Robby Gordon - Media visit press conference Richmond International Raceway Robby Gordon, ...
Robby Gordon - Media visit press conference
Richmond International Raceway
Robby Gordon, #7 Jim Beam Chevrolet
DO YOU MISS BEING A PART OF INDY AND THE INDY 500?
Chevrolet is our sponsor. We thought that we needed to focus, because you guys say every year, that if we focused on NEXTEL Cup, we'd do a lot better. But, if you look at the scoreboard to date, we suck. Maybe I need to get back to what I used to do, and doing a whole bunch of things. And just happen to race on Sundays.
THEY MOVED THE STARTING TIME BACK ON THE INDY 500, WHICH SEEMS TO TAKE AWAY ANY CHANCE OF DOING A DOUBLE
Well, they did that. And then, we countered with having a team of our own where it probably didn't matter if I was late. Being able to make a sales pitch on that. We've put all our effort into making our NEXTEL Cup car competitive. We've made continuous mistakes throughout the year. Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and be better throughout the season. But, I do miss being part of it. But I also know what the job at hand is. I couldn't imagine doing an IRL program alongside a NEXTEL Cup program right now. Because this has been a huge chore. You know, it's been a lot of work.
TALK ABOUT THE PERSONNEL CHANGES ON YOUR TEAM
Ovbiously you guys are seeing what's going on here. We've made adjustments. Brought back Frank as a car chief, who was my car chief on my Busch car a year ago. And have alos put him with Greg Erwin, who was my crew chief at RCR a year ago on the #31 car. I thjink that we've had performance excitements where we've been good in practice and come up and do something stupid. We just made the wrong adjustment on the race car, set the chain too long on the trip limiter or something like that. We make mistakes. We just have to build a better flight book for our whole team. And you know, you hear people talk about dotting your "i"s and crossing your "t"s? Well, you also have to put your signature next to that. Because we've made a lot of mistakes and that's the only way to eliminate mistakes from happening. Like when you get on an airplane and they go through a flight book. Everyone will have a flight check to what they have to do to that race car to build it the correct way.
HOW TOUGH IS IT TO BE OUTSIDE THE TOP 35
Being outside the top 35, it all started at Daytona. We started at Daytona with getting our engine taken away, then finishing 7th in the 150 and not being high enough to finish in the race. Any year but this year, we would have started 16th in the Daytona 500 and I probably wouldn't have been that bad on race day. But, we have never recovered from that and we have made a few other mistakes on top of that as well. But, when we do qualify, we normally qualify within the top 25. I think 25, 26 is about our normal qualifying if we don't make mistakes. If we don't make mistakes at Bristol and Darlington. The key is to learn from those mistakes and not let them happen again.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE SPORT SINCE YOU ARRIVED?
The sport has changed a lot since 2000. It's more competitive. There's obviously more money. Good people cost more money, too. A pit crew back in 2000, if you do 16-second stops, you're golden. Now, if you do a 13, you get beat by 3 guys in pit lane. You know, there are so many aspects of the team you try to work on. There are obvsiouly some things I received last year in the Busch car working for Richard. You know, we had his engines and his pit crew. And that may have made our team a little bit better than it was. We've had to build our own pit crew and get Menard on board with our engines. I feel pretty good about our engines this week. I think we're about 35 ft-lbs of torque better. 35 horsepower. We still need more, but we're making big gains. The big gains will start to go away here soon and we'll start to make little gains. But we're on track to get on the same track as the learning curve of those other teams.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS ABOUT BUILDING YOUR TEAM?
A lot of things haven't been difficult. Building our cars hasn't been difficult. Getting a sponsor to believe that we could do it was hard, but it wasn't difficult. The biggest thing is the mistakes that we've made. I obviously hired the people, so I guess the mistakes come on me. I didn't have a good enough job description, checklist, blah blah blah for every piece of the company. In the next few weeks, we'll be a lot better race team, I can promise you.