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NASCAR PRESEASON THUNDER TESTING


January 10, 2014


Robin Pemberton


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

THE MODERATOR:テつ As we typically do on our final day of testing, we bring in one of our NASCAR folks to talk about how the test is going and what we thought.テつ I know we're right in the middle of our testing session today due to weather, but we thought we'd go ahead and bring Robin in.
We now welcome our Vice President of Competition and Racing Development, Robin Pemberton.テつ Robin, I know we've only had a few hours in the car today, but talk a little bit about the test session, what you think thus far, and if you want to preview ahead to the testing for the next couple days for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Yeah, I think everybody knows or understands with a year under our belt with the Gen‑6 car it's pretty straightforward.テつ Had a small spoiler change, and basically this is pretty‑‑ it's a comfortable zone for the teams to be into, so really this test is all about the teams and those guys working on their set‑ups and their engine packages and things of that nature.テつ So, so far speeds look to be what we expected.テつ We'll see what happens when they draft a little bit later.
But tomorrow's going to be pretty good for us with the Nationwide teams coming in.テつ They've got a new coolant package like I told you the other day and a little less spoiler.テつ So they'll have to work on their cars, and the Camping World Truck Series will be here on Monday, and they've got a new truck and new coolant system also.テつ So we're looking forward to the next four days of testing here at Daytona.
But so far everything's in line and it looks like it's running pretty smoothly.

Q.テつ Do you think by the time you finish around 9:00 p.m. teams will have had and you guys will have had adequate time with cars with the spoiler to get a fairly decent indication of what the effect will have?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ The main thing will be the drafting runs.テつ We'll see what happens, how many they can get together if they want to.テつ But it's meant to be drafting practice for the most part for the latter part of the day, but I think we'll get a good snapshot of it.

Q.テつ Will the spoiler and the cooling package changes on the Nationwide cars tend to break them up from the tandems as well?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Yeah, just a little bit.テつ The things that we've learned in the last two or three years about drafting and draft speeds versus single‑car speeds, we're heading in a little bit different direction than where we've been in the past.テつ So it's about a little lower drag package which makes it a little harder to draft.テつ So the spoiler is coming down a little bit.テつ And the rear springs are being reduced in the Nationwide, so it will travel a little bit more and poke a little smaller hole in the air.
It should separate the cars a little bit.テつ Coolant system should be in that right range and in the right direction.テつ It follows what we've done with the Cup series.

Q.テつ Did you have any lobbying for you to either extend these guys into tomorrow at all or to come back?テつ Do you have more decision making this week since you're kind of going through a transition from John to Richard?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ I'll answer the first question, second question you'll have to repeat.テつ I can't hear out of one ear, so I can't totally hear you, and now I forgot the first question.テつ What was it?

Q.テつ The lobbying.
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Yeah, the lobbying part.テつ As you can only imagine when there is an opportunity to express your opinion to do something different than we have organized, lobbying does come into play.テつ We've heard everywhere from teams that need a half a day, to teams that need a day and a half, to teams that want to go to Talladega, teams that want to come back here next week, and there are some that don't even want to be here today.テつ So we've got it all.
I think we've got enough track time.テつ I really do.テつ Like I said, when you have as few of changes as we've had, I think the teams have a pretty good handle on it.テつ I think they knew where they were going to need to be.

Q.テつ The second part would be are you yourself making more of those decisions because of the transition from Darby to Richard?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Well, what some may not know or what you may not understand or people don't understand about our whole group and competition group, many of the decisions are made and made in large groups.テつ Then there are less decisions made by larger groups.テつ So there is never any one person out on an island.テつ So every time we do things, you always have to connect the dots and run it through different management groups to make sure we've got everything covered.
Just like when we change a schedule a little bit, we've got to make sure that TV knows.テつ You guys are aware, the teams are aware, flight departments need to be notified, there are all kinds of things that go into it.テつ So there are a lot of people that weigh in on a lot of things.
So as Richard is here going through the garage area, he's up in the tower watching practice right now, I believe, and understanding what goes on.テつ We work together on so many different things, so it felt about the same as it always has.

Q.テつ I'll ask you the same question I asked some of the drivers about the whole season.テつ Is there any‑‑ it's a long season for drivers, it's a long season for you.テつ Is there any part of the season that you prefer, you like better?テつ What gives you the most energy out of the season?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ No, I'm not going to answer that.テつ No, I'm just kidding.テつ Really, I've done this for a living for so long. You always look forward to the downtime, then when you're down you kind of get geared up to come back.テつ But I just love being at the racetrack anyways.テつ But equal to that, when I get away and get some downtime, sometime after the banquet season, I enjoy that equally as well.テつ I don't have any trouble shifting gears where my fun comes from, I can tell you that much.

Q.テつ Is it going to be single‑car qualifying for the Daytona 500 as usual?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Pardon me, for qualifying?

Q.テつ Yes.
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Yes, the Daytona 500 qualifying will be the same as it has been.

Q.テつ Do you know what the qualifying will be going forward after Daytona yet?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ There are some details we're working on and trying to finalize all of those things.テつ I can tell you that the Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series will not be single‑car qualifying at all this year, and we're still working on some of the final details of that.

Q.テつ Even for Daytona?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Even for Daytona.

Q.テつ What will they be for Daytona?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ We'll let you know during the rest of the month of January as Mike alluded to earlier or yesterday that we've got a lot of things on our plate, more than normal.テつ As we work through the details, we'll get them out to you as soon as we can.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the safety meeting this morning if you were in there, and what were the highlights and what is the big message you want to get across to competitors this year?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Safety meeting went well.テつ As always, there are ongoing studies about driver containment and seat development and things of that nature.テつ There are different things being tested with seat belts and stuff.テつ We brought up‑‑ they presented some of the studies that our guys have done during the summer.テつ Some work that's out there on some seat attachments or different ways to attach seats and things.
I think there was one video on a car‑to‑car crash at Nebraska that we have done to show intrusion and things like that.テつ So our staff evaluated a few of the wrecks last year.テつ Denny's and his compression of his back and they've reviewed some of that data to the teams to try to help them with their seats and how the seats are padded up and things like that.

Q.テつ Sounds like he had very little foam in his seat?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Pardon me?

Q.テつ Apparently he had very little foam in his seat.
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ No, it's not that.テつ It's just sometimes there's a foam that's real porous, and I don't even know if you can call it a foam.テつ But it's used to allow air to pass and help cool you.テつ If you can get that in the wrong place, then when you compress or something like that, there's not enough support for whatever type of contact that is.テつ So I think that Tom Gideon or John Patalak would be happy to answer some of those questions and be a little bit more professional about it than I am.
But I've watched that study through the entire summer, and we've been circling up with the teams and explaining that.テつ So if you get an opportunity, those guys are here for the rest of the weekend also.テつ We'll do a safety update in the morning with Nationwide and then another one Monday with the Camping World Truck Series.

Q.テつ Rusty's gotten a bit of attention here in the last day or two.テつ I wonder if you can recall some of his Daytona 500 desires and disappointments, and any other stories that might stand out to you when you see him here?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ We were talking.テつ We've had‑‑ if you come here long enough, this place will disappoint you about as much as anyplace you'll ever go to.テつ I think I went 15 years and never finished a Daytona 500 as a crew member or crew chief at some point in time.テつ I think the one that got away for Rusty and myself leading the race, and Ricky Rudd came off the end of pit road and pulled right up into traffic and going into turn one, and Rusty lost the race.テつ That one kind of stings.
There are some other ones.テつ In '98 we did all the development work for the year before that on the Taurus to bring the four doors into racing.テつ So we were able to win the Bud Shootout with the Taurus, which was the first race for that Taurus, so that was fun.テつ In those years the promotional stuff that was around, it was some characters and stuff that Miller had brought up and different things like that.テつ So it was fun.
You can have some fun here, but it's far and few between if you're a competitor, I can tell you that.

Q.テつ Why not changing the Daytona 500 qualifying format as you're going to be making qualifying format changes the rest of the season?テつ Why this?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Well, I think what comes into play is the fact that Daytona's format has always been a one‑off and a great format.テつ We've got the duels on Thursday, and that's been a pressure‑packed race for the teams.テつ Especially now with the lack of lock‑ins.テつ You have to race in.テつ This place stands on its own right now.テつ They have qualifying races which nobody else has.テつ They've been a one up on everybody for the most part.

Q.テつ The qualifying format, can you say that it won't need qualifying races?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ Here?

Q.テつ In the series beyond Daytona?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ I can't hear you.

Q.テつ Can you say it will not be qualifying races as the new qualifying format?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ I can tell that you we're finalizing everything and we're working on it, and we'll have plenty of news the rest of the month of January.テつ It's a long month, it's one of our longest, very long.

Q.テつ Do you have any other tests or going in a day early beyond Vegas for the Cup teams?
ROBIN PEMBERTON:テつ No, Vegas is the only one we've got on the books right now.テつ I think we'll be pretty good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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