TOYOTA NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Notes & Quotes Car of Tomorrow Testing -- Bristol Motor Speedway February 28, 2007 -- Afternoon Session ANDY GRAVES, Senior Manager for TRD (Toyota Racing Development) U.S.A. in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series ...
TOYOTA NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Notes & Quotes Car of Tomorrow Testing -- Bristol Motor Speedway February 28, 2007 -- Afternoon Session
ANDY GRAVES, Senior Manager for TRD (Toyota Racing Development) U.S.A. in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition:
On how the Toyota teams faired in the afternoon session: "Everybody is still working on their cars and the conditions haven't changed a whole lot. A lot of our teams were working on race runs and longer runs on older tires. We're not especially great according to the lap board, but slowly making some gains and we'll see tonight if some guys make some qualifying runs. Then we'll have time to think about it tonight and get ready for tomorrow."
On the benefit of adding a night session of testing at Bristol: "It's unexpected, but I think it's good planning and I appreciate NASCAR working with us so we can get the extra time in, especially with the storm moving in tomorrow afternoon. A lot of times here at night, the track cools down with all the rubber being put down on the track. It's really nice to be here testing with all these cars because it helps to simulate those race weekend conditions."
On the Toyota teams helping each other to learn the Car of Tomorrow: "They are mostly helping each other with direction. They don't get into specifics, but they just try to help with direction and make sure they we are all working to understand these cars better."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Domino's Pizza Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
How are you feeling following your first laps following the hard hit you took at California? "I feel okay. I'm catching the flu now on top of everything else, which is just bad timing. But it's just one of those deals and I'm okay. I'm certainly glad that we're not racing Bristol this weekend. It's good to get out there and get some laps so I know more of what I'm up against."
On how today's test session is going for your team: "I didn't get in the car until after lunch, around two o'clock. Mark (Green) and the guys have been doing a great job making changes to the car and helping it a little bit. We still have more work to do, but it's hard to tell how we stack up because you're out here running on 100-plus lap tires and you don't know whose changed what or done whatever so it makes it hard to tell where you stack up. We haven't posted a very good lap today, but some of those guys ran some of their best laps earlier in the day. You don't really know where you'll end up, we just have to get it driving good and we haven't done that yet. We made it better, then we made it worse, but then we made it better again. We just can't seem to get it as good as we really need it to be."
Your impression of the Car of Tomorrow at Bristol: "I've never run a Cup car here at Bristol so to me this really feels like a NASCAR truck with a lot of horsepower."
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
On the test session for your team: "The test has been a struggle. This is something totally different and we obviously haven't had a lot of time to work on it or with it. There's a lot of different things with this Car of Tomorrow and we've tried to put in a lot of laps and make a lot of changes. Hopefully by the end of the test we will have found a better direction. It's just about going through the process of trying a lot of different things right now."
What do you like about the Car of Tomorrow versus the other car? "It's just a race car. You have to find what makes each particular kind work. You're never happy with them until you find that, no matter what type of car it is. Speedway, short track car or Car of Tomorrow; you're just not happy with them until you get them to work. There's a lot of things that we have to be here and exhaust in order to get down to those things that do make these cars work."
With your experience at Bristol, how different does this car drive compared to your past experience? "Because of the bump-stops and the splitter on the front, that makes things totally different as to how you go about making your car travel and work. That's where we're having a tough time. As far as driving it, you can make it do a lot of different things, but you can with any race car here just by changing a lot of things. That's the whole key is making your front end work with these cars. You obviously have to keep the splitter on and not hit the bump-stop to the point that you are going to tear them up. There's a fine line there and that's what we have to get to."
On the afternoon session and any near-misses during testing: "I think we're learning a lot and more than anything, I'm proud of my guys because my crew chief, (Rick Viers) has really got the crew so organized. We're not missing any time and we're learning a lot. That's largely because of just how good the crew is and that gives us more time for changes and improvements. I also need to thank my spotter, (Tim Fedewa) because there were a couple wrecks that he had me miss out there. It hasn't gotten as bad as some of us might have expected, but we still have three more hours in the dark. We'll see how that goes. So far we're still having fun."
JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 36 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing:
On the car in the afternoon session: "The car was not quite as good in this last session as it was this morning, but we changed a bunch more things again in this session so at least we are learning every time out on the track. We found a lot of stuff that's not working so I guess that's almost as good as finding things that do work. But I'm still in a good mood about the whole thing."
On getting some night practice in with the Car of Tomorrow: "I'm glad we're doing the night practice because I wasn't sure what the weather was going to do tomorrow. But I think it's important to see how the car reacts to the track at night so getting a little more testing in tonight will be a good thing."
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Team Red ull:
On your test in the Car of Tomorrow at Bristol: "We have struggled a bit all day just to learn what we need to do to the car. We've been tight all day and it seems like no matter what we do to change things, we are still fighting the tight condition. But just like the other teams, we are trying a lot of new things, some are working and some aren't, but we are learning and that is the most important thing."
-credit: toyota motorsports