Logano and Edwards Hoping For Pocono Success This Weekend

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Long Pond, PA June 7, 2013:
Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion, is the defending race winner of the Party in the Poconos 400 and currently sits 18th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Logano, who will be traveling between Pocono and Iowa this weekend for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday night, answered questions from the media on Friday.
2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Pocono June 7, 2013, Long Pond, Pennsylvania USA.Joey Logano's team waits out the rain at Pocono Raceway.©2013, Nigel Kinrade.Autostock

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Pocono
June 7, 2013, Long Pond, Pennsylvania USA.Joey Logano’s team waits out the rain at Pocono Raceway.©2013, Nigel Kinrade.Autostock


JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – THOUGHTS ON POCONO THIS WEEKEND? “I love coming up here. Besides the weather, this place is really cool. Even before they repaved it I thought it was a really cool race track and obviously last year with getting our win here and having a few poles here, I think it’s an important track to come to. I even think the atmosphere around here is cool. There’s a bunch of stuff to do outside here and being a northeast guy it kind of feels a little bit like home for me, so I enjoy it and we’re ready to go.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON POSSIBLY NOT GETTING TO QUALIFY TODAY? “Our big thing is I’m running Iowa this weekend in the Nationwide car, so I’m gonna have to go back and forth. We’re trying to figure out the logistics of when we can go and how long should I stay here, so that part has been a topic of discussion this morning already for us. If we don’t qualify, unfortunately I guess we’ll start 18th if we don’t get any practice on the race track, so I’m sure we’d be better than that if we do get to practice. I feel like all year we’ve been able to run easy up in the top 10 most of the time, so I would expect the same here – to keep doing that – so we’ll just have to work our way up to the front.”
WHAT ARE THE LOGISTICS FOR IOWA? “The plan was, if everything was sunny, would be to practice and qualify here. Pocono is the priority. Our Shell/Pennzoil Ford is our priority car, and then after qualifying was to run to the airport and fly out and get to the second practice at Iowa. But if we rain out here sooner, I’ll try to make the first practice and the second practice at Iowa, so we’ll just have to wait and see and kind of play it by ear and see what the weather looks like and go from there.”
IS THERE ANY CHANCE YOU WOULD MISS PRACTICE HERE AT POCONO? “No. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to make sure we get all the track time here and to make sure we have our best shot here. If you look at our season, we’re 18th in points but we’re really close to the Chase. We’re only 30-something points out, I think, so we’re very capable of getting in the Chase this year and we can’t afford to not give it our all at this point. So we’ll make sure we focus in on the Sprint Cup car and try to get the best finish out of here we possibly can.”

GREG BIFFLE SAID EARLIER THIS WEEK HE THOUGHT THE FORDS WERE LAGGING BEHIND A LITTLE BIT. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT? “Well, I guess if you look at it the results don’t lie, and I think that’s obvious for all you guys to see, but I do feel like we are working really hard and trying to make improvements and trying to work together at one Ford and as one team and trying to figure out what we’ve got to do to go a little faster. That’s how it’s always gonna be. We’re always looking for more speed. Even if we were the fastest cars out there, we would need more speed all the time. That’s how our sport is and that’s how racing is. Are we where we want to be? No, we’re not where we want to be. We need to be faster. We haven’t really won the races that I feel like we should have won already this year as Ford in general, but I do not feel like we’re way far off. All the guys at Ford are working really hard and trying to pinpoint what we need and how we can improve on it.”

IS THE TIMING OF THIS TRACK GOOD FOR YOU WITH THE MOMENTUM YOU’VE GAINED? “I look at the last few race tracks as being really good race tracks for me – Darlington, Charlotte, Dover and Pocono. Those are pretty much my strongest race tracks and the most fun race tracks for me obviously since I’m the best at them, so this is a big time of the season for us to capitalize. I feel like we’ve been running well. We’ve had a lot of top fives and a lot of top 10s the last few weeks, but we’re also not where we need to be yet. We haven’t won that race yet, so, at this point, I do feel like we go to any track and we’re gonna be competitive. I look at last weekend at Dover and I was very proud of my team. I thought in practice we weren’t very good and I was kind of disappointed about it before the race even started. I’m like, ‘This is gonna be a tough day.’ We changed a lot overnight and I felt like we were a 13th or 14th-place car to begin the race and I thought, ‘Well, if we can maintain here, we can get our car better.’ Then we had the flat left-front tire, went down two laps but continued to make our car better. We got our two laps back and came home seventh after all of that, so that’s a huge day for us to recover from looking like we were gonna finish 22nd or 23rd to finishing seventh. That’s what we’ve got to focus on doing every week no matter what. Being on top of that looking like it wasn’t gonna be a good race to having a solid top 10 and maybe even better if we had some more laps. I was happy with that and that’s what we’ve got to do to get into this Chase right now. You can see how close the points are. It’s ridiculous how close they are. It’s awesome for the fans and it’s good for me because I need to get up in there, but those wins are really important and if you can’t win, you have to have a solid finish at this point to keep yourself steadily moving up.”
WHAT WILL YOU DO IN IOWA IF YOU DON’T MAKE PRACTICE THERE TODAY BECAUSE OF WEATHER HERE IN POCONO? “If we do get to a point that I can’t drive in Iowa because this is our priority, so if there’s a chance of us being on the race track in Pocono, I will be here. But if there’s in practice at Iowa at the same time and I can’t be there, then we’ll have Sam Hornish up there. Obviously, he’ll have his car, but he’ll be able to transfer over and drive the 22 Discount Tire Ford a little bit and just tune it in to make sure it’s close, make sure there are no vibrations and give me something close. Then we’ll have to just go from there. Obviously, that’s not the ideal situation. As a driver you want to be in the car and setting it up yourself because all of us drive a different way, but I couldn’t think of someone better to put in the car than Sam. I feel like it’s the best plan we’ve got.”
DO YOU USE SAM’S SETUPS? “I really don’t know a whole bunch about Sam’s technique because I’ve run three or four Nationwide races and one of them was Talladega, so it’s a hard read so far to feel out. When he says it’s tight, do I think it’s tight? Or do I think it’s that tight? What do we do? Is he driving the corner harder than me or less than me to get our travels to where our splitter is right and all that, that’s something even this year with Brad and myself. We’re trying to learn each other on different techniques at different race tracks. I don’t have that database with Sam yet to know how that’s gonna be, but I do know he’ll get it close for me. He’s obviously a great race car driver that’s already won a Nationwide race this year, so I feel like he can get us in the ballpark.”
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT MICHIGAN, SONOMA, KENTUCKY AND DAYTONA FOR YOU? “We can’t make any mistakes. That’s the first thing. Whether that’s me as a driver, I can’t make any mistakes or as a team, whether that’s on a pit stop or a mechanical failure or setup mistake. Whatever it is, we can’t afford to make them because of where we are in the points. Where we are in the points is because we’ve had too many mistakes throughout this year. But if I look at the way we can recover from this, my team is strong enough to do that. My team is super-strong. They are definitely a championship-winning team and we’re growing every day and I’m proud of that. So there’s no reason why I feel like we can’t do it. Yes, we’ve had some mistakes and some growing pains in the beginning of the year, but the most important thing is that we learn from it and we’re getting better from that. You make a mistake once, that’s not a big deal. You make one twice, then you’ve got to look back at it and say, ‘OK, what are we doing here?’ That’s when you’ve got to figure stuff out, but as long as we learn from it and keep getting better, I’m not in panic mode at all right now on trying to make it.”
HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU AS A LEADER NOW WITH YOUR NEW TEAM AS COMPARED TO A COUPLE YEARS AGO? “Way better and I’m having fun with it. It’s a good time to get to know these guys and figure out how as a driver and as a leader you can make your team stronger. The cool part is I look at Todd Gordon, my crew chief, and he’s got the same mentality as me, and I feel like we’re very similar in a lot of ways, which works out good for us. I feel like our strengths and weaknesses are fairly similar and we’re able to work on those together, and we’re very open about what those are. We’re not trying to put on a show for anybody. If there’s a weak point, I let him know what my weak points are and he lets me know what his are, and we try together as a team to improve on those, and I think you see the results throughout the year.”
DO YOU FEEL YOUR CHEMISTRY WITH TODD MAKES FOR A GREAT MATCH? “Yeah, I think it’s working well together. There’s a lot of communication there and whether we’re at the shop or here, like I said, we’re not hiding anything from each other and that’s important to have. I look at even the three weeks of adversity we had to fight with having the penalties and not having Todd there, he was involved as much as he possibly could be and I felt like that built our team even stronger. We use that to our advantage and really raise everybody’s game throughout the whole team a little bit, and now that we’ve got him back, we can be even stronger. It’s been an important thing for us. We’ve been getting better and, like I said, whatever we do we’ve got to do our best at it and be able to keep getting better, and using every situation – even if it looks like it’s something that’s not going our way – to our advantage somehow.”
IS RUNNING NATIONWIDE A FUN THING FOR YOU TO? “I do enjoy running Nationwide races, to be honest with you. Does this race, going to Iowa, make perfect sense to run? No, it doesn’t (laughing). I’m not gonna lie about that, but it was either Brad or me to drive this thing. We’re gonna run into the same situation in the second Iowa race on how we’re gonna do this, so I told them I would do the first one and then we’ll go from there. We would put Ryan Blaney in it if that was a possibility, but he’s off racing his truck, so we can’t do that. The next-best thing is to take one of us from Pocono to go run that race and to give those guys the best shot they can to win. Penske as a team, we want to win races any way we can and give ourselves the best shot, no matter what it is, so I feel like this is the best opportunity we’ve got to go up there and win races as a team and that 22 team and we’ll go have some fun and hopefully bring home a trophy.”
IF IOWA EVER GOT A CUP RACE WOULD THE NATIONWIDE LAPS YOU RUN BE HELPFUL? “They would, yeah. Any extra laps there would help. I haven’t been to Iowa in years and it looks like it’s a lot bumpier than what it used to be. I actually ran the first race ever there in Iowa in a Hooters Pro Cup car and I led the first lap, so I thought that was cool, but then I blew up and that wasn’t as cool. I haven’t been there in probably five or six years at least, so practice will be important to get there and if there ever is a Cup race there, it will be important to have some laps around that joint and I’m pretty sure they packed up the stands pretty good there from what I hear. They have some really good fans up there in Iowa, so it will be fun to race out in front of them.”
A WILD CARD SPOT SEEMS TO BE THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO MAKE THE CHASE. CAN YOU SIZE IT UP NOW AS FAR AS DRIVERS YOU THINK MAY OR MAY NOT BE THREATS? “I don’t think we can not look at anybody. I think we have to look at every one as a threat to do it, but I think the main thing is we have to focus on ourselves and not on what everyone else is doing. Yes, we need to win, but I don’t feel like that’s our best chance yet. I do feel like we can have some solid finishes and work our way up into the top 10 in points. I really truly honestly feel like we can do that. Obviously, a win would help that a ton to get for our wild card stuff, but I don’t feel like making it by points is out by no means at all, so, yes, we’ve got to look at everyone as a threat, but we can’t focus on that. We’ve got to focus on ourselves being a threat and how we’re gonna get the best out of every race we can.”
2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Pocono June 7, 2013, Long Pond, Pennsylvania USA.Carl Edwards team waits out the rain at Pocono Raceway.©2013, Nigel Kinrade.Autostock

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Pocono
June 7, 2013, Long Pond, Pennsylvania USA.Carl Edwards team waits out the rain at Pocono Raceway.©2013, Nigel Kinrade.Autostock

 

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Kellogg’s/Cheez-It Ford Fusion, is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings going into this weekend’s race. He stopped by the media center and addressed a number of issues.
 
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Kellogg’s/Cheez-It Ford Fusion – YOU WERE A GUEST JUDGE ON THE BIG BRAIN THEORY. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? “It was a lot of fun. Kal Penn and the other hosts, we had a good time filming that. It’s an engineering-based show, so it’s a competition between engineers. It was really neat for me because there were some very, very smart people – contestants and judges on that show. I don’t know how much I can talk about it without giving away what happened, but the task that they had to engineer, or the problem they were given, was a pretty interesting one and it was really exciting to watch how they solved the problem. It was pretty neat, so I had a good time doing it. I’m looking forward to seeing the show and I learned a lot. There were some very, very smart people out there. They were very impressive.”
YOU HAVE TWO WINS AT POCONO. WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH COMING IN HERE? “We were planning on qualifying well and it looks like we’re going to do that. The only bad part about starting up front with a rainout is all the other guys you’re racing with start right there with you, so there’s really no advantage. And then the key for us is really to manage the race. There are a couple of different things you have to do here. You have to make it to the end with your transmission, which is tougher to do than it sounds. You have the opportunity to shift three times each lap, or I guess it’s six times when you downshift and then upshift in each corner, and that can be very, very tough on the equipment. And then mentally this is a pretty tough race. We call it an oval, but it’s a lot like a road course. There are three distinct corners, three braking zones that are a lot different, and then the aero part of the race is very interesting. You do some drafting here down the straightaways and then you definitely don’t want to be right up against somebody’s bumper in the corner, so there is some strategy lap to lap here. All of those things you have to do well, plus you have to have the right strategy. This race has come down to fuel in the past, so that will be key. It’s a pretty neat race. It’s one of the most dynamic and fun races we go to in that there are a lot of things you have to do right.”
YOU MENTIONED LAST WEEK THAT ALL THE FORDS ARE MISSING IT A LITTLE BIT. IS IT AERO? SPEED? WHAT CAN BE DONE? “Those are questions we’ve asked ourselves and we’ve talked a lot about those ideas the last few weeks. If the Chase started right now, I think we’d be in a little bit of trouble. I don’t think we are as fast as we need to be and the way we look at it is we’re not getting beat by a driver or a crew chief, we’re getting beat by organizations. The Gibbs cars are very fast. The Hendrick cars are very fast right now, so we have to figure out as an organization how we just get that little extra bit. We’re not bad. We’ve won a race. We’re second in points. We’re not panicking or anything, but we’ve got to make slight adjustments now that will hopefully pay off when the Chase starts because we don’t only want to be in the Chase, we want to be in this Chase and dominate it. We want to win three or four Chase races and win the championship. We’re not there right now, so we don’t know exactly what it is. We’ve got some really good areas to work in and some directions, but we’ve got to go do it.”
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SETTING UP FOR THE RACE IF PRACTICE GETS RAINED OUT TOMORROW AS WELL? “So the engineers are up there right now running all the numbers and trying to figure out where we would want to start. I just talked to Drew Blickensderfer and I guess there were some teams that came out here and tested. I don’t know exactly which teams those were, but those guys are praying for it to rain tomorrow because there will be a huge advantage that they have if we don’t get any practice. If we get a practice tomorrow and if it happens to be a shortened one, it will be a very intense practice session. We will be trying everything we can. We’ll be working with as many of the Ford teams as we can to try to not waste time. If we didn’t get practice, it’s fortunate that yellow flag laps are so long here because you will see people changing some serious stuff during the race to try to tune their cars in.”
DOES IT BOTHER YOU MORE CONSIDERING YOU’RE LACKING SPEED AT A TRACK YOU NEED SPEED? “It’s easy to make mistakes here, so you’d rather make those mistakes in practice. For me, this is a good track to test and to practice and try different things outside the box, so we were hoping for more practice here. It’s a smooth race track . It’s big. The aero stuff comes into play, so anything you want to mess around with for even other race tracks, this is a good place to learn things, so less practice here is bad for us all around. But the one good thing I have going for me and we do as the 99 team is that Jimmy Fennig has so much experience. He’s really savvy, so if there were no practice, I would say he’d be the crew chief I would pick in the garage to figure out how to make it work even without practice.”
HAVE YOU TALKED TO DOUG YATES ABOUT THE ENGINES? “We’ve talked a little bit about the engines. Our Ford engines from Roush Yates are really great engines, and when our cars are really good, we don’t ever think about the engines. When the cars are struggling, each week I call Doug and say, ‘Boy, I could sure use some more horsepower.’ And the reason we’re always leaning on him is that we know more horsepower makes you faster. That’s one of the things we know, so it’s just like downforce or sideforce. If you can get more of that, you go faster. But I don’t personally feel right now the engine is the weak link in our program. Yes, we’ll always take more horsepower, but when our cars are good qualifying – our cars run well in qualifying – we’ve got tape on the cars, we don’t really complain about the engine, so we want to figure out what the root problems are, or maybe just adjustments and maybe want to work that direction.”
GREG SAID EARLIER THIS WEEK HE THOUGHT THERE WAS A SYSTEMIC ISSUE AT ROUSH? HOW DO YOU RECTIFY THAT BEING SECOND IN POINTS AND NOT HAVING A BAD YEAR. “It’s not that we’re having a bad year, and you have to keep things in perspective. Jimmy Fennig has helped me a lot with this. He’s not a guy to panic. Greg and I talked about it. Greg and Ricky and I all talked about it before the All-Star Race. We know that there is some parameter that we’re missing. The elephant in the room is that Matt Kenseth leaves and he runs really well at a different organization, and not that Matt didn’t run well at Roush, but we know that we can perform at that level. So what we have to do is figure out what we’re doing differently. Jamie Allison from Ford spoke to us in a meeting this last week and he reminded us, he said, ‘Hey, everybody in this room has won championships and races and had spectacular years. There’s something in the way we work together and the way we spend our time that we can do better, and that must be what we’re lacking.’ So I think that’s what Greg is saying, it’s a process thing or a way that we go through information or a way that we solve problems. And like I said at the beginning, it’s like Jimmy said, we’re just a little bit off. We just need to turn the ship a little bit and head the right direction and I think we’ll be good.”
DOES THAT MEAN YOU HAVE TO HAVE MORE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PENSKE TEAM? “That’s something that I would be really interested in. I’m not exactly where we stand on that, but, to me, I know that Ford from the beginning of this season has said, ‘We want to be One Ford. We want to win together. We want to do everything we can.’ And I believe that what I’ve learned recently is that it’s not as simple as all the engineers get in the room and compare notes because even if we understood where our strengths and weaknesses are, we have different manufacturing processes, different testing processes for the parts. So that process of joining forces and being a One Ford team, even if we opened all of our notebooks to each other, it’s not quite as simple as I thought it was or it might seem, so I guess what I’m saying is that’s on the table. We’ve talked about it and I believe that our success in the future is gonna involve a lot of teamwork between Roush Fenway Racing and Penske.”
HAVE YOU TALKED TO BRAD AND JOEY A LOT THIS YEAR?  “I’ve talked a relatively large amount with Brad and Joey this year. Joey and I have texted back and forth after a number of races. Brad and I talked a little bit at Darlington, and I believe from my perspective, we’re all working really well together. We kind of want the same things and it’s one more step where we’re all sitting down on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and working through problems together. We’re not there yet, but I believe that we’re pretty close to that. I think it won’t be long before we realize together that we could all achieve more than the sum of our parts.”
YOU, GREG AND BRAD HAD STRONG STARTS. DO YOU FEEL THE OTHER TEAMS HAVE LEAPFROGGED YOU SINCE THEN? “It is pretty interesting. We’ve made some gains in a couple of places. Specifically, let’s look at the speedway races. That was something that was brought up because it’s real easy to get mired down and say, ‘This is terrible.’ But we went to Talladega and we were screaming fast, and that’s as opposed to Daytona. We came back from Daytona and we said, ‘We’ve got all these problems. Our speedway program is no good.’ But we fixed it and went to Talladega with a pretty good combined effort. We were also really fast at Richmond. I thought I had the fastest car at Richmond. The issue we’re having now, if you look at it statistically, I believe, is more on the tracks that we would historically consider our bread-and-butter – the mile-and-a-half and downforce tracks. Who would have thought we’d go to Dover and run the way we did. You guys remember me and Matt and Greg racing for the win there and that wasn’t very long ago, so for us to go finish 15th-17th or whatever it was, that I think kind of caught us by surprise a little bit. I think if we can figure those things out, and this track is like that. It’s a fast track and an aero track, but we’re just missing something at those places and it really shows up because a lot of the tracks are that way now. They’re very smooth and fast and they really are the meat of the season, so that’s what we’re focusing on.”
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE RESTART RULE? “You guys didn’t talk about my Richmond restart, did you? I thought that was the greatest restart of all-time until I saw Jimmie’s (laughing). I have started second, and I’m not saying what I think happened because I saw it when I had bad internet connection, I had terrible resolution and I couldn’t quite figure out what happened. But what I’ve had happen is I’ve started second and the leader spun his tires a little bit and then he just said, ‘To hell with it, I’m not going,’ and made it look really, really bad. I’ve had that happen, so that is something that the leader can do. I’m not saying that Montoya did it, but that’s something you worry about that the leader could do. The other thing that I’ve had happen was the whole debacle at Richmond, where I thought I was the leader, so I went a little earlier than what I had been going because I was on the outside and NASCAR said, ‘No, I beat Tony to the line,’ and that was a big mess. So when you’re starting the race, I guess at the end of the day, you can’t beat the leader to the line. The only question I have is, could Jimmie have given that back over the next lap or two?  If he would have given it back, would they still have black-flagged him?” JIMMIE SAID HE TRIED BUT JUAN WOULDN’T TAKE IT. “Wow, so he said it wasn’t just the act of the start, there was more after that. That’s stuff you guys love writing about, don’t you? That’s as good as it gets. But I would like to know more about it for real because I don’t know. That’s pretty smart if that’s what Juan did. That is pretty interesting.”
BUT ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU DO EVERY WEEK ON RESTARTS? THE LEADER STARTS THE RACE SO HE CAN PLAY THOSE GAMES IF HE WANTS, RIGHT? “This sport is pretty complex and there are judgment calls that NASCAR has to make. The other thing NASCAR does is let’s say it happens again this week. Let’s say Juan and Jimmie are lined up there. I have a feeling that NASCAR would say, ‘Wait a second.’ Maybe they would be a little harder on Juan or a little easier on Jimmie because they see a pattern. Does that make sense? So it’s still a judgment call and what you’re saying is that, yeah, you’ve earned the spot, you’re the leader, so you get to mess around a little bit and try to make it hard on the other guy. I guess that’s part of being the leader. That’s our whole job is to make it as hard as we can on the other guy as long as it’s within the rules. To be clear, I’m not complaining about what anyone did. I’m just pointing out that there are some things that can happen and some things that I’ve seen happen and depending on which car you’re in, they can seem right or wrong.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IN NASCAR YOU CAN SPEAK YOUR MIND ON SUNDAY, BUT POSSIBLY GET FINED ON TUESDAY? “With all due respect, why would I want to talk about NASCAR fining me? (joking) I have not been fined for what I’ve said, so I’m not sure exactly how the process works, but basically the way I understand it is that we’re all in this together. We’re selling a product and we’re all doing the best we can to be as entertaining as we can for the fans and that NASCAR is not gonna stand up to any of us bashing their racing on the race track. That’s the way I understand it and I definitely respect NASCAR’s position.”\
YOU’RE SECOND IN POINTS BUT DOES IT FEEL LIKE A QUIET SECOND? AND IS THAT A GOOD THING? “I’ve thought about that a lot. We talk about the struggles that we’re having and then I think, ‘Yeah, but we’re second in points,’ but that can sometimes be a little bit of false security. I’ve been a lot worse in the points and been having more fun, I’ll tell you that because we’re not out dominating races and leading laps and winning races and that’s what it’s about. If you can go out every week and have the fastest car and qualify on the pole and lead laps and be racing for the win, you really don’t think about points that much. So we’re holding on to that second in points and saying, ‘Yeah, that’s great,’ but we know we can better and we don’t want to be complacent just because of our fortunate position in points. Like Jimmy pointed out, ‘If the Chase started tomorrow, we would not be in a good spot here,’ so we know we have to step it up.”
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A MANUFACTURER? HOW MUCH CAN THEY DO TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE? IS IT MORE LIKE A CHEERLEADER SORT IN THE CAMP OF FORD OR ARE THEY TECHNICALLY STEPPING IN? “I don’t think it’s very well defined and I think it’s interesting you bring up the role of the manufacturer. I believe the role of the manufacturer is really what they make it. I think as race teams we are used to building everything. Jack Roush is a self-made man. Everything in that shop he built it and designed it. He’ll tell you that every problem they’ve ever had, him and his engineers have solved it. It’s been a lot of work, but there you have this huge manufacturing and engineering success story of Ford Motor Company and you think, ‘How can they help us?   There has to be things that they can do.’ So where I see it right now, and I think it’s a good place, is that Ford comes to our meetings. They give us support in a number of different ways, but the biggest thing is they say, ‘Look, we are here for you. You tell us what you want or what we can help you with and we will help you.’ It’s that way now more than ever. From Edsel Ford and Jim Farley and Mark Fields down to Jamie Allison and the guys who just run the Ford Racing program. They are behind us 100 percent. I’ve spent more time talking to another team in Brad and Joey than I ever have at Roush Fenway Racing and I think it’s an opportunity and the time is right for us to do everything we can as a Ford team. If we can do that, I believe we can get over the hump and we can be the dominate team that people are talking about over the next couple of years.”
IS THAT TRYING TO FIND OUT MORE OF WHAT FORD CAN DO? “A lot of you guys have new Ford cars. I mean, you go and sit in that car the technology is amazing and that’s something, just like I said, we have to figure out how to combine those resources with what we have. To apply those resources to the problems we have, which really should be relatively simple, it just comes down to people. It really boils down to the management of people and time and resources, and, hopefully, we can make the most of it because it’s so much fun when you’re running well. It’s neat. I’d rather just have to beat the other Ford teams than have to beat everyone else.”

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Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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