DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Are you looking forward to coming back to Charlotte after last year's win? "Coming here back to Charlotte -- this is a cool race track. We do have pretty good ...
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Are you looking forward to coming back to Charlotte after last year's win? "Coming here back to Charlotte -- this is a cool race track. We do have pretty good memories here. Up to that point (last year's win), I hadn't had a whole of success here, so to be able to get out of here with that -- and hopefully we can come back here or maybe any other track and win one the old-fashioned way. That would be really nice."
Are you concerned that Jimmie Johnson's team will adapt to the spoiler quicker than others? "Yeah, those guys seem to adapt pretty well, but all the good teams -- Carl's (Edwards) team and everybody else, they're able to adapt as changes come. That's one thing that's a constant in our sport is something is always changing, whether it be a tire or a body configuration or a rule change or whatever. Those guys probably feel like they're on top of the world right anyway and I'm sure they got a lot of confidence, but I don't think there's any confidence lost on the other guys that have a lot of confidence in their teams. They may not say it outward, but I feel like this is a new opportunity to maybe gain some ground, where before some other teams had an advantage on you. Now, you got something that's completely new and it's kind of a clean sheet of paper for almost everybody. It's just going to see who can adapt the quickest, I guess. Although, they have been pretty good over the last couple years, however many years it has been. Too long. They adapt a lot quicker, it seems. Or they do a better job of it, either way. But, there are a lot of good teams out there and there are a lot of good cars out there, not just the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) right now I think."
Could you tell a big difference between the wing and the spoiler? "The only thing I could tell -- because I have a tendency, as you probably know, to overdrive everything I ever get in -- I noticed I didn't have to use as much brake as I normally did, so maybe there's a little more drag getting in the corner. It wasn't like you went out there and said, 'Man, this thing is completely different.' It wasn't like that. It wasn't a night and day deal."
How does your team feel relative to others in horsepower? "I think maybe there's been some comments -- I think Denny (Hamlin) wasn't happy with his package. Those are Toyota motors, but they're built by Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) as opposed to ours are built by Toyota Racing Development. They run pretty well. I don't have a problem with them. I think we're fine. I think we need to make our cars work better. Anybody will tell you, if you can make your car go through the corner really, really good, it looks really, really fast going down the straightaway. You have a lot of that, where a lot of guys will point their finger and like, 'Well that guy's blowing us away down the straightaway.' And I was like, 'Yeah, because he was in the gas a car length before I was.' You have to be able to weed that out. I think all the motors are making good horsepower. I think everybody's stuff is probably pretty close. I don't think it's a big difference."
Has your team figured out the engine issues from the last two races? "The first issue at Atlanta was a Michael Waltrip Racing issue, in house. It ended up having a component on our end that failed and the motor blew all the water out of it and I blew it up. They don't make a motor out there that I'm aware of that will run without any water in it, so that was our fault. Last week, we had a motor failure that was something terminal inside pretty bad. I'm not exactly sure what it was. When you're turning a motor 96 or 9700 (rpm), when things start to break, it's hard to pinpoint what broke first because the things just self-destruct when things start going bad. We have taken a hit the last couple of weeks and had a really, really good car last week. That's the worst part about that. If we can be consistent and do what we're needing to do, we'll get back to where need to be, hopefully in a relatively short amount of time. I certainly wish we weren't going to Martinsville this week, because I haven't been really good there. After that, I'm feeling pretty good about it."
How has this test been for your team? "The test is going well. This stuff is more or less a function of the resources and the people that we have. They have obviously prepared very well for it. There's no surprises, which is kind of what we're looking for. I look at things like this as a new challenge and a clean sheet of paper for everybody. No one really has any experience with this year and the quicker you adapt and learn to it, maybe you can get the jump on everyone."
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How has this test been for you and your team? "I think we're okay. We've been working on the Home Depot Toyota a lot and I feel like yesterday we probably came here kind of conservative not knowing what the spoiler was going to do, and it drives pretty good with them. I've never really got behind any one to see what they do in traffic, but I feel like we are okay. Just trying to get our car to turn and at least still come off the corner when it's turning and stuff. Trying to find some new things and trying to find something there."
Are you ready for this weekend's race in Martinsville? "Yeah, I'm ready. I like it. It wasn't long ago for me, but that's kind of where we started. It's good to go back there. I feel like last year the first race was typical for us at the beginning of the season. I used too much brake and blew the tires out. The second time we went there was better and we finished 13th or 14th -- and had a better car than that. If we can go back there and run like we need to -- the last few races we've been fast -- last week we blew a tire out and in Atlanta we got in a wreck. Just try to stay out of trouble and get back up in points were we belong."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How valuable is this test for everyone to catch up to Jimmie Johnson? "I think it's important for everyone, not just us. It's important for everyone because right now, it's a good time in the season to have this test because everyone has seen how strong the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) is. Us, along with everyone else, is seeing that what we had is not good enough, so we're throwing a lot of stuff at it, hoping to get that speed that he has."
Are you concerned that you didn't test the spoiler at a short track? "No, it should be relatively the same. Here, we're noticing it's a little bit tighter than what it is at the big race tracks, so I'm sure at Martinsville, when the speed is reduced, there will be no change at all that we'll notice."
-source: toyota motorsports