Dave Blaney and Boris Said, drivers of the No. 77 and No. 67 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Taurus teams, were guests this morning in the Watkins Glen International infield media center. The two drivers discussed being teammates for the weekend...
Dave Blaney and Boris Said, drivers of the No. 77 and No. 67 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Taurus teams, were guests this morning in the Watkins Glen International infield media center. The two drivers discussed being teammates for the weekend and how they have worked together in preparing for Sunday's Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen.
DAVE BLANEY --#77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Taurus
HAS ANYTHING FROM YOUR PREVIOUS FORMS OF RACING MADE YOU A BETTER ROAD COURSE RACER?
"Obviously, you're asking the wrong guy what makes a good road racer. I don't know (laughing). There are some techniques you've got to get familiar wtih, but, still, the car is a lot of it. They didn't have Boris' car real good yesterday and he didn't qualify real good, so that's the name of the game -- getting a good car underneath you and then having mistake-free laps around here."
DOES YOUR DIRT-TRACKING EXPERIENCE HELP IN SLINGING THE CAR AROUND?
"You do sling the car around a lot more at these type of tracks compared to ovals, no doubt. You've got to make bigger and longer arcs in the corners, but, here, you sling it around a little bit and can run it hard. You can even run it a little bit over the edge sometimes and get it done. It's easy for the cars to get loose entering the corner and off the corner, so, if that stuff doesn't bother you, I guess you can drive through it a little better."
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE FROM A DIRT CAR?
"Dirt cars, a lot of times when they're sideways and spinning the wheels, you're still accelerating -- that's part of it. With these cars, if it's a little out from under you and sideways spinning the wheeels, you have to catch it before you can get going fast again. It's a little different. With dirt cars, you can kind of run it out like that, so they're a little different. I think the big thing is just being able to adapt. You can go to the same dirt track and it's totally different from one night to the next, so there's a lot of adapting going on and that's a lot of it."
BORIS SAID --#67 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Taurus
WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR SUNDAY?
"If I have a good enough car and I don't make too many mistakes, we can have a good day. My style has always been to run as hard as I can. Sometimes it helps me and sometimes it hurts me. Last year, I was running pretty aggressive and I got into Ricky Rudd and he got all bent out of shape. I didn't mean to run into him, but it's one of those things that happen on the track. I was a little out of control and he happened to catch me. Some of the veterans made comments like, 'You're not in it for the points, so you shouldn't run that hard.' But when somebody like Jasper hires you and they put you in their car and all these guys work hard, you've got to give them 100 percent. Fortunately, that's the only way I know how to drive."
HOW IS THE CAR?
"Well, right now, we were a little off yesterday when we unloaded and we didn't get a lot of practice. If we get our car good enough, I think it's good enough to pass other cars, so we're just gonna try to pick 'em off one at a time. Our goal is to try to get in the top 10. That would be a good day for us."
WHAT KIND OF PUPIL IS DAVE ON THE ROAD COURSE?
"He's a good student. I've worked with a lot of Cup guys -- about 15 or 16 of 'em. I keep hearing about how these NASCAR guys aren't good road racers. They're in a race car more than any other racer in the world, except for maybe the World of Outlaw guys, but there races are long too. From working with them, there are just subtle differences between road racing and oval racing that they just didn't know. Now, I think, they take road racing a lot more seriously now because of the points. They can't give up points on two races because the championship is so close. I think just from when I started road racing to now they're all good road racers. When they whine about a road racing coming in and having an advantage, they're full of you know what because it's not true."
DAVE BLANEY CONTINUED -- WHAT IS IT LIKE AS FAR AS SHIFTING HERE WITH THE TRANSMISSION?
"You don't shift a whole lot here compared to some tracks, I don't think. This track is mostly all second and third gear -- the whole track. There's a little bit of fourth and maybe one corner in first, so it's not real bad. I think most NASCAR guys kind of cheat the shifting thing. They don't use the clutch and just jam it in gear. Boris probably does it the right way. It's a little more mistake-free the way they do it, but you've got to be good to do it that way, so I think most of us just stay away from that."
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO HAVE A TEAMMATE FOR A CHANGE?
"It's really good. It's especially good because we went testing in Virginia before Sears Point and with the telemetry on both cars, I could watch everything Boris did -- his braking, shifting, steering -- I could see everything. So it was a ton of help to try to match myself up to what he was doing. That just accelerated my learning so much. Actually, at Sears Point we had different stuff on our cars. I don't know why, but it didn't help that much at Sears. But, here, we're more alike and, hopefully, we'll learn a lot through the course of today."
HOW DIFFERENT ARE SPRINT CARS AND CUP CARS?
"From dirt tracks to the Cup side are different worlds. Sprint cars, to me, teaches you how to race people and race as hard as you can every corner and then maybe how to win, but that's the only thing it teaches you that you can use over here. It's a whole different world -- different cars, different tracks. Over there, you could be as aggressive as you can stand it, but here that doesn't seem to help you many times. It was a hard, hard thing to transfer over to. The road racing wasn't that much different. It's the same car you're running on the oval tracks, so it's just a few techniques you eventually catch on to, so the dirt to NASCAR is a big, big move."
STEVE KINSER TRIED IT WITHOUT VERY GOOD RESULTS. DID YOU TALK TO HIM AT ALL?
"Not really. I watched him closely and I felt like that was, honestly, doomed from the start. I felt like he bit off way too much. He should have went and run a year or two of Busch cars. I knew you had to do it that way. There's no way you can jump out of a sprint car with hardly any pavement experience and come in here and expect to be even remotely competitive. So, he just bit off way too much. I'm sure he didn't want to go through the waiting game of running Busch, and I don't blame him, but I guess I learned a lesson from that for sure -- that you had to go the Busch route after that."
MORE ON KINSER.
"I think he was at a point in his career where he was doing very well doing what he was doing. He knew what he was doing over there. He knew he had a chance to win every night and he wasn't gonna be that patient as far as starting over again. If he could come over here and be successful, great. If he wasn't, he was gonna go right back."
BORIS SAID CONTINUED -- WHAT'S THE KEY TO BEING A GOOD ROAD RACER?
"The biggest thing on any road course normally is to keep the fenders on the car and stay out of the gravel. That gives you the best chance for a good finish. That's what we're gonna try. Fuel mileage is a big gamble. Some guys will try to do it on two stops and some will do it on three. I don't know what we're doing yet. When they say 'come in' I come in. I don't even get involved with that. I'm just gonna try to do my best to keep it on the track. At Sears Point I had a few problems."
GEOFF BODINE WON THIS RACE ONCE BY JUST STICKING TO A TWO-STOP STRATEGY.
"That's hard, though, because all of a sudden the caution goes out and all the leaders are going in and you're on the radio, 'Oh geez, do I pit or do I not pit?' Then there's all kinds of jabbering going back and forth, so that was pretty hard for him to do that."
YOU WOULD LIKE TO RUN CUP ALL THE TIME, WOULDN'T YOU?
"Yeah. I mean, everybody always says, 'You're the road race hired gun.' In a perfect world, I would like for people to say, 'Hey, that oval guy is a pretty good road racer.' I would like to try to do more oval racing, but it's just hard to get the opportunity. It takes a lot of money to do this stuff and you've got to have a sponsor. That's my goal for the future is to do more and hope that I can get it done something. But at least they say something. At least I'm considered a road course racer and I'm able to come here and be a part of it."
WHAT ARE SOME MEMORIES YOU HAVE OF WATKINS GLEN?
"One of the best races I ever had here was with Dorsey Schroeder in a Trans Am car. We were racing for the lead the whole race and we probably hit each other 20 times. It was one of the most fun times I ever had in a race car. I love the Cup races and the Busch races I've been doing here. Any racer, no matter what level you're at, you always look to what's the best racing in the world and kind of say, 'Maybe some day,' but you're not sure. So when you finally get in the big leagues like these guys are at, it boosts your ego. It feels like you've accomplishes something."