Robert Yates, car owner of the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, held a Q&A session prior to Friday morning's NASCAR Winston Cup practice to discuss the departure of crew chief Michael McSwain and how he plans on proceeding to find a replacement.Â Raymond...
Robert Yates, car owner of the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, held a Q&A session prior to Friday morning's NASCAR Winston Cup practice to discuss the departure of crew chief Michael McSwain and how he plans on proceeding to find a replacement. Raymond Fox, who will handle the crew chief duties this weekend, along with Elliott Sadler gave their reactions as well to McSwain's decision.
ELLIOTT SADLER --21-- Motorcraft Taurus
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT MICHAEL LEAVING? "I don't know. I was pretty much caught by surprise when it did happen, but I'm not gonna get mad for a guy that thinks he's bettering himself or bettering his situation. We're still friends. If his heart was not in it at Robert Yates Racing and if he didn't want to be part of the core group with Robert and Doug and Todd and DJ and all of the guys that have their heart into it at the 28 shop, then he needs to move on somewhere. That's a strong organization and Robert Yates is a great man and a great employer and I think they'll find the right guy to come in and fit right in. They've got a great core group over there and I think they can find somebody to come in and steer the ship in the right direction and we'll be fine."
DO YOU KNOW WHY HE DECIDED TO LEAVE? "I think a bunch of idiots came up with some of the rumors I heard as to why he was leaving. We hadn't heard anything about that and we kind of laugh about that every time we see each other because we don't really know where that came from. I think he knows why he decided to take another job, but I don't think it had anything to do with any kind of test or anything like that. We just kind of laugh about stuff like that."
NOTE: Sadler was scheduled to be paired with McSwain next year in the No. 38 M&M's Taurus for car owner Robert Yates.
RAYMOND FOX, Crew Chief --28-- Havoline Taurus
WHAT WILL YOUR PHILOSOPHY BE THESE LAST THREE RACES? "I did this for the last four races with Kenny (Irwin) when he was here with us and I had a lot of fun. This is just to the next level with Ricky. I hope it's gonna be fun and I hope we run good here at Rockingham. The good thing is I've got a lot of support and a lot of people that are gonna help me. If it goes smooth, then we've all done our jobs. If it doesn't, then we've got to work harder. I've got butterflies in my stomach, but I think that will all go away once we start practicing. Hopefully, we'll be good right out of the box."
DO YOU FEEL THIS IS A TRYOUT FOR YOU AS FAR AS GETTING THE CREW CHIEF JOB FULL-TIME? "I sort of hope so. I hope it works out that way. If it doesn't, then I'll just go back to work and try again some other day. I hope it works out that way and if it doesn't, that means I've got to work harder."
BUT YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO BE A CREW CHIEF? "Yeah. I don't think anybody is here just to stay where they're at. I think everybody is here to improve themselves and move up. I think everybody who has a job sort of looks at it that way and that's what I'm hoping."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THOSE FOUR RACES WITH KENNY THAT WILL HELP THIS TIME? "I've just learned a lot more. We ran good. We had a few pit roads incidents, but we ran good here at Rockingham. We went from 19th to first at one point, but then we blew a left front and had to play catch-up all day. We ran good at Homestead, but had a pit road accident and at Atlanta I don't think we ever had a chance to show what we had because we got caught in another pit road accident. But we ran good and we worked good together."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH MAKING DECISIONS ON PIT ROAD AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT GO INTO THIS JOB? "Yeah, it's not like it's gonna be anything new, it's just gonna be different. I look at a race as though you run it, see what happens, and then try to make your best judgement of what to do."
YOU'VE BEEN ON THIS TEAM FOR A LONG TIME. DOES THAT MAKE THIS TRANSITION EASIER? "Yeah, and I'm really pleased with how they're treating me as far as backing me. I just hope I can do a good job for them."