Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Tuesday, June 25,2007 SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger) TELL US WHAT YOU HAVE GOING ON THIS WEEKEND? "This is going to be cool. It's for the Children's Miracle Network. They always...
Dodge Motorsports Teleconference
Tuesday, June 25,2007
SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger)
TELL US WHAT YOU HAVE GOING ON THIS WEEKEND? "This is going to be cool. It's for the Children's Miracle Network. They always have a lot of special events. This is one that is close to my heart because it's the Children's Miracle Network. It's pretty cool. We had a contest with all the kids. They came up with different helmet designs and we narrowed it down to twelve and we sat there and looked at all of them. We picked out one that we thought was really cool and one that took a lot of effort to design. A 13 year-old girl named Katie, who is going to be at the race track this weekend, won the contest. We actually built two helmets. One we'll use for the race and later in the year we'll auction it off at an Ace Hardware Event. The other helmet we have we're going to give to Katie for designing it. I got a chance to talk to her on the phone. I didn't get a chance to talk much because she was so ecstatic about it. She was screaming and yelling and happy that she had won the event with her drawing but also that she was going to be able to go to the Indy race."
WHAT HAS YOUR TEAM BEEN DOING TO PREPARE FOR INDY? "A lot of things. We've started back at square one. We went and took the car that we tried to run at Chicago and took it back and cut the entire body off it and went back to the '06 design that we felt was very strong last year for us. We're going back to Indy with everything exactly the same way that we had last year. After a lot of trial and error this year, we're finally going all the way back to the baseline that we had last year to see if we can find some magic. "
WHAT'S THE NEW TRACK SURFACE LIKE AT BRISTOL? "The track surface is nice, it's just been a very wet the last couple of days. We had a chance to practice the Busch car yesterday in between spurts of rain. The track is entirely different. All the different holes and humps and the things that made Bristol so difficult to get around and also made it so hard to get around side-by-side they took all those things away. They've really extended the banking in the corners further down the straight away both directions. So the transition down the straight away into the corner is a lot smoother. Plus they gave us about three more feet of race track. So the track is about three feet wider. Three feet and Bristol is like 10 feet somewhere else. It's really smooth and really gentle as far as getting into and off the corner. It also has a lot of grip and the tires are a little harder because they were trying to anticipate what kind of grip the track was going to have and they wanted to make sure they had something pretty conservative. We ran almost the same times that we ran here last year and also here in the spring. I'm here today for the Goodyear tire test with the Cup cars to try and figure out exactly what the track is going to be like with the COT car. We have the Valvoline car here trying to get some laps underway but unfortunately we can't with all the rain. We almost got the track dry about 30 minutes ago and then it started raining again. So we're just trying to wait it out and get some laps down."
WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS WILL MEAN FOR RACING HERE IN THE FALL "I think it's going to be better. We have this progressive banking at the top and the way the track is wider it's a better transition in and off the corners and I think it's going to make side-by-side racing easier. As a typical new track surface you always want to be on the bottom because it has so much grip. But I think the tire that Goodyear is bringing back here is even harder than what we ran on the Busch car yesterday. Maybe not by the truck race or the Busch race but by the time the Cup cars get on the track I think you'll see guys start to move up the race track. You'll probably see a lot different lines on the track and running side-by-side a lot more than we've had in the past. I think it'll be good for the fans."
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE FUNDRAISING EFFORTS OF STANLEY THIS YEAR "So far Stanley Tools has been able to raise over $100,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through different icon sales and Ace Hardware stores across the country. It's definitely a program that seems to be taking off and it's for good cause and reason. I have a chance to go to Riley Children's Hospital tomorrow in Indianapolis and visit a lot of the kids and patients that are there. So that's going to be really cool to get to talk to the kids and be one-on-one with them at the hospital. It's very exciting to me."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON GINN/DEI MERGER THAT WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY? "I know the team was sort of going through some ups and downs. It seems like that when they transformed over to Ginn Racing and Bobby Ginn came into the picture they really put a lot of resources and funds behind that team. Bought a lot of equipment and added a lot of people and were on a huge upswing in the beginning of the season and then to be halfway through the season and all-of-a-sudden to be sold to DEI. I don't know what kind of plans Bobby Ginn had for that team, it seemed like he came in and maybe bit off more than he could chew or if he came in and decided that this wasn't the place for him or if he just wanted to make a quick dollar. It definitely says a lot for DEI to go from a three car operation to a four car operation especially after the fact that Jr. announced he was going over to Hendrick. It says a lot for how much focus and determination they have to continue to grow their team even though Dale Jr. is leaving."
WITH ALL DRIVER CHANGES OVER THERE WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FORMER TEAMMATES? "I know that Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin were released last week before all this happened. I'm sure this was a drawn out elaborate plan over the last month or so. I hate it for those guys, especially Sterling. I think the world of him. I think it's a raw deal for him no matter what the contract says whether he's getting paid or not. Being away from the race track, take it from me, on race day is a hard thing to deal and coupe with. With as strong a driver as Sterling Marline is and the kind of history he has I'm sure it will be easy for him to bounce back and get another opportunity in another car as soon as everything is worked out in his contract. I wish him the best."
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CHARITABLE EFFORTS OF NASCAR TEAMS AND DRIVERS AND WHAT THAT MEANS TO THE SPORT? "Most of us drivers are generally humble people. We know there are a lot of other great racecar drivers across the country that will never get the opportunity to live the dream of driving in Nextel Cup. We feel very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to share our good fortune through charitable causes, especially when it comes to the children's charities like the Children's Miracle Network that my sponsor Stanley Tools has helped me to get involved with at Indy. As a father of two, I feel a compassion for sick children especially because they have not had the opportunity to live a full life yet. The entire NASCAR community rallies around these children's charities and makes an effort to do something positive with our good fortune and blessings. I don't think there is any other sport that reaches out and gives back in as many ways or as well as the NASCAR community does."
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY WITH A MULTICAR TEAM THAT IS NOT MEETING EXPECTATIONS? HOW DO THEY APPROACH A RACE WEEKEND TRYING TO SHAR INFORMATION AND IMPROVE? "That's a very good question. We had such a strong program last year. This year we went to a new Dodge Charger nose, but felt great about what we had learned and done to our cars. When the season started we wanted to just turn our focus to the COT cars. There have been times this year when we have all gone to the racetrack with the same cars from the bodies to the front end geometries, everything. We would all work on the same package but couldn't find the speed we needed. Then we have gone the opposite direction and showed up at the racetrack with three completely different cars, from geometry differences to aero differences. But all three teams still complained about the same problem. So I don't think its one thing that has been our problem. I would say it is a bunch of small things that we have either overlooked or assumed were the same as last year. That's what's come back to bite us. One weekend we might be off on our tire data or our aero, it's not just on thing it's a combination. That's why we are going back to our 2006 baseline and basically starting over again. It's hard when we struggle like this. It's definitely not a lack of effort on anyone part. Finally I think we are finding some answers and I hope for the second half of the season to be a turn around."
-credit: dodge motorsports