Dearborn, MI (July 18, 2000)- Being a survivor of one of the worst wrecks in NASCAR history in Daytona, Rob Morgan has had his share of up's and downs. After qualifying on the outside of the front row in Texas he was involved in a lap 119 ...
Dearborn, MI (July 18, 2000)- Being a survivor of one of the worst wrecks in NASCAR history in Daytona, Rob Morgan has had his share of up's and downs. After qualifying on the outside of the front row in Texas he was involved in a lap 119 accident, not of his own accord as he was run into by Jack Sprague, and was relegated to a 29th place finish. The following weekend at Kentucky, he started fourteenth and had a strong eighth place finish. Since then it has been an onslaught of bad luck, from engine failures to broken axles, but Rob and the entire #46 team feel that this current string has come to an end and look to be strong at Michigan this weekend.
In your opinion, how has the team progressed this year?
"We're running well, qualifying up front and running pretty consistently in the top ten; we just haven't had any luck. I think once we get out of this rut and our luck changes around I think well do really well. Compared to last year we are actually a lot better team, but as far as points on paper compared last year were looking like about the same at this point as last season."
The way things have been going for you a top-five finish or even a win, seem right around the corner. Do you feel this team is ready to make the step to being one of the top contenders in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series?
"I definitely think that we are ready to be a top ten contender. I think that if we got to be really running consistently in the top five we could contend for a win. I mean we've got to get to the point where we can at least finish in the top ten every week before we can start to think about winning races. That's not to say that I don't think we can win now, because we do have the equipment and people to win. Look at Kurt Busch, for example. Kurt Busch had a lot of second place finishes and was running in the top five every weekend, and it took him14 races to win. So I think we have a little ways to go yet. But you never know if that luck comes around we might hit one. That's what it takes, with as much bad luck as we've had, we deserve some good luck."
What has made the greatest impact on your success this season, Can you point to one thing or has it been a combination of things?
"I think it been a combination of things. We have better race trucks. Not only the way they prepared at the track, but also the way there built in the shop. The guys are working better together, they're learning a lot. I think that the team has a lot more experience this season and they are able to make the trucks more comfortable for me to drive. Our motor program has really helped us out a lot as well, switching to Pro Motor. I think the combination of more experience, good motors and trucks, and the guys working really hard, its coming along, I would say it's definitely a combination of things."
Bad luck has seemed to plague you guys this season, how do you stay focused and keep your eyes on winning?
"Well it's kind of tough sometimes. It's really easy to get discouraged, if you let it happen. A perfect example would be what happened last week at New Hampshire. We were involved in a wreck that we really weren't any part of. We just got collected and it put us down a ton of laps. It really bothers you for a few days and you start to get tired of all the things that happen that you really don't have any control over. Today is Tuesday, and I have all but put last weekend behind me and am thinking about this week. I am starting to really get motivated for our luck to change, and I know its coming, and when it does it is going to be great. We're going to run really well."
How has the team reacted to your recent string of bad luck?
"The team has done a great job of keeping their head up. They still come to the track every week with a good attitude and ready to go do it again. Everyone has a real positive attitude and it shows. Every week they continue to give me a good truck and a chance to run up front."
With eight races left, tell us what you see for the #46 for the rest of the season?
"We are going to some of the big tracks where this team really seems to run well. If there is there one track that I look forward to running on, I think it would be Michigan. I think Michigan is going to be a lot of fun. We struggled there a little bit last year, but this year we've got a lot better truck to take and more experience to get the set-up right. I also have more drafting experience this year and look forward to being able to put it to use again. I am getting used to driving on these big tracks and how they feel and what they do. I am also really looking forward to Dover and Fontana at the end of the season. Both of those races will be really interesting and fun for me. As much as I like running on the short tracks, but it's the big, superspeedways that are the most enjoyable for me."
You talk about working out to stay in shape, what is your daily routine?
"I do an hour of cardio and ride the bike for 30 to 40 minutes every day. Then I get on the Stairmaster do it for 10 or 15 minutes. After that it's on to the rowing machine for 10 or 15 minutes. So I try to get in at least an hour of cardio. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I do all upper body, then Tuesday and Thursday I do some lower body stuff. After my cardio and workout I get in the sauna for 30 minutes with a sweat suit on and stay and there and sweat it out. While in there I try to keep my heart rate up. It really helps to get some heat conditioning and heat training."
If you put this season up to this point into one sentence what would that be?
"We have good equipment, good people, but a bad string of luck."