Fontana Preseason Thunder - Toyota morning notes 2008-01-31

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Test Day 1 AM California Speedway January 31, 2008 DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing How's the West Coast pre-season testing going? "This morning was okay. I think we're average as...

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Test
Day 1 AM
California Speedway
January 31, 2008

DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing

How's the West Coast pre-season testing going? "This morning was okay. I think we're average as far as the way the car felt in lap times. We didn't really find anything to help, so we're kind of going in a different direction this afternoon. But that's normal for testing." "How important is this test? "It's huge to kind of tell you where you're at compared to everybody else. You can work all winter and think you made gains, but you 've got to know where you are stacked up to everybody else. We didn't run as good at Vegas as I had hoped. The main thing is that we're learning what, where and why, and then you can hopefully come back faster."

When you come to California, is there anything unique you like to do? "We went up to Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead yesterday and that was fun. You don't get to do that too many places where you can be down in nice weather and then go up into the snow a half-hour away -- that was fun. There's lots of other stuff if you want to go to Los Angeles and do something there -- you get some of everything out here."

What do you think about this track? "I like California Speedway. Once we get racing here you can run the top of the track or the bottom of the track -- it doesn't seem to matter. All the drivers like that part of it, I'm sure. The race might be a little spread out here as far as being a good race fan-wise, but the drivers enjoy it, just having a lot of room to race and if you get you're car good you can go to the front."

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KEVIN HAMLIN, Crew Chief, No. 83 Red Bull Toyota Camry, Red Bull Racing Team

How's the West Coast pre-season testing going? "We were pretty happy with our test at Vegas. We did some qualifying runs because obviously we have to get into the race. We worked on that quite extensively. We also looked at some race stuff. So far at Fontana we are not real happy. We haven't hit on what we are looking for yet. It's testing and all about gathering information -- changing things -- seeing the delta between the changes and then being able to take all the information that you gather, go home and make good decisions for when you come back. Even if we don't run good or put a good number up on the board or aren't satisfied when we leave here, we're still going to go home and work on it. Even if we do run good we are going to go home and analyze it to see if we can't run better."

How important is this test? "They are very important for our team. Being outside the top-35 in points, obviously we have to qualify so the Vegas test and this test we have to make the most of them and gather as much information as we can. We need to try to figure out how we are going to get the speed for qualifying."

Based on last year's performance here, is California the type of track that your team thrives on? "You have to start fresh because you have this new car for one thing. It's a little different animal. At least we know that Brian (Vickers) likes this track and he knows there are different lines you can run during the race and move around -- that means a lot. As far as him knowing the track, liking the track -- we have all that going for us. We have to figure out what our race cars want."

What do you think about the change in qualifying for those outside the top-35? "Obviously being that we are outside the top-35, I think it is great. To even go further, when I didn't think it was ever going to be a concern of mine I always thought it was strange that they didn't try to group them closer together. That way we are fighting one another for those spots and not fighting one another throughout the field with weather and track conditions changing. I think it makes it better for everyone there fighting for those spots."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Bill Davis Racing