Robby Gordon, No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo On running both Busch and Winston Cup for Richard Childress Racing for the rest of the year: "I don't know how many Busch races I'll be running yet. I think it's just two for right now. Kansas...
No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo
On running both Busch and Winston Cup for Richard Childress Racing for the rest of the year: "I don't know how many Busch races I'll be running yet. I think it's just two for right now. Kansas and Charlotte. It was really good. I haven't been in a car for a long time. Watkins Glen was the last race, which is a road course. To come back and have to go right into the Winston Cup car here would have been a lot tougher than running the Busch car to get comfortable in and to run some extra laps in. I'm very pleased with our Busch qualifying effort (3rd). It was just a little loose in the Cup car. The most important thing right now is just gaining experience. We can't afford to lose any cars right now just to get in the shows.
"Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is the first Winston Cup team I've driven for that has won numerous races and numerous championships. These guys have a lot of experience and I don't have a lot of experience racing Winston Cup cars. But I can learn from these guys. Gil Martin, the crew chief for the Busch car is helping out Royce McGee on the Winston Cup car, so we're trying to bounce back and forth a little bit between the two cars. Unfortunately I was a little bit tight in the Busch car and thought maybe we should free up the Cup car. But it was a little too loose. Probably the extra power or whatever, made the car a little too neutral on exiting (the corners) and I had to be careful getting back on the throttle - a couple tenths on each end.
"I don't have a lot of experience on ovals. If you count up all the ovals - I haven't done it, but I'll take a stab at it and say I've probably run under 100 ovals in my entire life. A lot of these guys have run a lot more ovals than that. So, I have a lot to learn. My biggest weakness, I feel, is qualifying. Even though I have been on a pole in a Winston Cup race before (Atlanta, March '97), I still feel that my weakness is qualifying. I have a hard time sending the car off in the corner on cold tires. Everything I've ever been taught to do is to make sure you have some tire temperature in your car before you lay on it. The Indy cars didn't react to the tires like the Winston Cup or Busch cars. I was pleased with my Busch effort and thought that we were going to possibly even be on the pole. That would have really been good for my first qualifying effort for a Busch race on an oval. These guys at RCR have a lot of experience. They've had a lot of guys drive the Busch car and everybody's been quick in it. I was a little bit nervous. I learned a lot throughout the first (practice) sessions, and hopefully we can build on that in Happy Hour and have a really strong car for the race."
Are you going to be the primary driver in the #31 car for RCR next year? "I hope so. I'm just hoping that I can do a good enough job in these few races that I'm driving to secure the ride for 2002. My deal is not done. A lot of people are saying that I'm shooting commercials and all that stuff, but it's just not true. I would like to have that ride for next year and I'm going to do everything I can with my driving abilities to get that."
"I need to be with a team that knows how to win. I need to drive the car, because that's what I do best, and not try to help a team that is struggling to become race winners or champions. With this team, all I have to do is show up and drive the car and tell them what the problems are. They have a good enough crew staff to make the right changes t the car. So far, I haven't had that in any Winston Cup opportunity. I went to Sabates back in '97 as a one-car team, but by the time I showed up for the first race we were a three-car team. A team like this started sliding cars into the system gradually. I think I can learn from this. It's unfortunate it didn't work out with the #4 car, but things happen for a reason. I'm very fortunate to have gotten a call from Richard Childress and have the opportunity to drive his cars."