McCutchen, Dyson, Jones - NASCAR teleconference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Point of clarification, if I may. I heard the term shakedown used with regard to the Proto-Auto Lola that you guys are going to be running. Who did that shakedown then? CHRIS DYSON: That was actually undertaken by...

Continued from part 1

Q: Point of clarification, if I may. I heard the term shakedown used with regard to the Proto-Auto Lola that you guys are going to be running. Who did that shakedown then?

CHRIS DYSON: That was actually undertaken by our friends up at Multi Maddox (ph) who had actually helped us to finish building the car at their shops last week. The car has just arrived in our shop today. We know we are under a tight time scale to get our shakedown test done and our initial running done with John and with Davy, and we appreciate, you know, the GRAND-AM approach to letting us make sure we get a car that's safe and also get our drivers sufficient mileage in advance of a major race.

DAVY JONES: It goes to the level of the team. Here, rather than showing up tomorrow to do our testing at Monticello with a brand new car, Multi Maddox that's build the car and prepared the car, along with Dyson's crew, you know, they have shaken it down, so we have the pinion and we have the brakes bedded in and we know the car is not going to have any issues by the time we start our program for testing.

Q: What are the challenges of fielding an additional car in your shop, and what are the challenges you two face going into a track where you may or may not have raced in the past and just getting into a Daytona prototype and going against the competition that you'll be facing?

CHRIS DYSON: I would say from our perspective at Dyson Racing, this is a great opportunity for us, because we have, like I said, an enhanced facility now that we didn't have a few years ago. So we view it as a challenge, yes, but more importantly, an opportunity to take advantage of our facilities and our staff that we have here.

My guys have all been asked to work a little bit harder than normal the last few weeks between our ALMS schedule and accommodating an additional program. But everyone is up for it. The buzz within the shop is tangible, and you know, everyone is a little bleary-eyed right now but very enthusiastic. We have a hole in our schedule and this made perfect sense for us to slot this event in, like I said, with the bigger picture in mind.

Q: I was interested in the driver's perspective of the challenges you see going forward in working together, going with a new team, and just going against the competition that you'll be facing.

JOHN McCUTCHEN: I'm going to answer that first. Clearly it's all very challenging. You're in the highest level of professional racing, with highly technical cars that are closely matched in most cases. I think every single driver has a major challenge every time they hit the track, period, just against the competition based upon what gets thrown at you.

Clearly the other guys are out there racing with half their brains tide behind their backs because they have been doing it all year, and in the consideration of the new crowned champions several years together in the same car, the same everything; so we have a little bit more mental overload, at least I can speak for myself.

Fortunately, our friends over at Momentum Auto Sports, who we have raced a couple of races in their Camaro in the Continental Series just to learn some tracks and help them as they advance their car, have offered a car to us on Thursday and so Davy and I will be able to run that course. I have never raced it before so, that at least we'll have some high-speed track time before we actually get out there with the prototype.

I know Dyson has a schedule the next few days, very surgical, precision type of schedule for us to work in to understand the car and the equipment, which is one of the biggest hurdles a driver has. I learned the hard way at the 24, we didn't have an opportunity to shake down the car the first time we ever rolled a wheel was at the Lola 24 Hour, first time I had ever been on the track and I can tell you, it's a lot of mental overload.

We are not going to have that this time. It's something that Davy, it the professional that he is -- I never went out in the cars I had never driven before on major races.

So we are doing it right this time. We are doing it very pragmatically as Chris talked about. We absolutely have our eye on Daytona. We can't make any kind of announcements until we know for sure what we are doing. The team has to gel together. I think that will happen in the next couple of days. Davy and I have a very close relationship, I'm not looking at any issues related to that.

DAVY JONES: Just to concur with what you said, John, the GRAND-AM series is probably the most competitive that it's ever been. You know, you can see from the last few races, you know, just by the timing with their pit stops and their fuel strategies, you have got to be on your game or you miss a position.

It's the difference between winning and finishing second. So, you know, all of the teams, they are going into the last race, they are in their zone and they are in their rhythm and they are going to push hard.

Us as a new team coming in, I have got to look at it like I have going in there, my first and foremost thing is just to do the best thing that I can as a driver and knowing that I've got all of the tools surrounding me with a competitive car, a competitive engine, a competitive team, and that I can really put my mind to work to do the best job that I can, is all that a true athlete could ask for.

And, you know, you've just got to see how the weekend unfolds as we get involved into the different sessions and into the race. Certainly we just want to put in the best job that we can for Dyson Racing and for Lola and Ford.

Q: Davy, you have a lot of history at the Rolex 24, and could just talk about in more detail perhaps what it will be like for you to return to the 24 hour in a prototype with a team that has got all of the tools to win the race?

DAVY JONES: You know, that's something that I've been really itching for a number of years. You know, when all my years of racing, I've always been a hired gun. You show up at the track with a team, and just like Jon Fogarty, Scott Pruett, they are showing up in Utah, and their mission is to win that race and they are going there knowing they can win that race.

That's the position that I would like to get myself back into. John and I did the 24 hours at Daytona this year, and it got my itch to make that happen, to get back into the game, to get the surroundings behind me -- too, so I can show up at the track, going there to be a competitive and put yourself in the position to win.

So you know, to be able to do that, I know that it's been a number of years since I've won the 24 hours in Daytona won the 24 hours in Le Mans, but, you know, if you're fit and your mind is into it, it can be achieved.

So that's our goal going forward is to get the best position that we can team-wise, car-wise, chassis, engine, and it starts for us at Miller Motorsport Park, just collecting data and moving one step at a time.

Q: John, I believe, mentioned that you were sort of one of the go-betweens in putting this deal together. Could you talk about how your role played out in that respect?

DAVY JONES: Well, it's seeing when what your options are. Obviously we have been able to lend some support to the program with the Texas Heart Institute and you look at all of the different options with other teams and running a second car, a third car, putting a couple of races together for this year as a package.

You know, you want to weigh them out to what is the best for everybody, where it's a win/win, and I believe, you know, for John McCutchen, for myself and for Dyson Racing, for Lola, for Ford, I think it's a win/win for everybody for what we have put together going forward.

Q: You're going to be running a Roush-Yates engine in the Proto Auto there for Miller. Does that signify a perspective engine deal for your other Lola?

CHRIS DYSON: No, at this point, we have got the contractual relationship with Mazda for our American LeMans series program that we plan on continuing for the next couple of years.

Obviously we are enthusiastic about the fact that Roush-Yates is spreading its wings and growing it's business just as Dyson Racing is growing its business. Roush Yates is looking to go into the American Le Mans Series but they are going to build and support the best Daytona prototype engines out there. When we were looking at this project, we were trying to identify the best all-around power plant and some of the people that we like, working with. John Maddox and everyone down in North Carolina really fit that bill for us.

You know, this is a program that is going to be running parallel to our American Le Mans Series program. It won't have any impact on that program. That's the beauty of where Dyson Racing is in 2010 versus where we were in 2005, and that's that we can accommodate multiple platforms here, and I think, you know, serve our clients and our partners well.

I'm really looking forward to linking up with Roush Yates, because we have worked with them years ago when we ran we Essex Racing, it was actually Ford's first race in Daytona prototype, and very quickly identified that it was a great engine to have. It's nice to come back several years later and put it in a car and now we have got that car in our shop and I'm looking forward to taking Davy and John and going out and having a good run with them.

Q: Back in 1990, driving the XJR 12 to a win, the fastest lap in that race was posted by Frank Jelinski in a Porsche 962C; when you look at this past year's Rolex 24, the fastest race was put in by Sun Trust, fastest lap was put in by Sun Trust Racing, and it was almost six tenths of one second faster than the race which you won back in 1990. What does that do to your head there?

DAVY JONES: Well, it just goes to show you that consistency pays off. Certainly, you know, the thing I love about 24-hour races is everybody gets all in this big hype, you know, an hour into a race, two hours into it and somebody is way out front, and, you know, they are thinking that they are going to win it easily and the rest of the competition is just nowhere.

And then come along Sunday morning, the roles have reversed; the guys that were out -- the rabbit is up front is long gone and the guys that were just putting in nice consistent lap times in the middle of the race, there they are, and all of the excitement from the media and everybody in the stands, it's all focused on those guys and who is going to win the race and they have long forgotten about, you know, Saturday afternoon at the start of the race.

So, you know, whether it's 20 years ago or if it's tomorrow, you know, racing is racing. It's just all about the competition and that's what brings us to (speaker) being more so important, is having a team like Dyson Racing. You know, Vince who is going to be our engineer going to Utah, I worked with him in 1996 on an IndyCar program, so there's a lot of experience here. It's the experience that pays off in the end.

THE MODERATOR: As a footnote, the shakedown took down at Calabogie, Ontario, which is about one and a half hours west of Ottawa. And we do have one question from our Facebook friends, Robert John Vicera (ph) for Chris Dyson, he wants to know how the new Ford Lola compares to the Krohn Racing Proto-Auto Lola.

CHRIS DYSON: Well, it's pretty much identical fundamentally. Clearly the Krohn guys have been running the car for a couple of years now and they have made some massaging adjustments to the way things are packaged and fitments and whatnot.

But as a standard piece, the car is virtually identical, and there's some new answer details that I'm sure that they have discovered that we will discover as we run the car. But you know, everyone at Proto Auto and Krohn Racing and Lola have all been very open book about trying to make sure that we have the same platform as the Krohn car.

And I think that's terrific, because you know, we have always thought that the Lola was, you know, the fastest car and definitely the most promising car in the Rolex Series, and it's just terrific to have it on our floor with a lot of cooperation and help from Krohn racing.

I think once we are running head-to-head, that will probably and naturally, the book will start to close a little bit, but at that point, hopefully we'll all be in front of the rest and fighting amongst ourselves for the wins.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Chris, and thank you, John and Davy.

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jon Fogarty , Scott Pruett , Frank Jelinski , Chris Dyson
Teams Krohn Racing , Dyson Racing