Toyota Motorsports Friday morning testing quotes

Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot/Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What did you learn in this morning’s test session? “We’ve made single-car runs all morning, so I don’t have anything exciting to tell you. Just making changes and go out there and try it again."

What are you anticipating testing in a pack this afternoon? “We’ll see. I think with the new valve there and the little, smaller opening, it’s going to make it quite a bit harder, I think. We will see. It seemed like we started to figure it out by the end of the day what we needed to do for when we get in the pack. Now, it’s kind of an unknown right now. It’s going to be tough, I think. I don’t think it gives you a whole bunch of pushing. You’ll see a lot of people trying to do some and trying to race people while pushing and see what happens and breaking people up and stuff like that. I think it’s going to be a little chaotic out there actually, so we’ll see what happens."

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JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 20 Home Depot/Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How did the car perform this morning with the new restrictor plate? “It’s picked up on average about seven-tenths, which is usually what we calculate for that plate change. I think we had a little better day again at our qualifying single car runs. The wind -- there was none this morning so it was perfect conditions for trying things like that. If we made six runs, I feel like we made gains on four of them. It was a good morning for us. Other than that, we’re going to get geared up now. NASCAR has requested or asked to see if we can get 10-plus cars out there with this package and really get a good feel. Yesterday there was a lot of tandem cars. We would see maybe three cars in a group at the same time. We really need a good 15-plus cars out there to really get a good feel for how this deal is going to work. We’re going to get geared up, have some lunch here and at one o’clock we’ll go out there and try that."

Do you think NASCAR will be able to bring back the ‘drafting pack’? “I think everybody is still going to make a strong effort to do the tandem because there is so much speed. Now that they’re (NASCAR) putting a lot more horsepower back in the cars, the disparity between two cars and one or two cars and four -- they’re going to close that up I think quite a bit. They’re going to make another jump on closing the grill down a little bit. That’s what we struggled with the most yesterday, which obviously is intentional by NASCAR is getting that nose peeked out there so we can get some air in the radiator. Now they’re going to make that a little more difficult so you can get out so far to get air in there to the point that eventually you start killing the speed again and then the tandem even gets closer to the four or five car drafts. They’re working it in the right direction. I think it’s going to be interesting to see. It’s so close right now that if you start pushing the water temp too close and you get in a large pack and you can’t get clean air on the nose you’re going to get beyond your limits and the risk is not going to be worth the reward. You have to kind of play that out. It doesn’t do you any good if you can’t be there at the end. We have to work through that and let Joey (Logano) go play with it and see where that limit is going to be and let him figure out, ‘Hey, if I get close here, how much do I need to back up to get some air on the grill?’ It should be interesting."

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CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How were you able to post the fast laps this morning with your teammate? “It’s just different ways of pushing and stuff like that. You can obviously go faster straight in line, but you can’t do it very long. I was just trying to see how long I could do it and we’re down here to learn -- that helps NASCAR figure out what they need to do to make the appropriate actions. We have another meeting at lunch and we’ll see what that entails."

What do you expect to see when you get into the bigger draft pack this afternoon? “I don’t know -- one thing I did notice is that we didn’t go by the single car as fast as it used to so maybe when we get out there in the pack collectively, the pack will be as fast as two cars -- maybe."

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MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How did the car perform this morning with the new rules? “We didn’t draft yesterday, so it’s hard to say, but we did the tire test back here a few months ago and it’s pretty similar to what we did there. We had a bigger plate. Today it’s even a little bit bigger, but it’s a little a bit harder to keep the cars cool than it was and what we’ve had here in the past, so that’s going to be a challenge. And, of course, today the temperature should cool outside, so we get out there with a bunch of cars and warmer temps it’s going to be harder to keep the cars cool doing the two-car draft."

How was the morning test session? “Yeah, everything is going well. We had a test plan and we’re sticking to that, but it’s been good to get out there and draft with both Clint (Bowyer) and Mark (Martin) and get a feel for things and so far everything is going good."

What are you anticipating testing in a pack this afternoon? “I think it’s going to be a little bit ‘hairy.’ 205 (mph) is pretty fast and the car is just now starting to get where it’s almost on edge. We’re almost pushing the limits of the grip, so it’s going to get interesting with a lot of cars out there. You can’t really make fast maneuvers like you could before switching lanes. You really have to be smooth pushing, so it’s definitely going to be exciting for sure."

How will the communication changes affect the race? “Well, you’re just following the guy and you just hope you go where he does. You’re just kind of going off of him. Wherever he moves, you move. You don’t really have a heads up on what’s coming."

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RODNEY CHILDERS, crew chief, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How was the morning test session? “It was really good. We ran some single-car runs for a little while and learned a little bit there and it seemed like we got the car better and better and then went to some drafting stuff with our teammates and ran all three cars in line. All three cars were pretty good. Then ended up getting nose-to-tail with the 56 (Martin Truex Jr.) and everything seemed to be really good there. Truex thought our car was really stable when he was pushing it. Everything seems to be good. We’re going get out there with everybody else at one o’clock. I’m sure it’s going to get a little crazy, but hopefully it will be good."

How did the car perform this morning with the new rules? “Not a huge impact. The cars are just a good bit faster, but it doesn’t seem like NASCAR is worried about that top speed. Seems like in the past in the every time they saw 200 (mph) we’d be changing plates, so I think they seem to be okay with it and we’ll get everybody out there and see what the speeds actually look like with everybody out there and not really doing a lot of pushing. Hopefully, everybody can learn something and I’m sure there will be more rule changes to come, but we’ll just have to see how it goes."