Thoughts from Terry Laise, Lead Chassis and Aerodynamics Engineer, GM Racing: HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS THIS WEEK'S TEST THUS FAR? "I think we've had a very good test. Most of the Pontiac teams were well prepared with wind tunnel testing and ...
Thoughts from Terry Laise, Lead Chassis and Aerodynamics Engineer, GM Racing:
HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS THIS WEEK'S TEST THUS FAR? "I think we've had a very good test. Most of the Pontiac teams were well prepared with wind tunnel testing and everything ahead of time. The whole development program has gone well. Obviously, the Morgan-McClure team has fit right into our Pontiac lineup pretty quick. The MB2/MBV cars are both running pretty well, also, so Pontiac-wise I think we're in pretty good shape.
"On the Chevrolet side, most of the teams are doing quite well. The Hendrick teams are not doing as well as they probably will a little later. But, the Gibbs teams are doing well, so all in all I think things are pretty good.
"I'm a little perplexed by the lack of speed by the Fords with the cars so similar. I don't know why they'd be off. I don't know what is going on there."
WITH BOTH THE PONTIAC AND THE CHEVROLET, ARE THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU'RE FACING WHAT YOU EXPECTED AT THIS POINT? "I think we're doing reasonably well. At this time of the year in these tests people hold a little bit back. We don't know exactly where they are. We think we're pretty good - at least as good as the competition. We don't know. The Dodges may be better than what they're showing right now. But, I feel like the program is coming well. Everybody had a good test plan and everybody is executing their test plan. Teams seem to be coming together. All those things are good, so right now we're just marching through the drill we have to go through to be ready for the Daytona 500."
KNOWING THAT TEAMS ARE MOST LIKELY HOLDING A LITTLE BIT BACK, DOES IT MAKE YOU NERVOUS WHEN YOU RETURN FOR SPEED WEEKS? "No, because the ways that you withhold speed from the car here for testing do not affect your test. This is not the track where we're trying to achieve the maximum, potential cornering capability. With the restrictor-plates and the low horsepower we are not on the edge in the corners at all, so that kind of makes it unnecessary to let everything out to learn all you need to do. We can do all the body things, we can do all the chassis things, we can do all the engine things we need to do without showing everything. We're OK."
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE TEAMS GETTING TO LAS VEGAS AND SOME OF THESE OTHER TRACKS TO SEE HOW THE CARS STACK UP IN A DIFFERENT SCENARIO? "Absolutely. That's going to be exciting to see, with all the new rules that NASCAR has, how the balance is going to shake down."
WHAT IS YOUR FEELING ON ALL THE NEW RULES? "I think it's fine. I don't think it's positive or negative. I think we'll have good competition. I think the new cars we've done are going to measure up under these rules and make it a little easier for us to compete. Will it make us way better than the other guy? No, I don't think that is going to happen. But, we've got a lot of things we developed for the cars that we're just going to have to let the first races happen and see how they worked. We hope we've done as much as we could."