Talladega II: Robbie Reiser pre-race interview

ROBBIE REISER DISCUSSES THE CHALLENGES FACING THE FIRST COT RACE AT TALLADEGA THIS WEEKEND & THE START OF THE CHASE CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow faces its biggest test to date this weekend at the circuit's largest track, the...

ROBBIE REISER DISCUSSES THE CHALLENGES FACING THE FIRST COT RACE AT TALLADEGA THIS WEEKEND & THE START OF THE CHASE

CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow faces its biggest test to date this weekend at the circuit's largest track, the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Sunday will mark the first restrictor-plate race where teams will run the new COT. NEXTEL Cup teams tested for two days at Talladega in early September, but as Robbie Reiser, long-time crew chief of Matt Kenseth's No. 17 DEWALT Ford, admits, there's a lot about this weekend's race that will be, "interesting."

THERE'S A LOT OF UNKNOWNS GOING INTO TALLADEGA. TELL US WHAT YOU EXPECT GOING IN.

ROBBIE REISER -- "Well, everything's going to be new. The COT car is going to be a virgin at Talladega Speedway. It's going to be eventful I would think. Just watching the cars draft in the test was interesting and the draft was awful small with 10 to 15 cars. So, I think when it comes race time that'll be an interesting mark. I think for all of us, we have to figure out how the car handles, and how to cool the car and how to do all the different things that we normally do to the other cars that we already had figured out. That'll make it interesting for us; the racing should be interesting by itself."

ARE THERE ANY NEW CONCERNS GOING INTO THIS PLATE RACE THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE?

REISER -- "Well, being that you're dealing with a splitter and you're dealing with a wing and you got different things that are on the car than what we've had in the past, obviously you've got to be more prepared for this style of car. So that's one thing. NASCAR's mandated the size of bumpers and things that we have on the car, so that'll be interesting to see how that works out in the draft and make sure that the construction of the car can hold up. During the test we saw that the sides had vibrated on the cars quite a bit, so we'll have to look a lot of things over that we don't normally pay attention to."

THREE RACES INTO THE CHASE, AND OBVIOUSLY YOU'VE HAD SOME BAD LUCK THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT YOU GOTTA BE HAPPY WITH YOUR TEAM'S PERFORMANCE AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE CAR'S PERFORMANCE THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS.

REISER -- "No question, we've been really competitive in these three races. I mean, it hasn't gone quite the way we want to, but on the other hand, we've had cars that were capable of running in the top five in all three races. So, that part of it's good. The luck part of it will hopefully change and we'll get an opportunity to run well. I think, looking back on it, we had two bad races and it really doesn't have us out of it yet. We can rebound, but we got to do it right now."

-credit: rfr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth