Winston Teleconference Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2003 Matt Borland and Ryan Newman MATT BORLAND (Crew chief No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid) HAVE YOU MET OR EXCEEDED GOALS FOR 2003? "We've met a few of our goals and exceeded a few of them. We're ...
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2003
Matt Borland and Ryan Newman
MATT BORLAND (Crew chief No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid)
HAVE YOU MET OR EXCEEDED GOALS FOR 2003?
"We've met a few of our goals and exceeded a few of them. We're actually just a tick short on a couple of them, but we're still trying to do everything we can to meet those last ones and maybe even exceed the ones we've already reached at this point."
COMMENT ON RACING AT AMS
"We're really looking forward to running at Atlanta. It's a real fast track and Ryan runs really well there. I think our motor package helps out there. We just look forward to getting another pole and trying to get another win."
WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON NASCAR POSSIBLY INCREASING TESTING?
"On one end I'd like to see more testing. Any chance we get to learn more about what's going on with the cars, I think that helps us do our job better. At the same points, we're on the road so much now, I can't say that having less days on the road wouldn't be welcomed, but at the end of the day, I still enjoy testing almost as much as the racing. Hopefully they'll build it up a little bit, but I think either way it won't be a big issue."
HAS PENSKE CONSIDERED ADDING A TEST TEAM?
"We've talked about it on several occasions, and it's just something we haven't done to this point. I think it would be something that would definitely help us out in the long run, but we still haven't got to that point yet."
WHAT ARE THE GOALS YOU HAVEN'T ACHIEVED IN 2003?
"Top 10s, we're still a few short on our top-10 goal, and we're short a little bit on our top five goal. Other than that, we've achieved most of them. The other one we haven't achieved is we didn't want to use any provisionals this year, and we had one at Daytona in February. We've done pretty well qualifying since that point. We've done extremely well. Unfortunately we still have that one on our record that we didn't want to have this year."
WHAT WOULD BE THE UPS AND DOWNS OF ADDING A TEST TEAM?
"The up side would be able to get more time to learn and understand the cars better and the tires to help us on race weekend. The down side of it, it can distract from your main focus, which is winning races. There is a down side in the time and focus it takes away from the race team, but it allows you to be able to have personnel to go into testing without burning out your guys that have to go on the road on weekends already."
WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST STRESSFUL PART OF THE SEASON?
"Probably watching the car upside down at Daytona. That was a pretty stressful deal, hoping he was alive and OK from that. Other than that, maybe the stretch of four races where we struggled to finish. That definitely gets you stressed out. You drop back in the points and you're hoping your season will turn around but you're not sure at what point it's going to."
HOW IS THE MORALE HEADING INTO THE FINAL FOUR?
"It's pretty hot. The guys are pumped up to win a few more races and win a few more poles. They've done a fantastic job of keeping their spirits up so hopefully we can outperform everyone in those last four races when everyone else is getting burned out."
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH ACCUSATIONS?
"In some ways it's a little frustrating. You know you're not doing anything and you get criticized for doing a good job. At the same time you sit back as a group and laugh about it. It kinda makes you feel good if everybody thinks you're cheating. You must be running pretty well."
THERE'S A NEW LUCKY DOG FUEL RULE FOR ATLANTA. WILL IT CHANGE STRATEGY?
"I'm definitely not a fan of any rule really. You put rules on top of rules, and it's kinda funny. If they think it's not going to let that guy have an advantage once he's got the extra lap but at the same point everyone else on the track has the same chance to come in and top off for fuel. Really there's no advantage there. It's just the fact that most of the people aren't taking advantage of topping off with gas at the end of a yellow flag. It's kinda funny. It's like that's the only way we could win a race because of that reason. It's just kinda funny to think about. You just get tired of rules after rules."
HOW DO YOU KEEP PIT CREW FOCUSED?
"Everyone is tired. We've been on the road for 16 weeks straight and 32 or 34 weekends already this year. Your mind can kind of wander and you're thinking about the end of the season. You just kind of have to keep reminding each other that there's a lot of things we can do to make our finish even better for this year, and there's a lot of things we can do to make it worse. We've just got to make sure to stay focused more than the other teams we're fighting for points and we can still come out of this thing really well for this year."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CELEBRATION BURNOUTS?
"It's fun. It lets the driver get excited after doing a good job for the day, and the crew likes to cheer and they get into it. I think it helps them. It's kind of a little celebration for themselves. It lets them know they did a good job that day. At the end of the day the motors get rebuilt after every run anyway, so it really doesn't hurt anything. You can hurt valve springs and the valve train. There's always things you can break in the motor when you're doing that kind of stuff to 'em, but at the end of the day they still go through the same process at the engine shop as far as rebuilding it and as far as reinspecting every piece. If you did hurt something, it would get caught in the rebuilt procedure, and it's not like it would go back in the motor again. We were told we only got to do one burnout a year, but we're not really listening to that too well."
IS RACING MORE APPLIED SCIENCE OR APPLIED EXPERIENCE?
"Probably 50-50. We try to do a lot of simulation work and put a lot of math behind what we're doing. At the same point, we did a lot of that last year. Going back to these races the second time, there's a lot of experience we learned the first year and things we did wrong that we overlooked from a math point of view and we were able to avoid those problems this year. That helped out a lot as far as not making the same mistake twice."
WHAT'S YOUR OBSERVATION OF AMERICA FROM THE ROAD?
"We're on the road a lot and go to a lot of different places around the country, but unfortunately we don't get to spend that much time outside of the race track. I wouldn't say we get too good of a view on any part of the country because all our time is pretty much spent at the airport, race track or hotel room. We don't get too frustrated. You're so busy at the track, and you want to do well every weekend. To do well, you've got to go through a lot of work, making sure you're prepared for every part of the weekend. Part of that is making sure you're getting sleep and not worn out from the night before. You'd rather be winning races and not seeing the country than seeing the country and running bad. We went to Australia a couple of years (in CART) and that's beautiful country there, and over in California and the Los Angeles area, I'd like to spend some time there. There's definitely a few places you'd like to go back and see."