NASCAR Media Conference
November 13, 2007
DENISE MALOOF: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the NASCAR NEXTEL teleconference. For those of you who are going to cover this weekend's season finale events at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Jimmie Johnson will be the guest for Saturday's NEXTEL leader chat. He'll visit the media center at 9:30 a.m. For all those who are on-site at Miami this weekend, Thursday's Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup contenders press conference, which will feature Jimmie and second place Jeff Gordon and their team owner Rick Hendrick will be held Thursday at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. A luncheon sponsored by Ford begins at 11:30 a.m., which will include a special announcement by Homestead president Curtis Gray. That will be followed by the press conference at 1 p.m., with breakout interview sessions that will begin at approximately 1:50.
Our first guest today ahead of Sunday's Ford 400 is Steve Letarte. Stevie, welcome.
STEVE LETARTE: Thank you.
DENISE MALOOF: Your team does trail the No. 48 by 86 points heading into this final race of the Chase. What is your strategy this weekend?
STEVE LETARTE: Well, you know, I think we're really kind of pushed into a corner. The only strategy we can have this weekend is just try to go down there and win, end the season on a good note. We've had a wonderful season so far. We have the opportunity to finish with 30 top 10s. It would be a remarkable goal.
So just go down there, try to hold our heads up, put the best car out there and let the chips fall where they may.
DENISE MALOOF: Let's go to media questions for Steve.
Q. Jeff Gordon came into Victory Lane waving the white flag and said, It's done. Obviously very classy guy, but a lot of people asking if that was too early to signal it's over and what the team might think about that.
STEVE LETARTE: Well, you know, I think I'm definitely on the same page with Jeff. Mathematically we're still in it, but the opportunity for one of us to go out and beat one another by 18 positions without having a failure or an accident is not really realistic. We haven't even been running quite like we want here lately. I think our worst finish is 11th in the Chase. Jimmie's guys are definitely hitting on all eight cylinders. While if they make a mistake, we'll be extremely happy and try to jump on it and capitalize and bring this championship home. But, you know, when it comes down to it, we really want to race it out at Homestead. When you get to an 86-point gap, that's not really racing it out, that's more who is going to have the luckier day. We really don't want it to come down to luck. We want it to come down to racing on the track.
Q. Steve, you've gone through the meat grinder of this Chase, really being up front and close the whole way. I know you were in it last year. Anything kind of stood out or just the experience of going through just being so close leading the points, any different than in the past, what you kind of learned or picked up? Everybody talks about experience is the biggest thing. What have you learned from this year's experience?
STEVE LETARTE: To first answer your question, the Chase has definitely accomplished what I think NASCAR was looking for. The pressure and the stress and the news is definitely higher when it comes down to a 10-race playoff. I was fortunate enough to be part of some championship teams under the old points system. We had a few tight runs down to Atlanta. But realistically they were usually wrapped up with one or two to go. You had to go to Atlanta finishing somewhere in the mid to high 20s. The Chase definitely changed that.
As far as my experience in the Chase, I've just learned to not underestimate your performance, not underestimate your opponent. I think while we've definitely hit our goals at some tracks, we've missed them at others. We're finishing like we need to every other year but this year. So you have to take every year for what it's worth and go out there and you need to shoot to win 10 races. At the rate that some of these cars are running, and as good as some of the cars are running, it's definitely going to take an impressive average finish to win the championship this year.
Q. During the season prior to the Chase, how much information do you and Chad and the other Hendrick crew chiefs share? Does that change during the Chase when Jeff and Jimmie are so close?
STEVE LETARTE: No. We get that question a lot. To be honest, it's hard for people to understand our concept here. We share everything. It's a complete open book. I mean, it's the way the company's set up. It's the way our engineering is set up. It's the way Chad and I work. All four cars are an open book to one another from week one at Daytona testing all the way to the final laps at Homestead. We share air pressures during the race, pit strategies, setup information all weekend along. It definitely doesn't change when we get into the Chase. If anything, it gets a little bit tighter. We go out of our way a little bit more in the Chase to make sure we understand what each of us has so we know come the end of the race, we both knew what each other had and what we were going against.
Q. Chad said he found something Friday before the race that they put on the car. Did he share that with you at last minute? Was Brian Whitesell on the box with you Sunday? Jeff said after the race he congratulated you all but said something is missing. What is that something that's missing?
STEVE LETARTE: I guess to answer the first part of your question, yeah, I mean, Chad and I, we talked before we ever went to Phoenix and what we were going to try and practice. I knew what they were trying. It seemed to work for Jimmie. We messed with some stuff in the past. I haven't been able to get Jeff comfortable with that setup. It wasn't a direction we were prepared to go in the short practice session at Phoenix. It's definitely an area we need to look at in the future.
To answer the second part of your question, no, Brian I think is always on the 25 box during the race. I'm not exactly sure where he is during the race.
The third part, I forgot the third part of your question. We always share everything. For what Jeff thinks we're missing, I agree, we're definitely missing something, just some speed, you know. Robbie Loomis said it best. This sport is a real big cycle. You seem to hit your high notes at some times. You seem to be struggling at some times. During the summer we were definitely hitting on all eight cylinders. We had a lot of confidence in our cars, a lot of confidence in our setups. I think we started the Chase good. We won a couple races. It's just frustrating when you run decent and your teammate can run that well and win so many races.
But it's no different than 2005. I think we are running much better than 2005. But we were missing a lot in 2005 to make him comfortable in the car. I just think we're a little bit off from where we need to be, but I'm sure we'll find it.
Q. In trying to make changes to the car during the race, it seems likes you haven't been able to lean on something that will make Jeff happy the last couple weeks. Is that a problem with the Car of Tomorrow in the sense you're trying to learn it? Whatever you need to find, are you going to have to find that somewhere else and have it ready when you come to the track rather than during a race?
STEVE LETARTE: I think the second part of your question answered it. I don't think it's an issue with the Car of Tomorrow. It's with these cars in general. The setups are so aggressive. The old car you're sitting on front coil bump springs. The new car you're sitting on front bump stops. Wedge doesn't work like it used to. Track bar is a very ineffective change. Air pressure is really all you have left. We have some minimal air pressure rules. And the tires are different in a lot of these tracks.
So, you know, it's one of those things that it's not that we're not finding it during the race, it's we're not starting the race close enough. That's what I'm blaming it on. I feel we need to do a better job of getting the setup closer on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. I feel we had it close in practice in Phoenix. Started the race. We were fighting the setup a little bit. You're just not going to find that speed during the race any more. I think you see the cars that really come on at the end are the ones that really just ran a smart race at the beginning. That's how we were at Charlotte. We had a great car all night. We kind of picked and chose our times to really show it and waited till the end. I think that's no different than what the 48 is doing now. I think they're having wonderful cars at all these races and they're just being patient with their car and really just waiting for the end to show their hand.
Q. At this point in Jeff's career, there are fewer opportunities that he's going to have to be in this position. After the last race, how crest fallen or frustrated or disappointed was he that one of these shots seems to have slipped away?
STEVE LETARTE: Well, you know, you definitely have to ask Jeff what he's feeling. I can't speak for him. I know I've been with him a long time. That's the one beauty of the Chase is I would say that you're going to have more and more opportunities to win the championship. I think every year you make the Chase, when you leave Richmond, you have a chance. Where in the past, if you struggled for the first 26 races, when you left Richmond, you were already mathematically out.
The Chase works twofold. It's definitely not been the kindest to us, but I think that's our own fault. We haven't run like we needed in the final 10 races. The rules are written at the beginning of the year. Everybody is aware of them. We're not going to make excuses. We need to just step up our game and run better in these final 10. But at the same time it gives hope to those years likes last year where we really weren't a championship contender for the first 26 races. We made it into the Chase. We gave it a good run for the first four or five races of the Chase before we ran into some bad luck.
So I think I can't speak for Jeff. I'll definitely be disappointed just because the years are so long, 36 races, there's a lot of work that goes into these championships. To fall a little short will definitely be disappointing. But we're not going to give up yet. We're going to go to Homestead and run like we know we can and support the 48 at the same time. It means a lot to us to know that it's a team that Jeff helped assemble. I've been here to see that team assembled. It's proud for them to race out of the shop with us.
Q. If it turns out that Jeff would have won this championship under the old points formula, is that anything that gives you any comfort or solace or peace of mind or do you not think about that much?
STEVE LETARTE: No, I don't even look at the old points system. I race today. If you look at the old points system or look at what could have, should have, you're just making excuses for the performance you had during the season. I think if we could go down there and get his name on another record with 30 top 10s. There's very few records out there to have any more. Every one we can get his name next to is a positive note for this team.
We don't really look at the past. We don't look at the past history. I think Jeff said it the best. You can't compare old championships to new championships under this points system. I am not going to compare last year's points or the old series to this series. We knew what the points were coming in and we just flat haven't performed the last three weeks to keep our points lead. We're going to go to Homestead to try to improve our performance.
Q. Has your strategy changed over the Chase when you went in protecting a points lead and now you find yourself falling further behind as the 48 gets better and better?
STEVE LETARTE: Well, to be honest, our strategy here at the 24 car has been the same all year long. Our strategy has been very specific. It's to run in the top five and lead laps. If you run in the top five, you have an opportunity to win a race at the finish of every race. It's not that our strategy has changed, it's just we haven't been executing quite as well as we did in the summer. In the summer we lucked into a few races, won on pit strategy at Darlington. We got a little lucky with the weather at Pocono. Those were all products of having good cars and being able to run in the top five.
That's what's frustrating I think a little bit to the media and a lot to fans. They want to question why we don't take two tires, why we don't get aggressive with some of the pit calls that you see the 48 and some other cars have success with. We just haven't had good enough cars. That's really what it comes down to. We can make all the excuses we want, but flat out you have to have a good enough car to take two cars, you have to accept what you have, and you can't make a wonderful day out of a horrible day. You need to start with something a little bit closer. That's what we did a better job of earlier in the year. That's what we faltered on later in the year.
I don't think it's a question of changing strategy, I just don't think we've been executing our strategy well enough.
Q. We always hear how the team shares information. One team doesn't know something that the other team does. Is it frustrating sometimes to know you know something the other guy doesn't know and you're behind in points? Is it tempting to say, maybe we'll keep this one to ourself?
STEVE LETARTE: No. I mean, I wish I could draw the picture out. But it's hard for people to understand. There is no way to keep it. The way we're structured here with the database and the notes and the engineers and the way we work everything, it's an open book. I mean, everyone thinks there's a way to keep it, but there's not. Times have changed the last 10 years. The drivers all drive different. A lot of teams have money and support. If you don't unite together and fight all these other teams in this sport, then we're going to fail separately. If we fail separately, Chad and I have failed miserably at trying to run a race team. For us now in the heat of battle with the last race line on the line to go against that theory, then we're the biggest hypocrites in the sport, and how can I ever expect the 81 people we've hired together to try to follow us if we can't follow our own motto into the heat of battle?
Q. Steve, you talked a lot about these cars and stuff now. How do you not take this personal and blame it all on yourself?
STEVE LETARTE: Well, to set the record straight, I do put a lot of blame on myself. That's the position I'm in. I feel I'm very proud of what we've accomplished since we took over in 2005. I don't feel this was a championship team. I don't even feel it was a team that deserved to make the Chase in 2005, which I was a part of. We didn't have very good cars. We didn't have a very good pit crew. We made a lot of mistakes. I feel we've done a very good job of getting the 24 car and Jeff Gordon back into contention, back into winning races, back into leading laps and back into leading the points.
All summer long, everyone talked about how this looked like the Jeff Gordon of old. And I'm very proud of what we've accomplished there. Missing out on the last four races of the year is not going to take away what we've done all year long. I would be a very poor crew chief if I didn't take a big portion of this blame and say that we didn't run well enough because the cars weren't well enough and the setups didn't work. That's what falls on my shoulders. That's why I love the position I'm in and maybe that's why I don't sleep some nights. But I wouldn't want any other position. I love it. That's why I come to work every day, is to try to do better. Fortunately for me I'm young. Jeff is extremely talented. We're going to have years to come to hopefully get this deal done.
DENISE MALOOF: Steve, thanks for donating your time to us today. We appreciate it. Good luck this weekend at Homestead-Miami.
STEVE LETARTE: Thank you very much.
DENISE MALOOF: We are pleased now to be joined by Steve's counterpart at Hendrick Motorsports, Chad Knaus, who is the crew chief for reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson. Chad, welcome.
CHAD KNAUS: Thank you. Glad to be here.
DENISE MALOOF: You and Jimmie do have the comfort of that 86 point lead in the standings as we head towards Sunday. I guess that's not what is uppermost in your mind. What is your strategy heading into Sunday?
CHAD KNAUS: Basically it's really not a whole lot different than what we've had every race so far this year. We need to get down there, get into qualifying trim, start practice, and try to qualify as best we can so we can get a good pit selection for the race on Sunday. Then once the race begins, we just want to do kind of the same as we've done all year, which is just get out there and ride, wait until the last hundred miles to go or so, and then kind of pick it up.
DENISE MALOOF: Sounds good. Let's go straight to some media questions for Chad.
Q. Chad, this is the last race for the conventional car which you devoted a good portion of your life to. Do you have any feelings about that? Are you happy to see it go, sad to see it go, don't care?
CHAD KNAUS: I'm real sad actually. I think this car has taken on quite an evolution over the course of especially the last 10 years, let's say. I really enjoy working on this car. I think that although NASCAR has the reasoning and do what it is that they want, as far as the Car of Tomorrow, I think it's going to hurt guys like myself a little bit. It takes a little bit of our creativity away. I think it will put a lot of focus on the drivers that maybe will take away from the team aspect of it just a little bit.
I'm sad to see it go, but we're racing one of my favorite cars this weekend, so that will be a good note to end on, I hope.
Q. When did you realize that you and Jimmie really clicked and you knew that neither of you wanted to work with anyone else in terms of crew chief/driver?
CHAD KNAUS: Well, I think it obviously -- obviously we clicked right away. The first lunch meeting that we had in December of 2001 we got along really well. We were talking motorcycles, different clubs, things like that. So we had a lot of very similar interests.
Obviously we didn't know that we were going to have success the way we did, knowing that we were going to want to work together for quite some time until we got into the season a little bit and started working with one another.
But definitely midway through the first season I think we realized that things were going well and I knew that Jimmie had a lot of talent and I had a lot of faith in him and I knew I'd like to work with him for a long time.
Q. A question about Jimmie. Seems like often when people speak of him, they talk about the great opportunity he was given with the car he got and the expertise that you've brought to the table and don't talk as much about his skill as a driver. I was hoping you could talk some about that from your vantage point and to the extent you can be specific at all in explaining, I assume you think he's a good driver, but how would you put meat on the bones of that?
CHAD KNAUS: I think Jimmie's a fantastic driver. He's definitely one of the best drivers in our industry right now if not forever. He's got an amazing ability to describe what a race car is doing. He can really break it down for me, tell me what the car is doing at specific parts of a corner. And what that allows me to do is to sit back and look at previous data traces and really break down what he says into the data and make adjustments to the race car that I think some other drivers just aren't capable of doing.
He's been driving for so long, he's got so much talent. I think once he gets out there, things kind of tend to slow down a little bit and really puts him in a good comfort state. He's got an awful lot of talent. I don't know really where that came from. But, you know, thank God it's there. How is that?
Q. Even though you guys are going full-time with the new car next year, do you face almost as much trial and error as you did this year, given you haven't run this thing on an intermediate track yet, there's a lot of places where you haven't tried this thing?
CHAD KNAUS: Yeah, absolutely. The car is going to go through another pretty substantial transition I think early on next season. Obviously throughout this year you've seen a lot of phases with that car already. Once we get -- you know, Daytona is going to be a prime example. Daytona is really nothing more than a fast intermediate track now. It's about the same thing. So Daytona, California, Las Vegas, Atlanta, those four first racetracks we go to are going to be very touch-and-go and very tricky. It's going to be the teams that have manipulated the car the best and made the most of the resources that are going to be successful there.
Q. When Jeff gets asked about history questions, he defers and says you don't have time when you're in the middle of it to think about that kind of stuff. There aren't that many crew chiefs with two championships. When you started out, I'm sure you had goals. Was that a goal for you? Now that you've won one, is it now something you want to establish yourself as the best of all time?
CHAD KNAUS: I would love to win a second championship. When that happens, kind of like what you said, that definitely elevates your status a little bit. I would love to have that. When I was younger, I did want to be a championship-winning crew chief. I can remember thinking about it and dreaming of it. So it's something that I've always wanted.
I can't say that it's helping my status, doing anything for it personally. I think that's for other people to say. If people want to say I'm a good crew chief, that's great. And that's what I hope they do. You guys in the media, you know, you can help me with that if you want because that's what it is (laughter). You guys put it out there. The more you put it out there, the more people believe it, so talk it up.
Q. Certainly over the last few years we've seen where Jimmie and also you guys have both excelled so late in a race, been able to pull out races late in the last 10 laps or so. How have you seen that evolution in Jimmie? Is it something you saw from the beginning? What do you kind of see that for whatever reason he's been able to win so many races late, you can perform so well late in the race? If you're running second, people almost expect you to win it in the last 10 laps.
CHAD KNAUS: We've changed our focus as a team. We used to be the team that went out there and tried to be the fastest for the whole race and really didn't get the fruits that we wanted to from that kind of effort. We would go and really push and try to lead the most laps and be aggressive, be aggressive with pit calls throughout the early portions of the race. And it's tough.
So end of last year, actually beginning of last year and this year, we've adopted a new mentality to just kind of ride and find a position to be in so at the end of the race that the car, one, is in good shape, that Jimmie is not worn out for two, and just to kind of be where we need to be so if something happens at the end, if we're not able to get up there, maybe we can pull something and try to get up there and get a victory.
I think you see a lot of guys and a lot of teams, and we were -- one of the big -- one of the teams that did this. You go out there and push and push and push, even when you have the fastest car, and you don't win the race. For instance, when we were at Lowe's just a month ago, I don't think that anybody had a car that was even in the same zip code as ours as far as speed. Went out there, got aggressive, pushed to go ahead back to the front. Jimmie ended up spinning out. It cost us the race. From all of those situations over the course of the last five, six years, we've learned that's really not the way to go about it. So since then we've taken a backseat. We've slowed down. What that does is that allows you to work on your car. Typically the guy that stays out front the whole race probably isn't working on his car that much because his pit stops are real fast and he's staying up there. By the end of race, it may not be right.
Q. To follow what you just said, this is the most competitive this sport has ever been. How can you be guaranteed that riding around, that you're going to be where you are in a position to get to the front at the end?
CHAD KNAUS: I never said it was a guarantee. There's absolutely no guarantees in this industry. We all know that. The competition level is the hardest it's ever been, absolutely. You cannot go out there and find an advantage. It's very, very, very difficult to do so. So we ride around right now to make sure that we're there at the end more than trying to set ourselves up for the win. We've been fortunate enough to get a bunch of wins here as of late. But that's not our main focus. Our main focus is the top 10s and the top fives because we feel like that's what wins you championships and wins you races because that puts you in position to be there at the end. That's the reason why we go that way.
Q. Jeff said even if he wins this championship it's because you guys have a problem. Has some of the pressure shifted to you and your guys to make sure -- I know you can't control racing luck on the track during the race itself, but has some of the pressure shifted to your guys to make sure you put the car together and underneath Jimmie to where it survives and he doesn't have a problem like that?
CHAD KNAUS: Well, I think obviously there's a little bit of pressure. I don't think there's any more real pressure on ourselves than what we put on ourselves every week. Jimmie as a driver, myself as a crew chief, and our guys as a team, we do everything to the best of our ability every single weekend. We can't do any more than what we do. Now if we go out there and there's something that is left loose and we have an issue, then you address it. You try to overcome it and you try to move on. For instance, Phoenix earlier this year, we had an alternator issue. We were able to finish the race, complete the race, and I think we ended up fourth or fifth or sixth or something like that even with the issues that we had.
It's up to the team to make sure they do their job to the best of their ability. If something goes wrong, adjust, adapt to the situation, and then still try to get the finish out of the car that we need.
Q. Has this Chase been any different for you than last year, considering last year for about the first half of the Chase you were seventh, eighth in points, while you have either been ahead or second this whole time?
CHAD KNAUS: No, actually it's been about the same. The biggest reason is because we have to push so hard to get to the points lead. We had to win races. We have to run in the top fives. We have to do stuff like that. Otherwise we wouldn't be in the position we're in.
It's not a whole lot different going into Homestead with a small points lead, just like we did last year. We know we have to go into Homestead with the same mentality of getting a solid top 10, top five win and vying for the win.
Q. Obviously Jeff said maybe he should change his driving style and he should learn, although he's had difficulty driving and braking the way that Jimmie does, but watches you every weekend. Stevie said he hasn't really gotten Jeff to be able to drive that way, but they have their eyes on that. Someone told me recently next year is going to be a big showing year for Jeff Gordon, whether or not he does change and go to that style. If you were Steve Latarte, would you advise him to make that jump and back it down to learn how to drive with the setup you have since it's been so successful?
CHAD KNAUS: First off, Jeff Gordon doesn't need to do anything. He is a phenomenal race car driver, one of the best in the industry. Stevie does a good job with his team. I don't think they necessarily need to change anything. I think their average finish in the Chase is like sixth or something like that. That's five positions better than any previous champion has done yet. So I think they do one heck of a job.
But people have to realize that drivers change their styles on a weekly basis. It wasn't too long ago that, say, let's go to a place like Phoenix, for instance. You would run a 1400 pound right front spring. Now you run a 300 pound right front spring. That's a bad example. If you go to an intermediate track, we went from Lowe's where you would run a 2,000 pound right front spring to a 300 pound right front spring just adds another (indiscernible). Jeff has had to switch from the old feel to this feel. And I think if you look at the past history, it took him a little bit to adapt to that. But he does that. That's what Jeff Gordon does. That's why he runs as competitive as he does year in and year out, because he is capable of changing. There's a lot of drivers out there that can't. They can't seem to grasp the concept that what worked last week, what worked last year, doesn't work now. But Jeff is definitely one of the drivers that does get it and does understand it and he will do whatever he has to do to to be fast, I can promise you that, whether that is adapting Jeff Gordon's driving style or whether that's adapting something that Casey Mears has, he's open to all of it.
Q. When the teams met for the meeting on Monday morning, what was the most important thing that you said to the team regarding what they do this week and how they should prepare for this weekend's race?
CHAD KNAUS: Well, we really -- once again, like we've tried to explain, we don't have a 48 team and we don't have a 24 team. So we didn't have and have not had any individual-type meetings for the respective car numbers. We've had one group meeting with the guys this morning, all 87 people. We addressed it from with Stevie and I and our team manager Michael and talked to all the guys and said, Look, guys, we don't need to do anything any different than what we've done all year long. We've got to go into Homestead with two cars that are prepared to run up front, qualify up front, and hopefully battle for the win. And whatever happens during the race on Sunday is what happens. If one of us is fortunate enough to win the race, that's great. If not, then we've fallen a little bit short. If the 24 wins the championship and the 48 doesn't, then that's great for the 24. If the 48 wins and the 24 doesn't, then that's great for the 48.
That's the way that we approach it. It's not two individual teams. There's only about eight people, not including the drivers, that work underneath this roof that are specific per car number. Everybody else works on everybody else's race cars. That's real difficult for people to understand. The race cars are built by the same people, prepared by the same people. The information that is shared between the 24 and the 48 is every penny for the bucket. Stevie knows everything that we do and we know everything that he does. That's something that I think is pretty phenomenal. We don't have to have a whole lot of meetings with the guys to tell them, Hey, we've got to do this or do that to beat the 24 and 48. We have meetings to go out there and find out how we can have the best two cars on the circuit.
Q. Obviously looking ahead, winning your second championship would be incredibly cool but at the same time in the back of your mind winning that fifth race in a row is a record that nobody has. Can you compare those two?
CHAD KNAUS: No. Obviously the championship is by far and above more important than winning five races in a row. I can promise you we definitely would love to win five races in a row. Homestead is a great racetrack for us. It's a place I really enjoy going to. I actually look forward to going to that race even before they changed it. I liked it a lot when it was a flat track. I'd like to go and get that victory for a lot of reasons. To win the championship would be great. To win five in a row would be great. To close out the season and win the championship with five victories in a row would be phenomenal. We've got our sites set on that. Hopefully we can have ourselves in position to do that and have a car capable of doing that. If not, we'll get the best finish that we possibly can and hopefully come out with the championship.
Q. You obviously get a lot of out of your resources at Hendrick Motorsports. Is there a best way to get the best out of your team?
CHAD KNAUS: You know, I think that our team is one of those groups that always seem to work a little bit better when the pressure's on, whether that's a situation that we create or if it's a situation this is created by the competition, whatever it may be. For instance, trying to figure out the best way to build an Impala SS COT car better than everybody else is something that our guys thrive upon. If we have a change in the rules, they attack and try to find something a little bit faster. If we have a bad pit stop, they almost attack and try to get faster throughout the race.
I think that our team, when the pressure's on, like we're behind in points, we got to make something happen, or if it's the final race of year and we got to make something happen, they do a good job of that. So you turn the heat up on these guys a little bit, and they almost welcome it.
DENISE MALOOF: Chad, thank you for joining us today. We appreciate your time. Good luck this weekend.
CHAD KNAUS: Thank you. See you guys down there.
DENISE MALOOF: To the media, thank you for joining us. We'll see you next week.
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