The NASCAR Winston Cup Teleconference featured Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet and Team Owner Richard Childress. Part 2 of 2: Richard Childress: On Robby Gordon's future with RCR "As far as I'm concerned, I'd...
The NASCAR Winston Cup Teleconference featured Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet and Team Owner Richard Childress.
Part 2 of 2: Richard Childress:
On Robby Gordon's future with RCR
"As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see Robby around for a long, long time. Right now, Robby Gordon is a lot better (driver) than the team and the cars we're giving him. We've got a great team, but we've just got to figure out what we've got to do to get these cars working. I'm very please with what he's done, I'm just not as happy with what we've been able to do with our cars. If we get him the right equipment, he'll be winning races."
Have you seen any signs of change or improvement for the second half of the season?
"We ran a brand new car Sunday (at MIS) that has a body style that really showed some good promise. We're going to have one for Robby to test at Indy. Jeff Green will have one to test at Indy. We're just starting to cut bodies off to try to do this other one if it works good for Indy. We're going to be testing there in a couple of weeks. Then we'll have a better direction. But we did see some positive things with that car and it's going back to the wind tunnel this week. That's what we've got to work on."
Is Kevin Harvick free to look for a new ride or do you want him back for next year and beyond?
"Kevin and I have talked and he's got another year on his contract. We're even talking about going further down the road with it. Right now, we want to get our cars back to running where they're supposed to be. It'll make the pressure a lot easier on everyone. When you're not competitive and you know you're supposed to be, little things just cause bigger problems. That's what we've got to work on right now. That's my number one goal is to get these cars back like they're supposed to be."
In comparing last season to this season, can you put your finger on why Kevin has gone from one end to the other?
"I think we just got off to a bad start. We were running second at Daytona and got turned around there. We've made some changes in our bodies and adding a third team probably hurt us a little bit. I could sit here and come up with a lot of reasons that we think it is. We've got some really good ideas and some great people trying to fix it. My interest is in getting all three teams back up front."
On his philosophy of team ownership and how it encourages the people that work for him
"It's just the people that surround RCR. We've got a lot of positive people. We've been behind before like this. You never give up. You find the reasons. You don't accept excuses for nothing. You can't fix and excuse. You can only fix it if you know what the reasons are. That's our philosophy."
Do you see something of Dale Earnhardt in Robby Gordon?
"Robby is an aggressive driver and a very intelligent driver. I think that could have been one of his problems - if he had any - in the past with people just not understanding. He really understands the racecar. He knows what he wants. We all believe in him because he shows us what he wants in the car and we do our best to give it to him. And yeah, he has a lot of traits of being a 'great', that's for sure."
If Kevin Harvick had an opportunity with another team, would you let him pursue it?
"Commitments, not only in contracts, but in life, are big. I'm a big believer in commitments. We've committed. We've got 11 or 12 sponsors in that racecar and it's just hard to up and walk from commitments."
What can you do to make the entire team better?
"Just getting back on track with our cars. We're all in one building now. We've got a lot of positive things going at RCR. It's a matter of testing, and testing at the tracks. The combination of crew chiefs and drivers and teams working together is really positive. Things I've seen in the last two weeks have really been positive. I'm excited about the second half of the year. I want to get some champagne sprayed on me."
On Jeff Gordon quietly moving up the points
"The whole season for everyone has been kind of strange. Look at some of the cars that ran good last Sunday and some of the ones that didn't run good on Sunday. It's been that kind of year for everyone. The No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) has been solid and a couple of the Roush cars. It's like whoever wants this championship, it's out there for them to take. This would be a great year if you have your act together running for a championship. Sterling Marlin and that team have done a great job. But then again, they hit those racetracks where they're totally off. It's been a strange season. We're not the only team scratching our heads and wondering why we're not winning."
Have the events of Sept. 11 affected your race team as far as security, travel, fan mail, etc?
"It doesn't matter if you're in racing or not, you've always got to be on your toes when it comes to security in this world today. But we're not doing a lot different than we ever have. You just take an extra look at a lot of things if it looks a little strange."
Gordon, Childress part I