Nascar, Ford, Atlanta discussed on Motorsports Monday
That's what speedway is all about learning what your cars like Learning how how good it is an old tires how much speed that it has Sucking up to a big pack. Are you in a chance to to lead Elaine. And how well does blueline so yeah. There's a lot of things that every car is a little different every situation's a little different so you build that database up from practice and qualifying the first week Obviously the duals on Thursday night and then a few practices before the five hundred so before the five hundred. You've got an idea of how aggressive that I can be an ultimately you try to do what you can to set yourself up for those last twenty five thirty laps gotta gotTa be present to win right. Yeah you gotta be there. You mentioned earlier. You enjoy the short track racing big picture wise looking through the season I understand. You're you're not running the full schedule. But what kind of a difference do you think this new package might make a short tracks super speedways because the whole goal of what we've got now how was to try and help the racing at intermediate tracks for the most part. It did yeah. I think that it accomplished exactly what the industry wanted. I think the the drivers had a little bit of push back in the beginning but once we got out to Atlanta in Las Vegas and California we realize that during the races the the faster car still navigated their way up towards the front. You still led to lift some and And the fans got what they wanted. You know tighter action the TV partners and all the broadcast partners like you guys. You saw a lot more side-by-side racing racing a lot closer You know at the top four five guys at the end of runs and so I think those are all good things in order to make the cars all similar throughout the year. Sure so the teams and have to spend a lot of money They made that kind of a blanket rule package and what we found was it was too much downforce for the short tracks. You didn't have enough tire. Hire fall off because the the downforce in the race car it overcompensated for the the lack of a grip in the tires. You were still able to drive off the corners. Your balance wants didn't change a whole lot. You didn't have a big Delta from early in Iran too late in the run and that's when you have passing at the short tracks so we don't have to worry about. He's going almost the same speed. Nobody canoe try to well. We don't have to worry about bunch and everyone up in Bristol But we do have to work on that from Michigan and Californian Pocono so I I think that it was great that that Nascar said hey you know we. We've got to make this adjustment. The race team said okay. You know we're going to do some Some agreements where we don't have to be in the wind on. Oh quite as much as we've been in years past Nascar froze some of the Rd that the teams were doing To kind of help themselves because the team's they're they're their own worst enemy sometimes because they they they wanna make the the best car out of their stable they WANNA make it fast and so they spend a lot of money and a lot of resources to make those cars faster but but if everyone's playing and off the same rules it's a little bit more even for for the top two or three teams and the middle. You know fifteen twenty cars so I yeah so less downforce for the short tracks. I think it'll be back to how we had a couple of years ago. We have a lot of fall off at Martinsville in Richmond. The road courses and so tired will be important tire management will be important and I think that that dirtier that we started to talk about a short track will not even be a conversation this year. Now that leads me to my next thing because as you have sort of a different GIG since you're not full-time racing part of the reason they didn't go to any extremes trying to help the short tracks and road courses was with an eye toward twenty twenty one when the next Gen car will begin to race full time. And you're going to be involved with helping with that some right. Yeah so this really the the best of both worlds woody. No I get to race a little bit and then I'm GonNa help Ford Performance and in some of their development on the next in Awkward Mustang. So that's a car that were extremely proud of an excited as a the whole industry is to see what that next evolution of race cars of the American stock cars that were racing here. Kind of what. That looks like an so Nascar's made some pretty pretty bold moves on Upgrading some of the technology in our cars and and hopefully Learning off of what we've done the last couple years with these Arrow packages and they'll to make the right decisions with our next aero package for twenty twenty one And there's also some opportunities for some engine adjustments that will better suit our current OEM's and some new potential OEM's That they WANNA come and be a part of NASCAR SO Y- I'm going to get to work with Ford on some of their modeling and and part and pieces development. All men in that car gets on the race track this summer and Kinda helped get up to speed. I spend a lot of time in the simulator building some Arrow models and some tire models because it is a a lot of different parts and pieces. it's a different tire and wheel combination a lot of different suspension part. So yeah. That'll be fun that that'll feel like I'm still at the tracks still involved in making a difference in developing race trying to make our Ford's faster so what we learn what will help all the Ford Performance Teams Games and then I'll still get to race a little bit here and there and hopefully you know go run some other series that I haven't had a chance to run in years past. The truck series is a lot of fun under a few races. That may fit my schedule even going back in and running an art series races at some of the short tracks. I've really enjoyed. I still have a legends car My out and run a couple of races out at the summer shootout here in Charlotte or Atlanta. So yeah my my schedule will be a little more open on the racing side of things and then Being full-time Dad and and trying to be a good husband will allow me to to be home. A little bit to kids would be grown up before you know what you look back and go wait a minute. I missed it. Everyone tells has made that and had the last few years I've started to believe every now it'll be a good opportunity for me for sure when we look at this car. I was talking with Richard childress last year. uh-huh believe it was at Talladega. And he said something that blew my mind he was he was talking about. How much different for the good? This new next Gen car is going to be. And he said you know the underside. The undercarriage of our cars are still based on a sixty nine chevelle now granted. There's new parts different parts and all the engineers and things do what they do. But that's the underlying going into nearing of it is a sixty-nine Chevelle and that just blew me away. Yeah and that's a good and bad because it has kept the sport fairly simple but it's it's almost made our sport a little isolated because around us we've had a lot of technology and we've implemented at some over the years we had you know if I brought into our cars took the carburetors operators off a few years ago we've got you know digital dash and some. GPS boxes that allows the fans to watch some of our driver inputs that they can see NBA part of A. Obviously there's technology that's changing around the world and NASCAR's got a really hard job because if they just open the floodgates I it's really going to be an arms race on on. Who can afford what type of technology and? I don't think that anybody wants to see you know four teams and sixteen cars take the field for the Daytona. The five hundred. And that's what it would turn into if there were no guidelines and restrictions to use the technology that's available but But also I think we are isolated in that fact that if I roll underneath my nineteen sixty four pickup truck. It's got some truck arms rear end housing just like our car. Does it's going to take the green green flag at the Daytona five hundred so I think it's time to To make some adjustments and make these cars More cool. You've got a lot of young fans that are growing growing up seeing you know their their new Ford Mustang or the corvette or Camaro or whatever vehicle. They're buying they want it to be relevant to the car that we're racing and you know. This is the the stock car series the National Association for Stock Car Racing. So I think that I think that's a good move and and sometimes moves like that are scary because it's different and there are a lot of changes but I think it's time to do it. How important is it to to have it? Be More like as best you can with a race car. That is decidedly like a streetcar on steroids for lack of a better phrase to have it more like what the manufacturers which you often hear. Oem's are selling every day not only with what we've already gotten in terms of manufacturers but in attracting new ones I think we live in a world where these manufactors they are working extremely hard to make their cars very cool you you hop op into a car from two thousand and there wasn't much of a cool factor with with a lot of that into a new sedan. SUV or or pickup truck. And everything that you touch that you feel the character lines the body lines technology in the engines ecoboost motor. That's in my Ford F one fifty you and you know it's unbelievable. That's the same engine that's in my Ford. Gt that one Lamont two years ago. So there's a lot of technology in all of manufacturers cars and and I think that we need to to apply that some to our sport and and it keeps US relevant. I was down at the NASCAR. INSA twenty four hours tone a few weeks ago and you can visibly ably sale see on a Ferrari passes by win a porsche passes by one and Ashton Martin or BMW. Don't have to steer forever to figure a fresh so that's cool and MCI has done a great job of balancing the power to where all of them are fairly equal Obviously some years you have one. That's a little better than the other. They do. A pretty good job of of maintaining looking at the data to To offer those balance of power shifts throughout the season so I think that's something that NASCAR will continue. You'd have to keep a close eye on because you don't have one manufacturer just totally run away and win twenty five or thirty races during the season but I think that if we had four or five manufacturers the cars had their own identity their own engines. I think that would build a better fan base for for everyone who wanted to watch and it would give us more passion and to To work for our manufacturers and our cars and be proud of that I think some of the credit for that what you mentioned with the series and how identifiable they are has to go to Jim France right. Of course his family has been at the top of NASCAR since its inception how. How comforting has it been have a guy like that with that kind of experience and that kind of Worldview worldview now taking the reins at Nascar what you saw last year and what? We're expecting this year. Yeah Jen's got a lot of passion for our sport and gyms that guy kind of sits back and he listens is a lot He doesn't talk a lot. I think we all can learn something from June but a sharp and he's got a invested interest in the success of NASCAR. You're his family is still controlling a NASCAR race tracks now and I think that they've doubled down on their bets. Certainly from the outside looking in I think it would've been easy for them to put some other people in charge and go hang out on the golf courses or other fishing boat but I think that there at the race track you Ben Kennedy around a lot and so I think that the future of NASCAR is healthy and GM has a A good outlook on on a lot of different sides and so he can He can guide the the sport and certain ways he can work with the manufacturers. I think he's a he's a good guy that you'll see walk around the garage. You can stop them. Say Hello shake his hand and talk to them and it's good that he's there and on the grounds and he knows he knows what the field is inside the garage. And I think that's important. Another interesting development is the schedule schedule changes not radically different in terms of new places but the order of the racists has changed and you know you kind of get that routine and you've been around the sport long enough to where almost with your is closer to okay. We're going here next. And they were going there but now. That's jumbled up and the talk is next year could be even more changes that we haven't seen in in the past. I'm a fan of the history of our sport in in keeping some things the same I am. I'm not a fan of of changing things just to change but I think we've talked about Out Changing the race cars a little bit. I think those are important. Obviously the safety innovation that we had throughout throughout the mid-2000s those were very very important. Strategic changes changes that made our sports safer and I think the schedule was this that next item in place. That has gotten a little stale. I think we got too comfortable. That every year are we left a toner and we went to Atlanta or we went out West and we came back and we ran you know Bristol and Martinsville in March some of those racists this it doesn't make a lot of sense and and so I think that again with with everyone in the industry with Bruton Smith and his team an SM. I got the guys at Dover motorsports group they all all got together and said Hey. Here's what's best for the series for the sport you know we may take a little bit of a hit on one market or another but but we're going to move this date or change change this race and.