Las Vegas Preseason Thunder - Toyota afternoon notes 2008-01-29

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Test Day 2 PM Las Vegas Motor Speedway January 29, 2008 ANDY GRAVES, Vice President Chassis Engineering, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) How did the Las Vegas test go? "We have been pleased with the ...

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Test
Day 2 PM
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
January 29, 2008

ANDY GRAVES, Vice President Chassis Engineering, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)

How did the Las Vegas test go? "We have been pleased with the results we have seen from our teams here in Las Vegas. It's good to see that we are backing up many of the solid times our teams showed at the Daytona tests. This is a much different test from Daytona and we need to understand what we have at these types of intermediate race tracks. Our teams and engineers have learned a lot in these two days and I'm sure we will continue to learn as we head to California Speedway later this week. We will all have a lot of data to go through once these tests are complete and hopefully we will be able to come back to tracks like this with a solid package."

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MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How's testing going? "David (Reutimann) did some qualifying runs and that went well. We're still working on trying to get our car good enough to feel like we can make one and we haven't yet. We're gaining on it. It's real good to see David have speed and understand that we can bolt whatever he has on his car onto ours and hopefully duplicate that speed. So far it's been a process of elimination. That's why testing is frustrating -- you do 100 things and 99 don't work, at least you know they don't work. That means you don't have to try them next time."

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DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

How did the Las Vegas test go? "I've been pretty happy with both days of testing. It's good and everyone has been working well together. We made some gains and hopefully we'll be a little bit better when we come back."

How important are these test at Las Vegas and California? "Due to the fact that we just don't have any tests -- period -- any test is real important. I think more so for us especially with the whole organization has new crew chiefs and new personnel -- it's been a chance to get everyone to work together around each other. Again, the whole driver-crew chief stuff that you have to work on gives you a little bit of a head start. We made some gains -- I'm pretty pleased with the stuff we learned and the gains we've made and our whole program. I'm encouraged by what I've seen here the last couple of days."

Will you be testing the Nationwide Camry at Vegas tomorrow? "After testing here for two days there's not much I can transfer from the Cup to the Nationwide program for tomorrow's test. The cars are so drastically different that I don't think there is much we can gain from one to the other except for the fact that I've been around the race track a couple hundred times. It's seat time, which never hurts."

Have there been many changes with the MWR Nationwide program? "Our team is intact -- that's the one thing that hasn't changed at Michael Waltrip Racing was our Nationwide program is staying the same. All the same great people and a lot of the cars we ran last year -- just updated some stuff. Hopefully we'll be able to have a good test here in Las Vegas. We only have one day before I have to go to California. I'll cram a lot in. I'm thrilled that we are coming back with the same program. There's been enough changes over here (on the Cup side) I didn't want to change that and we have been running very well and didn't need changes anyway."

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TOMMY BALDWIN JR, Crew Chief, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing

How has the Las Vegas test been going? "It's not going as we planned. Jacques (Villeneuve) has made a lot of progress just getting more seat time. The 22 isn't where we need to be yet -- we aren't done working. We're a little surprised that we were this far off when we first got here."

How important is the Vegas test? "They are very important. We have to get something figured out from here to when we leave California on Thursday night. We are planning on just testing from nine to nine on Thursday so we can get back and working on Daytona stuff on Friday. We'll see what happens. If we can't get it right we might have to stay."

Who is your pick for the Super Bowl? "Giants -- I'm from New York! I think they have the best shot. I think they are playing the closest. New England has definitely made a couple of mistakes the last few games. I think it is going to be close. As long as they keep it in the point spread, I'll be happy."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Toyota Racing