TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Test Session 2 - Day 2 AM Daytona International Speedway January 15, 2008 TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What adjustments has your team endured during the transition to...
TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Test
Session 2 - Day 2 AM
Daytona International Speedway
January 15, 2008
TONY STEWART, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What adjustments has your team endured during the transition to Toyota? "It was probably more of an adjustment for the car than anything being that this is the first time that we've brought the new car here to Daytona. That's probably as much of a change as it was to run the Toyota motor. It's hard to say because you never know where everybody stands when they come down here and test. But looking at the board and seeing where all the Toyota cars were is a pretty good sign for us."
What did you think about the Toyota cars running up front as a whole so far in testing? "It's a good sign or I'm assuming it's a good sign. You just don't know what everybody else is doing so you don't know if everybody else is showing their hand. It makes you feel good when you make a big change like what our organization has gone through this winter and to come to the first test of the first race of the year and see so many Toyotas on top of the chart like that it's obviously a big plus for us."
Was there any communication between yourself and Kyle (Busch) on their session a week ago? "I'm sure there was with Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, crew chief) and those guys -- I heard from people that Kyle ran good so that gave me a lot of good feelings about coming here and knowing that we were probably going to be in pretty good shape."
Were you excited this morning when you came into the garage? "I was more tired -- but I was anxious to get down here because this is a totally new package than what we're used to here on both the chassis and engine side. It was definitely a few more nerves coming here today than normal -- normally we know what we've got when we get here and its just going through the motions, but today was probably a bigger learning curve than we've normally had here."
Does this car move around more at Daytona than other cars that you've raced here? "It's probably more like an IROC (International Race of Champions) car around here. These cars don't have near the down force that our cars last year had. With the limited amount of shock travel in the front you're hitting bump rubbers where last year we weren't allowed to have bump rubbers. It doesn't float around the race track like it used to -- it's a lot harsher of a ride."
Do you feel like there is any more pressure on you this season than in past seasons? "This series is so competitive week in and week out that I really don't think its any more pressure than it's always been -- it's a situation where you know there are so many good quality teams out there that you have to have the right pieces and the right equipment every week. I feel like we have the right pieces in place and now I just have to go out there and do my job."
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your first day in the Toyota Camry? "We can't tell too much from the inside of the car, but looking at the speed charts we're pretty happy. Looking at the speed charts during the day, I think 11 of the top 13 cars were Toyotas. I'm very happy to be on that side of the fence, for sure."
How much did your team compare notes with the No. 18 team? "There was a lot. You never know with the weather here, since the conditions change so much. You don't know what a good change is. They needed a second team to back up what they thought were good changes. Our team and the No. 20 car were able to do things that they thought were positive and it turned out good for us. When we can do that in two different weeks, you know that you have made gains."
Does the track seem bumpier in the new car? "It's definitely seems a lot more bumpy. I was talking to Kyle (Busch) and we both think that handling will be even a bigger premium than it was last year. I like handling races. Talladega turns out to be anybody's race, but here, it seems to get strung out and is a lot better race for us drivers."
How helpful is it to have the team test in cold weather when the No. 18 car tested when it was warmer? "That's a good thing. The changes that we've made have made the car faster in the hot weather and the cold weather. The biggest thing for us is to get the chemistry right on the race track together. Kyle and I drafted a lot together the last couple of plate races. Now being teammates, I'll be able to help him out a little bit more. I'm really excited about this Daytona 500."
-credit: toyota motorsports