NEWT MOORE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE OFF WEEKEND? ARE YOU GOING TO BE A BIT MORE RELAXED THAN YOUR DRIVER? "Probably. He's going to get out, have some more fun, get to drive, which is more fun.
NEWT MOORE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 36 M&M'S PONTIAC GRAND PRIX:
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE OFF WEEKEND? ARE YOU GOING TO BE A BIT MORE RELAXED THAN YOUR DRIVER? "Probably. He's going to get out, have some more fun, get to drive, which is more fun. We're probably going to play a little golf, party here and there on the lake, just try to relax a little bit, unwiND, GET READY FOR TEXAS."
ARE YOU FRUSTRATED WITH THE FINISHES OF THE TEAM THIS YEAR OR ARE YOU LOOKING AT IT POSITIVELY, KNOWING YOU'VE RUN BETTER THAN THAT? "We know we got speed in the car now. Kenny has done a great job driving. Our pit crew has stepped up. We've looked at all the areas to be better. It's showed. It's just our finishes. We've had three flat tires out of six races, had to pit on the green. You know, the deal at Daytona, we ran so well there, had a flat, had to come back down pit road, lost track position.
"Rockingham -- just go down the line with the problems. The cars have been fast. I think Bristol was probably not the best race we've had all year. I mean, we missed the setup a pretty good bit and were just there -- kind of an 'also ran.'
"We're not frustrated with the point situation because the points are going to come. We're just looking at trying to get top fives. That's our goal. Last year [the goal] was top 10s; this year we feel we can try to get top fives. That's what our goals are. We're not really worried about the points, per se, right now. 32nd, 33rd, whatever that is, it's not terrible. So we're going to work. We know where we need to be."
WHAT ABOUT TEXAS? "I'm looking at it being similar to Vegas. We're taking our Vegas car, doing some modifications to it. We were really fast at Vegas. We didn't qualify like we wanted to. We worked our way up into the top 10, a hundred laps in and were running real good, got a flat tire, again, talking about earlier. The track, it's going to be similar. It's smooth. It's going to be a one-lane deal. Vegas is probably a two-lane deal.
"Texas - we're looking forward to it. The type of car we ran should run good there. We're not going to go test. We tested California, Vegas, Daytona, we have some other tests coming up.
"Texas - we're looking forward to it. It's going to be smooth. The car we took there is very fast, so we're looking forward to being similar to Vegas."
DO YOU BUY INTO THE PONTIAC DISADVANTAGE FROM AN AERODYNAMIC STANDPOINT? "The car, actually today we're changing our duct work around our radiators to get more downforce in the front. I've seen all the wind tunnel notes like everybody has. I know the Dodges and Fords are almost a perfect race car. The car we have is an old race car. Newt Moore can't go into Mike [Helton] and tell him we've got to kick that nose out. It's not going to do any good. We're basically taking what they're giving us.
"You're never going to have all the cars the same, it's never going to happen. It just happens to be Pontiac's third line. The Chevrolets are actually a little worse than we are, if you want to use worse as a word. The Chevrolets have a lot more to complain about than we do. Our car is a good race car. Our total downforce numbers are off a little bit, but our balance is good. We've had to work with that for three or four years here. We got the most out of this car. We're looking to 2003 because it's going to be similar to a Dodge and similar to a Ford. You're going to see a lot better performance out of the Pontiac with that.
"Our cars, they're not terrible, they're not the best, and we're going to do the best we can with them."
HOW MUCH HELP DO YOU GET FROM THE HENDRICK ORGANIZATION? "Basically gears and motors. I'm going to tell you, out of the rental program, it's the best motor deal you can get, other than if you had a Ford, you would have a Yates. That would be the best. We get gears. I know what Jeff Gordon runs in his gears, I know what Jerry Nadeau runs. We all kind of talk about gears and talk about a little transmission work. That's about it. We have a couple Hendrick cars that we run from time to time, and they're good race cars. We're trying to get both of our teams running the same type of cars now. That's about all the help we get."
ARE YOU DOING IN-HOUSE CHASSIS THEN? "No. We get Ronnie Hopkins chassis; he does a great job. He does a lot of cars out there. We can call Ronnie and have a car in a week and a half. That was actually faster than you can if you had your own deal. It would take you longer to get a chassis if you built your own than calling Ronnie. He does a real good job for us."