Chaffin Discusses the Biggest Thing He's Learned This Year Homestead's New Surface: "Obviously I think we're going to be real fast on the new surface. I hope it leads to a good race because a lot of these tracks don't put on a good race the...
Chaffin Discusses the Biggest Thing He's Learned This Year
Homestead's New Surface: "Obviously I think we're going to be real fast on the new surface. I hope it leads to a good race because a lot of these tracks don't put on a good race the first or second time around after they make changes. I'm looking forward to racing there. I think we've been struggling a little bit lately and in the last two races we haven't been running up to our standards. I think Homestead is a good place for us to go and redeem ourselves. We've run well on these big tracks such as the 1.5-milers. I think we can get a good solid top-10 finish there no doubt."
2004 Test: "I tested a 2004 truck that we built in Atlanta last week and we feel like we learned a lot. The 2004 trucks are definitely different from an aerodynamic and downforce standpoint. I think we made some gains with the truck. The main thing is that now we know what direction to go with our bodies. We're making changes on it now because Bobby's going to test with the same truck after the race in Homestead. From what we learned and what he'll learn, maybe we can get the truck to where it handles and feels like a 2003. We didn't have a problem with what we had, it's just now NASCAR's thrown us a curve with the new body. I feel that our lap times are real competitive with the 2003 and so I think by the next test we'll have the new ones where these old ones left off. Then maybe we can get them even better down the road."
Biggest Thing I learned This Year on the Track: "You know race car drivers, as a whole, get too much credit when things are going good and too much blame when things are not going so well. This year we've had a lot of pretty decent races and it seems like the times that we've ran good it was really, really easy for the whole team. We'd come away with a top-five finish or a top-ten finish and we'd say, 'Wow, that was easy.' Then we'd go to other races this year and run 11th, 12th, or 13th and struggle the whole time. I learned that consistency is the key. I feel this year, even though we haven't crashed out of any races, we were capable of running better week in and week out. I think that over the winter we'll make changes with the team and I'll try to learn more about trucks, which would even be better. We've had a lot of bad luck this year. I've just tried to finish races, and we've done that. I guess that's why we're tenth in points."
Grading Myself and the Dickies Team: "I would give myself an A- only because I haven't wrecked, I've got some poles and I feel I've finished as capable as my truck was. I give our team a B. We've had a lot of A days, and we've had some C days. So I'd say all in all we're somewhere in the B range. I don't want to be too critical of our team; we are sitting 10th in driver's points. We need to be running three, four or five positions better on an average because then our season would have looked so much better on paper."
* Chaffin will be appearing on Nov. 11th at Kmart on South Dixie Highway in Miami from 4-7 pm.
Championship Prediction: "I believe Brendan (Gaughan) will win the championship, it seems like it is his year. I think that Ted (Musgrave) will win the race in Homestead, that is if Bobby or I don't, but not the championship. Brendan and his team have to be careful what motor they run, what gear they pull because they don't want to blow up. They only have a 20-some point lead. With Ted being 20-some points behind, they're not going there looking for a top-five finish, they want to win the race. Ted's going to do what he needs to do, because he has to do it. Brendan will say he's not being defensive, but he's got only six or seven positions cushion there, he can't afford to blow up. He needs to go out there and get a top-five finish and then he's pretty well got it in the bag. He's got to be thinking about, I just got to finish this race, I can't blow up, we've got to have good pit stops, we can't leave a lugnut off. Where as Ted is thinking I've got to lead a lap, I've got to lead the most laps, I've got to win the race. So I think Ted will do what he has to do and then the only question is how will Brendan do? It just seems as though it is his year and he'll sneak out with it."