RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING, met with media following the announcement of a special-edition Dale Earnhardt commemorative Wheaties box honoring his legendary career and celebrating his induction into the Hall of Fame. WHO...
RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING, met with media following the announcement of a special-edition Dale Earnhardt commemorative Wheaties box honoring his legendary career and celebrating his induction into the Hall of Fame.
WHO PUT THE WHEATIES DEAL TOGETHER? "General Mills is one of our sponsors and we put the deal together to run Wheaties on Clint's (Bowyer) car at Indianapolis."
WAS THAT A DIFFICULT DEAL TO PUT TOGETHER AS FAR AS CONTRACTS GO? "The more people you deal with the more complicated it gets. But when everybody is on the same page to accomplish the same thing, they're not that difficult."
CAN I GO OUT AND BUY ONE OF THESE COMMEMORATIVE BOXES OF WHEATIES RIGHT NOW? "It will be this summer."
THE CAR LOOKS GREAT. DOES IT BRING BACK ANY MEMORIES? "Oh yeah, the Wheaties deal that Dale (Earnhardt) did, he was really honored. He was real proud. He wasn't a guy who would show his emotions sometimes, but he was really proud. He knew what it meant to be a champion and he knew what it meant to be with other champions that had been on that box (of Wheaties) for so many years."
DO YOU THINK JEFF BURTON WILL BE A CHAMPION THIS YEAR? TALK ABOUT THE DRCR RIVERS "Jeff Burton will be a contender for the championship. Kevin's (Harvick) car is really running solid and strong. We know that to win the championship, we've got to get them both a little better. And Clint (Bowyer), he's just had some bad luck and when we get things back going for him (like) engines and brakes, and (if) we (can) get some of those things behind us, and get him in the Chase, he'll be strong."
IT LOOKS LIKE THE GIBBS TEAM HAS FOUND SOMETHING NEW. HAVE THEY FOUND THE NEWEST TRICK OR WHAT IS IT? "No, I think it's more about the fact that today there is so much engineering involved with these cars and there are so many little details. Every little detail means so much on these race cars today. And you can't put your finger on one thing, but if you put your hand on a lot of little things, it can make a difference on the track. And that's what they've done. They've found a lot of little things just like RCR. Roush will be back with their stuff. They ran good last week. Hendrick has been running good. It's just a tough, tough business. We're sitting here with 25 or 30 competitive teams that can win on any day."
WITH SUCH A BIG INVENTORY OF CARS, WHEN YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CHANGE ON A CAR, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH ALL THAT? "Well, I've got a building sitting full of cars. We're replacing every car; the difference in the wing and the spoiler, we're having to replace those cars and build all new cars a little at a time. We started retro-ing some of them but now, every new car we just try to make them better and better because of the spoiler."
IS IT TIME FOR NASCAR TO CONSIDER THE TEST BAN. ARE YOU HEALTHY ENOUGH THAT YOU COULD DO SOME TESTING, AND IF SO, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? "I don't think the economy right now; it's so expensive to test. We still do some testing but we do it at local or closer tracks that we can run at. I think doing the tests at Charlotte and doing some open tests like that would be the way to do it. Pick five or six a year at some of the tracks that are a little closer to us where we don't have all the overnight stays. You could open Richmond, Charlotte and this is a great test area here. That's me seeing it but if I owned the track at Vegas, I'd say hey I want them out here testing. But it's so expensive when you've got to go out on these long tests."
SO YOU WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF TESTING AT TRACKS CLOSE BY? "I think it they picked four or five race tracks that we're going to test on, no difference in the Nationwide cars testing at Daytona the other week, I think the way they're doing some of the tire testing today is really helping organizations out. Now you've got more organizations that can go test. I think the open day test, like we did here at Charlotte and some of the open day testing that we've done. I could see doing four or five of those a year.
"We are not healthy enough to open this thing up today for testing. I think there can be a limited number like we were talking about. Two or three open tests per year, just to check some things out. And the closer we can do it from home, the more economical it is."
WHAT ABOUT TESTING AT DAYTONA AFTER THEY REPAVE THE TRACK? "They'll have a test day for us for sure after tire testing. Once the tire testing is done I'm sure they'll open it up a day early and let us run or they'll have a test day for sure."
DO YOU KNOW WHEN DAYTONA WILL BE READY FOR A TIRE TEST? "I haven't talked to anyone to know really."
THE ASPHALT COMPOUND THAT WE'RE USING AT ALL THESE NEW TRACKS IS SO SMOOTH, THAT THE TIRES DON'T WEAR. ONE OF THE THINGS YOU LIKE AT DAYTONA IS THE FACT THAT IT WEARS THE TIRES SO THERE IS A GAP BETWEEN FOUR FRESH TIRES AND FOUR USED TIRES. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THEM US A BIGGER AGGREGATE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT? No, no. I don't think it needs to be done through the asphalt. Goodyear does a great job. That's one reason the competition is so much better this year. The better they come with a tire and there's more racing, the better the racing we're going to see."
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WINNING AT CHARLOTTE, WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT WHAT DALE SR. THOUGHT ABOUT DALE JR. WINNING THE ALL-STAR RACE HERE? "Oh, it was a big night. I remember that very well. And I remember the first time we came here under the lights to race. It was almost the same feel as a Saturday night short track race. And it was almost ran like that. But he was so proud that Dale Junior won that race."
-source: gm racing