Team Chevy Silverado Midday Open Test Quotes Lowe's Motor Speedway MAY 18, 2006 ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, 5th in morning practice session: How has the new surface at the Lowe's Motor Speedway felt so far? "I have ...
Team Chevy Silverado Midday Open Test Quotes
Lowe's Motor Speedway
MAY 18, 2006
ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado, 5th in morning practice session:
How has the new surface at the Lowe's Motor Speedway felt so far? "I have never raced on this race track before, so this is all new to me, and the only tracks that I can compare this place to is Texas or Atlanta. I think it is an awesome track, the tire that Goodyear has brought is definitely hard, but it should make for some exciting action for the race fans. It is hard to run wide open and not have the tires chatter, so I think that you will see people lifting, which should make things exciting."
How are you using the information from the test today? "We are using this test to get the truck closer and closer to what we are going to run tomorrow night. We will test really hard tonight just because the track will be extremely close to what we will be looking at tomorrow night. We haven't started the year off the way that we wanted, but I cannot tell you how proud I am of these Spears guys, and am very happy with how the test is going today."
MIKE BLISS, No. 16 IWX Silverado, 2nd in morning practice session:
You have raced at the "old" Lowe's Motor Speedway; how different does the surface feel? "Smooth, that is for sure. We started out with a green track and then everyone is loose, until the rubber gets built up, then everyone is tight, so we just got tighter and tighter. The tire is extremely hard, pretty ridiculous actually, but what do you do. They changed the compound to try and slow the Cup cars down, but the Trucks to not need to be slowed any, but I think it is fair, because we have to get out of the throttle, so it evens things out some between manufacturers, especially the Toyotas."
What is the team using this test for? "We are using this test primarily to get as much information for the set-up for tomorrow night. We are going to download as much information as possible, and we also had an awesome test in Chicago last week, so we are using a bunch of information from that test as well."
KYLE BUSCH, No. 51 National Land Liquidations/Manheim Central Florida Auto Auction Silverado, defending LMS NCTS race winner and 24th in morning practice session did a 15 question and answer session in the infield media center:
On how opportunity to defend your race win here at Lowe's came about: "Well, it was one of those deals where Ritchie (Wauters, crew chief) and Billy (Ballew, team owner) called and asked me if I wanted to do any races at the beginning of the year, and we kind of marked Charlotte and maybe Dover. It seems to help me when I run the Trucks, Busch, and Cup. Although this weekend, or next, is not a triple-header, when we go to places such as Dover, we will be busy for sure. If we do Bristol later on in the year or something like that, and it will be as well. It's just a cool opportunity for me to be associated with Billy Ballew Motorsports again this year and, you know, have everybody on board that we have this year. We got a slew of sponsors so it's going to be hard to try to remember them all, but, you know, it's a neat opportunity for me to be associated with Billy Ballew Motorsports and try to come out here and win some races in the No. 51 Chevrolet Silverado this week."
On the fact team owners are looking for youngsters with promise: "I think the biggest deal is to have a long relationship and develop a relationship with the driver and the team and everyone can kind of stay together for a little bit more time. You know, when you've got a guy who is, you know, 38 or 40 years old, he may only be there for five or six years or something like that. That's a long time, yes, but it's not maybe what it could be. Where as, though, if you're looking for an 18- or 20-year-old driver, you know, you can develop a relationship with the team and an owner for 10, 15-plus years. So it's definitely an opportunity of a lifetime to be associated with Hendrick Motorsports and Billy Ballew Motorsports and everyone that's helped me along my way through my career. To develop a strong relationship with Alan Gustafson that I have - and we're both very young, we both could be here for a little while longer - and Ritchie Waters, I've developed a good relationship with him as well, too. I love racing; I want to keep going and be here."
On discussion with Rick Hendrick about this to be a 10- or 20-year relationship: "No, it wasn't important to me. When Rick and I sat down and discussed things, you know, he only wanted to start out with a two-year deal with an extension that we could opt to both sign. That's how it kind of came about and I'm on my fourth year with Hendrick Motorsports so, you know, I've got a great relationship with Rick and everything like that but in the beginning there were no long talks about staying for longer than four years. On the other hand, the Roush Racing organization, they offered me a 12-year deal and it's tough sometimes when you're a young driver. You have to be great, you know, you haven't had the opportunity to get in and have a 12-year deal, but sometimes the way things go in an organization; you get wrapped in, you're stuck and you may want to change. Jamie McMurray, for instance, had a great relationship going with Ganassi Racing and just wanted to make a change, stepped out and went over to Roush Racing, and you know, my brother, Roush to Penske. So there's times when things get tiring and you can't just stay with the same group and you need a change and that's basically what you get."
On advantages of shorter term contract: "If you can keep going with two-year deals or maybe throw in a four-year deal or something like that. You'll rarely see somebody sign - any more - anything over a four- or five-year deal, maybe that will keep them wrapped up."
On name on truck, Rowdy Busch: "That's for you guys, man. Everyone calls me Rowdy, because I am "out of control", so we'll just play along with it now. We came up with the truck number 51, because it is opposite of the 15 truck, and I thought about the movie, Days of Thunder, and 51, I used to watch that movie all the time when I was a kid, practically everyday after school. I have seen it over 300 times, I know every line in the movie, so we are trying to drop it in the hammer today. I did miss one little fine detail with this truck, however, and that was to borrow some chrome wheels from Bobby Hamilton Jr."
On learning curve played out on the front page of every national newspaper: "Sometimes it is tough. You have to take the good with the bad, and handle it any way that you can and do the best possible job that you can. For me to run up front, it has been a great chance for me to showcase my talents, go out and try to win races, and you slip up and make a mistake, it seems that that is the only thing that makes headlines. The Daytona deal became very well known, as well as the Las Vegas thing, but Bristol and Martinsville I kept my nose clean, didn't hear a peep out of me, no one wrote one good thing about me, and then we get to Texas and I had a run-in with Clint Bowyer, and then we go to Talladega. Even Carl Edwards said himself that that incident wasn't my fault, and these last two weeks you haven't heard a peep out of me either, and have kept my nose clean. It is very hard to make good news about yourself, but so easy to make bad news instead."
On contact with wall during Thursday late afternoon open practice session: "That there was my favorite truck, No. 11, the one we won with last year a couple times. We had a left rear tire go down as soon as we hit turn one and it just spun out on me. We backed it in and nosed it in. We got the tire back and it had a puncture in it so it was going down. It's the second one we had today. we're just fighting debris right now. This one's killed - it's going back to the shop. I know it needs a rear clip; it might need a front as well. The track is pretty good as far as grip and stuff like that. The trucks seem to drive better than the cars do but it's all about getting them to handle best."