Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Tuesday, April 10,2007 REED SORENSON (No. 41 TUMS Dodge Charger) COMMENT ON DIFFERENT LOOK AT TMS "This week we're running a full paint scheme with TUMS on it, and David (Stremme) is also going to run a...
Dodge Motorsports Teleconference
Tuesday, April 10,2007
REED SORENSON (No. 41 TUMS Dodge Charger)
COMMENT ON DIFFERENT LOOK AT TMS "This week we're running a full paint scheme with TUMS on it, and David (Stremme) is also going to run a TUMS paint scheme at Chicago later this year. TUMS came on board here at Chip Ganassi and we've got a couple of new paint schemes for them."
YOU'VE HAD TWO 43RD-PLACE FINISHES BUT YOU'RE STILL 25TH IN POINTS "That's exactly what we looked at last week. If we had finished just 20th in those two races where we finished dead last we would be 12th in points, so I kinda pointed that out to a lot of guys on my team. If we stop doing that (finishing last) we'll be OK. Both of them were bad luck deals, so we think if we just keep doing our job and staying consistent we'll keep creeping up in the points and we'll be fine."
HAVE YOU HAD ANY GOOD LUCK AT TMS? "Last year we had a really fast car. We had a car that was on the edge to say the least. I think we were passing Kyle Busch for fourth or fifth and spun out and didn't hit anything. That was kinda good to spin out and not hit anything. We're taking a car we had at Atlanta and it ran in the top 10 all day. It was a brand new car there. It ended up finishing ninth. We feel like we can tune it in a little bit better and we'll have a good shot at running in the top 10 or top five at Texas."
TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO INFLUENCED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR RACING CAREER "Growing up watching a lot of guys in NEXTEL Cup Racing, I'd probably say Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon were probably my two favorites and Davey Allison was probably right after that, so I actually got to meet Dale Sr. and Jeff Gordon, so that was pretty cool. I've got pictures of them with me. That was a really neat deal. I wish I was a little bit older at that time so I could have been into the racing end watching it and things like that, but back then I was just a race fan and was just happy to meet drivers and get autographs and things like that."
THERE'S NEVER BEEN A REPEAT WINNER AT TMS IN CUP. DOES THAT GET YOU EXCITED? "Sure, that's great. Texas is a great place for racing and now that the pavement is getting a little bit older it keeps getting a little bit better. You can run about three different grooves there. It'll be good racing. We're getting out of the car of tomorrow and going back to the old car. It's going to be fast. It's always fast on new tires and then it slows down and creates some good racing, so definitely you can keep your car going after about 10 laps and keep your momentum up. We're looking forward to taking the car we ran in Atlanta. It was brand new when we took it there. It's only got one race on it and it's been good for us, so we're looking forward to heading to Texas with the TUMS car and we hope it's going to be fast."
DOES GANASSI RACING FEEL LIKE IT HAS A SENSE OF MOMENTUM BEGINNING THE SEASON? "We had some momentum. We had two dead last finishes this year, and I wouldn't really call that consistent, so we've got to make sure we don't do that any more. We've had some decent runs, but the only good race we had we felt we did everything we were supposed to at Atlanta, so we've just got to get a little bit better when we go to some of these places. I think at Martinsville we finished 18th, so that was just kinda an OK day. The test at Richmond went really well. I think we hit on something there a little bit, so we've just got to get our cars favorable for a top 10 finish every weekend and make sure we stay out of wrecks and things like that."
WHAT OTHER TRACKS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO? "I'd like to think all the tracks like that we run pretty well at. We go to Chicago, Texas, Atlanta, Charlotte, places like that, Kansas. We feel like we've got good cars there and a pretty good starting setup. I'd like to think if we can get our car of tomorrow tuned in well we can run good with that. I was a little worried about Bristol and Martinsville. We didn't really have a fast car and none of the guys on the team did, so we felt like we definitely got a lot better after the Richmond test, and David Stremme tested at Rockingham this week. They think they've got their car pretty good on a banked track. We're working as hard as we can here to make sure we get this car of tomorrow working good. We feel like every time we take our other car out it'll be pretty good at the mile and a half tracks. Our superspeedway program got a lot better and a lot of credit for that goes to our motor department. We were really off on motors last year at Daytona and Talladega and they definitely picked up the pace on that program. You could see the Ganassi cars were pretty quick at Daytona. I feel like our speedway program is pretty good, and like I said, any time we take this car of tomorrow out it's kind of an adventure and it's kind of new and different for everybody. We run that car in 16 races this year and it's a big part of the season. We're working hard testing that car more than any other car to try to make sure we don't get left behind in the development of this car. I would say, depending on how we do this weekend, we're a little bit more confident I guess you could say in the car at the mile and a half tracks and hopefully we'll get where we can feel that confidence in the car of tomorrow as well."
HOW CUTTHROAT IS IT TOWARD THE END OF A RACE? "That's a good word (cutthroat). I can use that word for sure. It depends on where you're at. When you're at a place like Martinsville there's not much giving out there, that's for sure. It's actually kinda funny you asked that because I talk about that a lot with my crew chief. These races are so competitive now you race hard for 300 laps or how ever long the race is. When you get down to the last 10 or 20 laps most of the time we have a debris caution or something like that and we get all bunched back up. It's tough. Everybody is trying to run qualifying laps out there and some guys are better than other guys on new tires, so it make it interesting. There's not much giving and taking out there. You've got about an inch or room on each side of the car and hopefully you can squeeze through and get as many as you can at the end. It's definitely an important part of the race. A lot of times you'll look at somebody who ran good all day and lose three or four spots at the end from people who had a really good car on short runs and charged with new tires at the end. You've got to make sure you have a plan if you have a caution at the end to either pump up the air pressure a little bit or if your car is a little loose to tighten it up a little bit so you can get after it pretty hard."
HAVE YOU REVIEWED HOW GUYS WIN AT THE END? "We haven't been in that situation yet where we have a shot to win like that, so it's the same thing with the guys running ninth and 10th. They're going for the win and you're fighting for your 10th-place finish back there. I think I looked at the tape from Atlanta and that was a deal where Jimmie Johnson was probably in the gas and came around the corner and thought there was going to be enough room and at the same time he wasn't going to let off the gas, either. So, you're definitely on the edge the last five or six laps or 10 laps or whatever you want to call it. If you're going for the win you're going to give it everything you have and it's just one of those deals where people don't realize you're trying so hard out there and you're taking your car to the complete full limit of what you can do, so you can't criticize anybody that's doing what they're doing to try to win a race. He (Jimmie Johnson) led pretty much the whole day, so it's not like he came from fifth or sixth place and took his car past the limits. He was kicking butt all day long. He had a fast car and he just made it a little bit faster at the end so he could win, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's what racing is all about, so that's all good."
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM MONTOYA AND WHAT HAS HE LEARNED FROM YOU? "He brings a lot of things to the team that aren't necessarily race-related. He's been all over the world racing, and he has an outlook that he wants to win races just like everybody else here. Myself and David talk to him through the weekend and we share information evenly. I wouldn't say that we talk about anything different. I think it's got to the point now where he's run enough races where he's not really a new guy who doesn't know anything anymore. He's a racer just like me and David are and we just talk normal stuff. We talk about our cars. We talk about what we learned on the track. It's almost like now where we're just kinda like regular teammates. We just go out there and learn from each other and do the best we can."
COMMENT ON THE AVENGER YOU TESTED AT RICHMOND "Actually we took it straight from Martinsville. It was all beat up. They beat the body back out and it looked OK, but half the wrap was missing on it and it looked pretty ugly but it was fast. We kept the same motor in it and changed a couple of things on the car to get it ready for the test and then we also took a car that was ready for the test, so we had two cars, but the one that ran fast all week long was the one we had at Martinsville. We got it better at the end (at Martinsville), but it was a little too late. We got decent on lap 420 of 500, so it was a little bit too late, but those tracks are quite a bit different. Maybe we just had a better setup for a Richmond type track than we did at Martinsville. I can't really explain why it was good there and not at Martinsville. We've just got to try to get a little bit different setup for Martinsville."
WHICH AVENGER WILL YOU TAKE TO PHOENIX? "Actually I think we're taking a brand new car there. It's actually getting built right now and it should come out some time this week. We're taking a brand new car there and we're going to try to get it the same as we had the car at Richmond. Hopefully they run the same. The bodies are the same so there's no aerodynamic difference. It's just all about making sure it's just as light and you get the setups the same."
HOW DIFFERENT IS THE AVENGER TO DRIVE THAN THE CHARGER? "A lot different. They're way different from each other. It's kinda hard to feel the front end in these new cars. We're traveling half the distance on the front end travel, so when the car travels down or comes up it's really hard to tell where your nose is at. There's been a few times I feel like my nose is really high and then I look at pictures and certain things and it's really not that high. It's hard to tell where you're front end is. It's hard to get it to turn. They don't turn at all. We've had to do a lot of things to free the car up to get it to rotate good and turn in the center of the corner. That's the main problem we had at Martinsville. We couldn't get the car to turn in the center, so that's one of the things we've got to work on."
-credit: dodge motorsports