Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series Test Day 4 Daytona International Speedway January 21, 2008 JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing How has it been so far working with your new crew chief, Stewart Cooper? "It has been great.
Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series Test
Daytona International Speedway
January 21, 2008
JASON LEFFLER, No. 38 Great Clips Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
How has it been so far working with your new crew chief, Stewart Cooper? "It has been great. I can already see the improvements in the team. Stewart has been around the garage for a long time. He's done a really, really good job during the winter to get everything organized and on the right track for the new season. So far, it's all going good. To contend for the championship, we just need to find some consistency, and I think having Stewart Cooper on board is really going to help that. I'm just looking forward to kicking the season off here, and hopefully, we'll kick it off in Victory Lane."
What do you do in the off-season to re-charge your battery for the new season? "With a new son, Charlie Dean, it's a whole new experience. Coming home and seeing him is really cool, and keeps me motivated. I try to race all the time, and when I'm not racing, I'm either working on a race car or working in the garage. I don't have anything really exciting that I do, but with the new family, it's just been cool."
Do you think the addition of Camrys in the field will help your team? "The fact that we have more Toyotas in the field is definitely going to help. Getting Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing together is a win-win for everybody. It's certainly good for Toyota, and certainly good for JGR. Any information that trickles down through TRD (Toyota Racing Development) will help everybody. It will also help from a morale standpoint. We're looking forward to this season, especially having Nationwide come on board. I think everybody is pretty pumped up about that."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Do you feel any added pressure considering Daytona is your 'home track'? "There's always pressure when you come to Daytona. There's pressure everywhere you go. We've had a pretty good test up to this point. We're just trying different things. We're eliminating things that don't work, and focusing on things that do. Other than that, the one thing that we do have is that we have the same team this year. No crew turnover, the same crew chief and the same team. I'm pretty excited about that. Toyota has done a great job giving us the support we need to be a little bit better this year. I think the familiarity with all the regular guys and the same cars we ran last year -- for the most part -- will give us the opportunity to get a little more consistent at the beginning of the year and put us in a good position for the championship."
What will it take for you to win the Nationwide Series championship in 2008? "Get Carl (Edwards, 2007 series champion) to stay home. Guys like Carl are going to be consistent throughout the year. Even if we have a few good races, if we finish 35th in a couple, it almost takes you right out of contention. You just need to be consistent on a weekly basis. You try to lead laps when you can, so you can get the five points that add up at the end of the year. We weren't consistent until about the middle of last year, so we need to work on that."
-credit: toyota motorsports