Daytona Preseason Thunder - Toyota notes 2008-01-20

TOYOTA NASCAR Nationwide Series Test Day 3 Daytona International Speedway January 20, 2008 DAVE ROGERS, Crew Chief, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing How is the test going for you and the Joe Gibbs Racing team? "The test...

TOYOTA NASCAR Nationwide Series Test
Day 3
Daytona International Speedway
January 20, 2008

DAVE ROGERS, Crew Chief, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How is the test going for you and the Joe Gibbs Racing team? "The test is going really well for us. This Toyota Camry is new to us, but we're very pleased with it. We had a big test plan, and our guys have been working really hard to execute the plan. We're definitely learning a lot, and I'm happy with what I'm seeing."

How has the transition been for the team switching to Toyota for 2008? "The TRD guys are great to work with. They come by quite frequently and give us some pointers of things they learned last year. It's been a fairly seamless transition and we haven't had many problems, but it's just been a lot of man hours. The guys at the shop have put in a lot of effort this winter to get ready to come down here with pretty good race cars."

Is it tough for you to work with a driver at the test that won't race the car, and how hard will it be for you to work with a number of drivers throughout the season? "Under these circumstances, it's fine. Mike (McLaughlin) is a good personal friend of mine, so it's fun to work with him. I was Tony Stewart's race engineer for a number of years, so I'm familiar with both drivers for this test and the Daytona race. If you look at the driver lineup for the season, I don't have a whole lot to complain about. I get to work with some of the most talented drivers in the business. Most people won't have an opportunity to work the caliber drivers I will get to this year."

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JERRY BAXTER, Crew Chief, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

What are your goals for this test at Daytona? "Down here in Daytona, we just tried to build a couple of cars that have a lot of down force that can race really well. That seems to be the key at Daytona. We just wanted cars with good down force. We will probably qualify poorly, but we'll have a car that can race well for an entire fuel run and be fast the whole time without losing front grip. We just want something that handles real well, and we'll be doing quite a bit of race practice."

How has the transition been for you to the new Toyota motor in the Nationwide Series? "From my perspective, I just need to get the car to handle. The engine guys are hard at work to get this new Toyota engine as good as it can be for the real deal here in a few weeks. At Daytona, it's very limited to what we can do to the chassis, so when we get to Las Vegas for the test, that will be very important."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing