sun's out to start the race the car has to be free to start with to be good at night and the end of the day. You really have to have a lot of adjustability in the car when the race starts to be good at the end of the race. I don't think it's that big of a deal for those guys (pit crew). You wouldn't make any more stops there than you would at Rockingham or Darlington, so the one thing that helps out is that it's at night and it's a little bit cooler. As far as making pit stops and staying focused I don't think that's a big issue. You have to do that at some of these tracks when they're only 400 or 500 miles."
DOES THE TV PACKAGE CHANGE THE CAR'S SETUP?
"The new camera pods changes the aerodynamics some, but it's the same for all cars. Going in each week you know what you've got with that on there. Everybody has to run it. I think it's fair for all teams."
DO YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MAINTAIN TEAM MORALE?
"We don't do anything special. We try to have a meeting with all the guys. When you stay together like we do for so many days a year everybody gets their little quirks. You have to get together and let everybody vent and get their frustrations out. Then everybody knows that they've got to do and they can go buckle down and do their job. We've got have that meeting once a month at least. You can kinda tell when the guys are getting frustrated. You can sit down and talk and let everybody get it out and then everything goes forward."
COMMENT ON PERFORMANCE OF THE No. 42 DODGE IN FIRST 10 RACES
"We've had a chance to win a couple of races, and I feel like we should have already won a couple. We've been in position to do it. We had a few problems at Darlington leaving a wheel loose and a few bad pit stops and that really hurt us. I thought we'd be a little bit better. Fontana threw us a little bit of a curve. We thought we'd really be good there and we just couldn't get a handle on it. We've been that way a couple of times this year. We've had a top-five car just about every race except two. Where we're at with some of the problems we've had, I think we've done OK, but I think we could have been a lot better than where we are."