TOYOTA NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Notes & Quotes Car of Tomorrow Testing - Bristol Motor Speedway March 1, 2007 ANDY GRAVES, Senior Manager for TRD (Toyota Racing Development) U.S.A. in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition: On the Bristol test...
TOYOTA NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Notes & Quotes Car of Tomorrow Testing - Bristol Motor Speedway March 1, 2007
ANDY GRAVES, Senior Manager for TRD (Toyota Racing Development) U.S.A. in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition:
On the Bristol test session for Toyota: "It was a real long day here yesterday, but it has been great having so many cars here putting rubber down. We're just getting our arms around how we want to run the Car of Tomorrow for Toyota and all of our teams. We're just collecting data and we'll be able to carry that back to the shop and analyze it before we come back for the race. It's going to be a huge challenge, but we're all about challenges and moving forward and this is going to be a big one."
On the overall challenges of running the COT: "It's just a learning process. All the teams and the manufacturers have been working with NASCAR real close and trying to learn the process and trying to get the body built as tight as they want to see them and the chassis. It's a learning process and it's something that we've never been through before with such tight tolerances on the chassis side. It's going to take a little bit of getting used to, but just like anything else, once you learn the process and understand what NASCAR wants then we'll get it sorted out."
On the challenges faced by the Toyota teams in building the COT at the shops: "It's been real tough on our teams, especially in the start up teams. They're trying to get their processes in place and the right people in the right places. To have to build two totally different types of cars and to get their fleet built up, it's a huge undertaking and a huge challenge. But we're here to try to gain respect with our competitors and the fans early on and we want to see gains throughout the year. That is the most important thing. It's starting kind of slow, but I'm sure we'll get there."
On switching over to the COT full time in 2008: "I'd like to get the opinion of some of our teams, but from a manufacturer standpoint, sure it would be a lot easier just to concentrate on one series where we didn't have to worry about two different cars. We're staring to hear some talk that they may switch completely over in 2008 and I wouldn't think that would be a bad thing at this point in time."
RICK VIERS, Crew Chief, No. 84 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Team Red Bull:
On your overall impression of the COT test: "We have progressed well all day long. We've learned a lot and AJ has learned a lot about the Car of Tomorrow. It's probably been a pleasant surprise that things have gone as well as they have."
On the challenges the team has faced in preparing the COT: "The guys at the shop and our engineering department have worked really hard and the guys on the road crew have the car well-prepared so for us it has been un-eventful to say the least. I think with AJ's input, as well as he does at giving us feedback, it's real easy. Sometimes you wish it wasn't that easy because you're always looking around expecting the worst, but things have gone really well and we're really proud of the efforts that this entire team has put together."
On AJ's performance in the COT test: "AJ is my driver and I support him 100 percent. We're a team and we are working great together. I'm proud to have AJ and real proud of this entire group that Team Red Bull has put together. The commitment and the structure of this organization are incredible and I couldn't be any happier to be where I'm at."
-credit: toyota motorsports