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NASCAR Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Media Conference

Ryan Newman
Scott Riggs
Brian Vickers
May 15, 2007


THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the NASCAR Nextel teleconference. This is in advance of Saturday night's 23rd Annual NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North†Carolina.
Have a great lineup today, three guests. First up we have Ryan Newman, Driver No. 12 Alltel Dodge. Ryan won the All-Star Challenge in 2002 as a rookie.
Little later in the teleconference, we'll be joined by Scott Riggs, driver of the No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge. Then we'll have Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83, Red Bull Toyota. Riggs and Vickers have won the last two Nextel opens. That is the annual preliminary event which affords in effect last chance berths into the All-Star Challenge event.
Ryan, we're going to start off with you. All-Star race coming around. You won it a few years ago. It's a unique event. Pays over $1 million to win it, which is nice. What does it take to win this race?
RYAN NEWMAN: Back in 2002, it took everybody working together perfectly on a given night. That's why I still say it's my best win in my career. Just to accomplish what we did in any given night, beating the competition. All for the prize and the glory of it, not for racing or for points. Not racing for second, obviously. Just doing what we had to do to get to the next step.
For us, we had to struggle through the open, make it into the race. Started last, made the last transfer spot in the first segment, and worked our way up in the second one, got the inversion.
It's just a fun race, it's a fun racetrack. I think the track and the tire combination will be a lot better this year for racing. It's all about the glory of the night.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Very good, we're ready to go to the media for questions for Ryan Newman.

Q. What is this weekend like and this week leading up to the All-Star challenge?
RYAN NEWMAN: Well, it's nice to be home, first of all. I've been out working on the tractor. Spending some time around the house. This is the first time in probably about a month, month and a half that I've had a couple of days in a row, actually to be able to spend some time at home.
Just having my mom in town yesterday for mother's day weekend, and being able to just spend a little time at home is the biggest thing.
Obviously, a big All-Star event, not just the pit crew challenge and the race, but everything being at home. It's just nice to be home for the most part.

Q. Ryan, the news came out last week with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s going to be looking for a new team. What kind of effect do you think that will have on other drivers that are going to be free agents or drivers that are potentially going to be free agents?
RYAN NEWMAN: Say that one more time, please?

Q. What kind of effect do you think Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s looking for a new team will have on drivers that are going to be free agents or drivers that potentially could be free agents?
RYAN NEWMAN: Well, I think he'll definitely shake up the Silly Season from probably the most its ever been shook-up at this point in the season for a lot of people. When a key driver, I guess you could say, announces his plans to move situation or change teams, and you also have to consider the quantity of teams that an owner is allowed now, that things can get shaken up quite a bit.
For a lot of people, for people that, for instance, everybody's talking about where Dale Jr.'s going to go, but who is going to fill his seat? Somebody's got to -- some key driver is probably going to move to take his seat, so you know, it changes a lot with the season. It can be a benefit to the teams that are strong and sticking together. As the team owners and the sponsors try to recruit people and drivers to fill positions that are going to be vacated, that can stir up an entire team and ruin their chances for a championship. I don't mind it whatsoever.

Q. Last question, is it something that you've been following, and what kind of impact do you think it will have on so many different teams?
RYAN NEWMAN: I haven't followed it much. I watched the press conference, just because I was peeling some strawberries Thursday night and watching some TV. But you know, it's interesting from a driver's standpoint to see how he handled himself. To see how the sport is affected by one person, obviously a key person, changing or potentially changing the ride. So it, per se, hasn't affected me, but I think in the long run it can affect everybody very easily.

Q. What do you think is bad for NASCAR that Chevrolet's been so dominant out of the box this year?
RYAN NEWMAN: I wouldn't say that Chevrolet's been dominant, it's Hendrick that is dominant and that happens to be a Chevrolet team. Those Hendrick guys have their stuff together. I was happy especially at Darlington this past weekend, to be able to run with them, pass them, you know, obviously get past Brian. But it was a good run for us.
I think that you know Hendrick is the benchmark right now without a doubt for what's happening. Not just with the Car of Tomorrow, but with what's happened the entire season.

Q. Talking about Pocono a little bit. You guys have that coming up in about a month, and you've had your share of success there with a win in 2003. Just talk about what makes that track so unique and what are some of the things you enjoy about it as a driver, and what are some of the things that you don't enjoy about it?
RYAN NEWMAN: It's a unique racetrack. Used to be really unique when we shifted there, because you had to stay on top of your shifting and it was sensitive to the engine. But I really enjoy the fact that the track is unique in the shape and the turns, the different banking, the different angles. The fact that you have to adjust your driving style to compensate the race car.
It's really a driver's racetrack, that's why I like Darlington. It's so fast. It can reach out and bite you. Even the safety barriers aren't a soft wall, So I like it. I've always liked it and look forward to going back.

Q. Hey, Ryan, is there anything you guys can do heading into Saturday night's race that is maybe different than you would on the setups of the cars, maybe take some risks because there's no points involved? Obviously, there's a million dollars at stake. But maybe at the same time try something else for the season as well?
RYAN NEWMAN: This year is probably going to be the first year that we don't take our absolute best race car to the All-Star Race. We're actually going to save our best car, we feel, for the 600. So in saying that, we're taking what we think is a good car, and a car that's still capable of winning. But we're looking at it from a little maybe more conservative standpoint knowing we have to be good from a point's standpoint for the 600 and the rest of the season.
But the All-Star Race set-up, to answer that question directly, you still have to do what you want to do to try to be fast. If you want to think outside the box and try some different things you can do that, maybe they'll work, maybe they won't. You still have to -- if your main goal is to try to win, I would say that you don't try to think too far outside of the box and try to get yourself and your team the opportunity to go fast and lay the last lap.

Q. You and I chatted at Phoenix about the Penske C.O.T. program, and you said it was coming along. Since then you've had some great finishes. Obviously, you have to be pretty happy about that and you have some momentum going into this weekend as well as the Coke 600.
RYAN NEWMAN: Yeah, I do. I think our team's doing a good job with the Car of Tomorrow. I know we've done a lot of testing in the off-season, maybe more testing than some teams. I would speculate that Hendrick's probably won that award as far as testing in the off-season and throughout the season with the Car of Tomorrow. I feel like we've got a good handle on it.
I think that maybe even if we're a little bit ahead of other teams right now on the curve, we're, you know, it's going to level out. Other teams are going to catch up. There are only so many things that can you do to try to keep working and tweaking on the cars to make them fast.
I think we've definitely seen a narrow margin of competition between the fast cars and the slow cars with the Car of Tomorrow. So that just says what it's like to try to get an advantage.

Q. Good luck this weekend.
RYAN NEWMAN: Thank you.

Q. With the Car of Tomorrow testing cancelled here in Dover this week, and coming from a guy who has had a lot of success there, are you okay with, you know, trying to manipulate your car to where you need it to go in just a short amount of time come a couple weeks from now?
RYAN NEWMAN: Yeah, I think so. With the exception of the guys who did the tire test at Darlington. Dover's definitely a unique racetrack, and the tire's always been more the question because of the demands physically on the tire at Dover. So as long as Goodyear's done their homework, I don't see any problem whatsoever to be able to adapt in a short period of time. I wouldn't hold speculation that NASCAR will -- I would speculate that NASCAR would give us more practice time base on the fact of wanting to test there and not being able to, but that is to be seen.

Q. Do you think the setup's going to be vastly different from the setup that you've won all those poles from?
RYAN NEWMAN: I don't think it will be vastly different. It will have defined differences because of the aerodynamics of the car, and the differences in travels of the two cars because of the front spoiler. But outside of that, I don't see anything being any different as far as limiting us from our previous successes.

Q. If you could take a fan for a ride on a track like Charlotte during a race, if you could do that, what would you say inform them about the expectation of the experience?
RYAN NEWMAN: Well, just to hang on. It's really fast entering turn one, both turns are pretty tricky getting into the corner. But just find something to hang on to. It's just really fast. Going for the ride along deals and stuff that they do and driving experiences, if they would have done that in the past, I would say that you know, take it times two because it's a lot faster, and the faster you go, the more edge you get.

Q. What do you think kids misunderstand most -- fans misunderstand most about driving a Cup Car?
RYAN NEWMAN: That's a very good question. I would say probably just the ability to hold it on the edge. To go say a 30-second lap around Charlotte, and then to try to get the extra .2 out of it is what is so difficult. I don't think fans understand how difficult it is to get that additional tenth or .2 out of the car. As a driver to push the car to the edge and be perfect.

Q. Your teammate Kurt Busch been doing good recently, too. Both of you have. How much better are things around the shop and around the garage when stuff is going the way they are?
RYAN NEWMAN: It definitely helps to have performance on your side. And I feel like we both have that at Penske racing, Kurt and I, and that helps the team morale and it helps the attitudes. It helps things to go smoother and in term create great results in the future.
It's been a big turn around for us to get back to where we are now from a points standpoint and a results standpoint. And I look forward to building on that. It is something that we have to stay focused on. We let it get away there for about a year and a half, and it's good to have at least some people talking about us getting it back.

Q. You are originally from Indiana. You drive for Penske, have you ever thought seriously about driving in the Indianapolis 500 one of these days?
RYAN NEWMAN: We talked about it a few years ago whether it was physically possible. But I'm a racer at heart. I enjoy stock cars way more than I enjoy other cars, at least watching them on TV. I would speculate that it wouldn't happen very soon if at all.

Q. Two-part question: Number 1, every driver we've talked to with this All-Star Challenge say the reason they enjoy going to it is simply because there's nothing to worry about except have fun. Do you feel the same way?
RYAN NEWMAN: I feel that way, but I don't feel any different from that when it comes to the following week at the 600. Obviously, it's all about doing what can you to get things right and put the -- put your car in the right position. I still do it to have fun each and every day, each and every weekend.

Q. Because of the popularity of NASCAR, drivers like you, and your background and education and so forth, I have received questions from younger people, and I'm talking about guys that are 10, 12 years old. How do I get into NASCAR? And because of technology today really honestly it isn't just driving go-carts around, maybe a Master's in Engineering would help, too, wouldn't it?
RYAN NEWMAN: It helps in anything you do. And to have an engineering degree for myself has helped me to take things to the next level to understand the cars better. But just having that further education to help yourself with the real battles of real life is just definitely important. And to be well-rounded as far as having that education and also driving the cars and continue your experience as a driver is for sure needed.

Q. Thanks for those words of advice, I'll definitely pass those on to the younger folks.
RYAN NEWMAN: No problem.
THE MODERATOR: All right, Ryan. Thank you so much for taking time out in this busy week of preparation and spending time with us. Best of luck to you as you try to win the All-Star Challenge for the second time.
RYAN NEWMAN: Thank you, I appreciate you having me.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by Scott Riggs, driver of the No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge. He made the All-Star Race last year by winning the Nextel Open, that is the preliminary, the last-chance event which can get you in if you haven't already qualified.
Scott, you've had a season, I know it's been kind of up and down. But you know, you've got a real knack for racing your best in the big event. So what do you think your chances are going in to Charlotte this weekend?
SCOTT RIGGS: We feel pretty good about it. Last weekend we were pretty strong in testing and pretty strong by winning the open, and we were pretty strong in the All-Star Race. Just feel that our set-up isn't quite the same as what we had last year after testing a couple of days last week at Lowe's. I feel that we've made some pretty good gains. I feel good about it.
For our team the way we've struggled up and down this year and all of the lows that we've experienced, we all look forward to getting back to here at Charlotte and here at home. And be able to hopefully get ourselves back on track as a company and be strong.

Q. Just how hard is it to win the Nextel Open? Is it somewhat like the atmosphere you have at the qualifying races for the 500 right around the last transfer spots?
SCOTT RIGGS: Yeah, it's pretty hard. I think that everyone puts really -- they go with both barrels loaded. Everyone does all they can in their cars to make them as fast as they possibly can for only 25 or 30 laps, something like that. So it's definitely no holds barred where everyone takes the gloves off and give it's all they can.
Luckily, last year we were able to qualify in the front and be able to lead almost the whole race and qualify our way into the All-Star Race. We had a great car in the All-Star Race, but lost a lap there when we got spun around by Mark Martin. Of course, you don't get a chance to get any laps back there so thought we had a good chance of having a good car and a good performance there. It's pretty tough. I think everybody puts a lot on the line and we're going to do the same.
THE MODERATOR: We're ready to go to the media for questions for Scott Riggs.

Q. Going into an event like this Saturday where there's no points at stake, just a lot of money, what is your mind-set? Obviously, there is no settling in period during the race and you start racing toward the end of it. You've got to go into the race and start racing immediately.
SCOTT RIGGS: I know last year our car was pretty hot. You don't have any luxuries of air conditioning or hoses or fans or anything like that when you're racing such a short race. So when we did win the race last year, we were still sweating as walking across the stage and the introductions for the All-Star event.
It's pretty tough. We have to be ready, we have to be prepared and definitely with not having any points on the line, you go with the mind-set of trying to be fast in short spurts. No time to relax or settle in. It's almost like qualifying laps every lap.

Q. Are you saying you turnoff all the luxuries in your car just to make it go that little bit faster?
SCOTT RIGGS: Yeah, you have to do all you can. Every little bit of weight you can get out of the car, even hoses and things that usually are in there to cool the rear housing, anything. Anything can you get out of the car to make it as light as possible. No drink hoses, no vitamin water to drink on during the race, everything is light as possible. It's like a sprint race for sure.

Q. That's interesting. Thank you very much.
SCOTT RIGGS: Yes, sir

Q. What would you tell a fan about the emotions that you go through when you're running well in a car, as oppose d to when you're not running well?
SCOTT RIGGS: Well, when you're running well, you feel you can't do any wrong. You feel that your guys have done a good job, and you and your team have worked well together to communicate well and to make sure that you guys work together to get that car dialed in. You're really sort of calm and relaxed.
You're talking over changes and you don't want to change too much because your car's pretty good. So you make fine tuned adjustments. When your car's off, you know, you sort of take big swings at it. You start thinking about where did we go wrong in practice? What did we miss? What about this car feels so much different than what you had in practice?
Then you start evaluating the changes you might have made between the last time you were on the racetrack and practice to what the car feels like in the race. You start thinking about how the track's changed and what kind of track conditions are different, and if the track's going to come back to you. If the rubber's been washed off the night before.
You start going over in your mind what kind of things have changed your car so much or what kind of big wholesale changes you might need to do on the next stop to get your car back into the ball field.
This day and time, the competition is so great and everyone's so strong that you start worrying pretty fast if your car's not good on the first run and you start losing positions. Track position is hard to come by, and you want to make sure you work hard and take big swings at getting your car going the other way and trying to pass cars and make more track position. You take some pretty big wholesale changes to try to get there.

Q. What do you think the fans misunderstand most about driving at the cup level week in and week out?
SCOTT RIGGS: Well, I don't think that -- I think the fans have a pretty good perspective on what kind of different situations and circumstances can come of a race and change the outcome of your race. But the fans might not know, you know, just how physically demanding a lot of these racetracks are. Not just on the driver, but physically demanding on the pieces and parts of the race car. We do some pretty incredible things with these race cars set up-wise these days to try to be fast. And if it's off just a little bit, it can really take your car from a car that's a possible win tore a car that's going a lap down pretty quick.
I think that all the drivers do a great job, and I think there are a lot of good drivers out there. And I think the misconception is that every single driver, whether it's the guy in the back or the guy in the front, every single driver is by far not only an athlete, but a very experienced and a good race car driver. Doesn't matter where they're running.
I think if you shuffled drivers and teams around, you could change the way they look at different drivers and different teams pretty quickly just by the combination of people you put together it's a pretty big team sport.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined now, everyone, by Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota. Brian is a former NASCAR Busch Series Champion. He got into the All-Star Race in 2005 by winning the Nextel Open.
Brian, thanks for joining us, I wanted to ask you the same thing we asked Scott Riggs a few moments ago. Just how tough is it to win a race like the Nextel Open? Is it somewhat like the atmosphere at the Daytona 500 qualifying races where everybody's just going all out for those transfer spots?
BRIAN VICKERS: I guess so. You can relate to when you run late models and things going out there. It's a big race because there are a lot of good teams and good drivers in it. Any victory, any time you cross the finish line first, it's always a pretty special feeling.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We'll go back to the media now for questions for both Scott Riggs and now Brian Vickers.

Q. This is a question for both of you. You have Pocono coming up in a month here. Just tell a little about what makes Pocono so different from the rest of the ones on the circuit. And also, what are the things that you enjoy about Pocono the most, and what are the things that make it fun on a driver?
BRIAN VICKERS: What I like about Pocono is the fact that you have very unique and special corners. It's fun for a driver, and the crew chief has to set up for it. Has to have a car that's balancing all three corners, one with bank, and one high speed quick corner, flat corner. So it's a unique track, it's fast and a lot of fun.
SCOTT RIGGS: I think so, too. I think the things that make it such a challenge and make it so unique from other tracks is exactly what we appreciate. I think that's the things we look forward to when you do have a car that works well around the entire racetrack. It's definitely a track that has a lot of different lines and different ways that you can approach the corners and get off the corners to try to make those long straightaways pay big dividends.
It's always challenging, like Brian said, to try to get a car that works well around the entire racetrack. When you do, it's a lot of fun, but it's still always challenging and definitely a driver's racetrack. Its uniqueness is exactly what we thrive to have.

Q. This question is for Brian. Just take me through this season and your first year in Toyota? Obviously, it hasn't gone probably to your expectations so far.
BRIAN VICKERS: Yes, and no. Obviously it hasn't completely lived up to our expectations because we haven't made all the races. Our original goal was to make the first five races and get the 535 in points. We knew Daytona was going to be tough. You know, a new team and manufacturer, we had very little experience from the chassis and engine-wise running the race.
Then obviously with the heat races what we were saying if you blow the right wheel like we did, we'll take you out.
Then we go on California where we qualify Top 15 and finished Top 10. It was probably above our expectations for our very first intermediate track race.
Then the season goes on, you know. For different reasons we missed a lot more races than we anticipated missing. Some were our fault, some weren't. Contributed to other factors, I guess you could say. It's been tough. It's been a character builder for me as a team, and it's made us work really hard and focus even harder on another test. In that sense when we look back on it down the road, hopefully, we'll say that it was all a good thing and that it made us even a stronger team than we were.
But the good news is we come out of everything is the races we have run like California or Bristol, Texas, you know. Every race we've run we've made we finished in the Top 15 except for one, and that is because we blew an engine, and we got wrecked later on because of it. It's been a year full of ups and downs for sure.

Q. Has the Car of Tomorrow played into the factor of some of the struggles you guys have had?
BRIAN VICKERS: Oh, yeah. A lot. Our biggest, where we have most of our problems with the Car of Tomorrow races is you have some of the bigger teams out there that have gone through a lot of the tests. Hendrick, they've gone 30 or more tests with the Car of Tomorrow. And then the new teams like ours, the new teams and manufacturers, I mean when the season started we'd gone to zero.
In 2007 we've gone to zero tests. We're quite a ways behind. If you did one test a week, we were 30 weeks behind and it showed. It definitely showed. That's where we struggled the most. Since then, we've gone to more tests and ran well in the races we ran, but it's been a huge detriment.

Q. Have you seen a lot of improvement from maybe Daytona until now?
BRIAN VICKERS: I mean obviously. I've seen a lot of improvement in the teams, the pit crew, everybody involved. Our Car of Tomorrow program, our flat track program, our speedway program. We missed the race at Talladega, but we qualified 21st. In Daytona, we qualified like 40-something. So we made huge gains. Unfortunately, with the qualifying structure and the point structure the way it is, you can qualify 20th and still go home. So that's kind of tough.

Q. My question starting with Brian Vickers is that fair everybody was taking 100 to 200 tests more? I know you can't limit where you test outside of NASCAR, but is that just they were just quicker, smarter, faster, more staffed? Is it fair to the rest of the teams, or will they catch up?
BRIAN VICKERS: Well, I'm not going to say it's fair or not. They put themselves in a position where they can do that. They have more teams and more resources. We've just got to catch them. I mean, that is the bottom line.
Everybody always asks themselves, does a bigger team have an advantage? Well, yeah, and it always will. That's not going to go away. If you want to have the same thing, you have to work hard to build a bigger team and more employees and have more sponsorship money coming in to support that.
The budgets aren't dictated by rules at all. No matter what car you put out on the racetrack, no matter what new car they develop, the Car of Tomorrow, the old car, no matter what rules come out, the budgets don't change. The budgets are dictated by TV ratings. The more people watch, the more people around this country and any other country watch the races, the higher the TV ratings, the more money we get from sponsors and we're going to spend it in any way we possibly can. And if they change the rules that's what dictates the budget.
We've just got to become a good enough team to compete with that. Obviously, yes, right now it hurts us. The fact that Hendrick and other big teams have gone to so many tests and we haven't. But part of that is also because there was no team here last year.
There was a two-car team, and we had been established all the way through 2006 and been going to all these tests, we wouldn't be nearly this far behind. But the fact is it is a brand-new manufacturer.

Q. Brian, as a follow-up, did you expect it would be such a challenge where you're at? Did you expect this much of a battle?
BRIAN VICKERS: I probably didn't expect this much of a battle. But you know what, I didn't anticipate 52 well-funded teams showing up to the race every week, either. The series is more competitive this year than it ever has been. I know we say that every year, but it's true.
It gets more and more competitive every year. There are more and more well-funded teams showing up. If we had went into the beginning of this year knowing they were going to be ten races in, 50-plus cars showing up, well-funded cars showing up every week to try to make the race, we probably would have factored in a couple of mishaps here and there. We weren't going to make every single race. But we kind of looked at it what we saw last year where there was, you know, that was our fault. We were thinking there was a little more than 43, 46, maybe 47 cars showing up. That changes the ballgame a lot.

Q. Brian, can you talk about -- I guess to Scott, if you could. The question I have is a follow-up about the qualifying for the All-Star Race for those that would have to qualify their way into that sort of thing. How do you look at it?
SCOTT RIGGS: I think that's, you know, you qualify your way into the All-Star by winning races and winning that race in the past and past champions of that race. I think that it's definitely something fun. It's fun for all of us who aren't qualified to get together and put on a great battle for all of the fans to see which one of us are good enough and fast enough on that night to be able to make it into the show.

Q. What can you tell fans about routine preparation, mental and physical, for the challenge of racing at the Cup level?
BRIAN VICKERS: It takes a lot of everything. Focus and concentration to be able to block out all the distractions from the media, fans, sponsor standpoint. There's a lot of distractions from this level, and that's obviously important.
From a physical standpoint, I can lose anywhere to as much as 16 pounds in a race and that's kind of a lot. I've been training for the past hour and a half in the gym and doing cardio and training and stuff. It's very important, and having a good diet and what you do before the race and what you eat and everything about it, going up to the race is always important.

Q. Can you compare the challenges you have now to the past challenges of getting here, basically?
BRIAN VICKERS: You know, I think with every level, everything increases, the intensity all around, the competition all around increases. You go from go-carts with a 20-lap features, then you go to late models, they're a little longer and you move up and you run a Busch race. Wow, how can it get any worse than this? 300 laps, hot. You have to do TV interviews before and after the race. You have to do hospitality events. It's nonstop.
Then you go to the Cup level and it's ten times worse. More media, more fans, more appearances, more hospitalities, more testing, more races and twice the length of the race. You just have to do it. As you go on, luckily for us it's a gradual scale. From go-carts to the Cup series, it doubles with each step you take. It's not like it just gets thrown at you all at once.

Q. With your win at Talladega in the Fall last year, you're locked into this weekend. You've got to be pretty excited to have that weight lifted off your shoulders?
BRIAN VICKERS: Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, it's our first weekend locked into a show this year. I mean, it's definitely a good feeling. It's really -- what I think is going to happen is I feel we're going to see the benefit in the race. We've had some good races and good race cars, but we've had to spend a lot of time in qualifying trim when other guys are in race trim.
This weekend we're going to focus on race trim and do what we have to do and have fun doing it. No stress, no pressure trying to get into the race, no extra time in qualifying trying to do it. You just go do what everybody else is going to do. It's like being on an even playing field. I'm excite d to see how it works.

Q. With Red Bull Racing, you guys are doing a little better than Michael Waltrip Racing. What is it about your organization that seems to have taken to Toyotas a little bit better?
BRIAN VICKERS: I'm not sure. That's a tough question, because I can't speculate how Michael Waltrip Racing is run or setup or what not. I can tell you what works for us, and coming from the Formula 1 mentality, you know, Red Bull's built that over in a very structured system. All the way from how you put parts on the car, and to how things get resolved and problems and issues. Everything has a system and process to go through to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
It's tough at first. It's hard at first to adapt to that system, and sometimes you want to come back from the test and cut the car up and make it better. But you can't do that. You have to resist doing that because there is a system in place for a reason. And I think that system's worked, and it's really meshed well with Toyota's mentality.
Now there's times when some of the Formula 1 guys, and the mentality they bring to the table has proven not to be the best solution.
There are some thing that's we do in NASCAR for a reason. But a lot of things, you know, a lot of things they brought to the table has helped. And I think it's helped us mesh with Toyota even more because they have a similar mentality.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks a lot. And thanks to Scott Riggs and Brian Vickers for joining us on this second half of today's teleconference. Best of luck, guys.



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