Dodge Motorsports interview: Steve Addington
Dodge Motorsports press release
Kurt Busch, Penske Racing Dodge and his crew chief Steve Addington
STEVE ADDINGTON (Crew Chief, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
CREW CHIEFS TALK ABOUT HAVING A NOTEBOOK FOR RACE TRACKS; IS THAT GONE OR ANYTHING YOU CAN USE FROM THE PAST?
“From here, yeah. It hasn't changed that much, is just how we're loading bump-stops in the front end, stuff like that. Having this open test has been very valuable, but looking at the baseline that we came out here with a month ago or so, it was pretty close. It still has changed the speed of what you're carrying into the banking in the middle of (Turns) one and two back up through the progressive banking. It’s changed how we load our bump-stops and stuff. That's what we have to deal with, see what we have to do to balance that.”
AT DIFFERENT TRACKS, POCONO AS AN EXAMPLE, YOU WANT TO BE GOOD OFF OF THREE; IS THERE A PLACE HERE YOU THINK IS THE KEY PLACE TO BE SET UP FOR?
“The thing right now I feel like a lot of people are fighting, we'd be loose into three here before and it's still there. So, that's getting our car to where the driver can get into the corner as hard as he needs to and maintain his speed through the center. That's the big key, getting into Turn 3.”
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF WHAT WE USED TO CALL THE DOGLEG, WHICH IS A REAL TURN NOW? DOES THAT STRIKE YOU AS A TOUGH PLACE TO SET UP FOR?
“I think that's going to be the action place. We were talking about it last night, about the double-file restarts and getting through two. Getting into the dogleg is going to be exciting. During the test, everybody is giving. When you catch a car, they let you go. But when they start racing, it's going to be pretty interesting through there. That's going to open up another can of worms to see how all the action takes place back through there. Getting into it, positioning yourself where you get a run on the guy, whether it's on the outside or inside of him, the give-and-take there is going to be pretty interesting.”
FROM A PIT STOP STANDPOINT, THE CONCRETE STALLS, IS THIS A HUGE IMPROVEMENT?
“Oh, it's awesome. When we were out here, looked at that, they've done an awesome job with the race track, plus they've done an awesome job on pit road. You look forward to picking you a pit. All the pits should be good when we come back to race.”
THIS IS A SO-CALLED WILD CARD RACE, CONSIDERING IT’STHE CHASE SEMIFINAL; WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE IT THAT WAY?
“I think just being a new place that we haven't lined 43 cars up on and gone racing, new configuration, new surface, that's going to be the wild card part of it is when we get two-wide and things like that. Every one of them (Chase races) is a wild card here the way races have been turning out. This will be a little kink in the game plan because we don't know what's going to happen when we get lined up and start racing each other for real.”
DO YOU THINK IT WILL MAKE FOR BETTER DOUBLE-WIDE RESTARTS?
“I think if you have trouble, cars get crunched up on restarts, you have plenty of room to clear it now. It used to be really tight right there. It's going to go back to when we get lined up here and see what happens, that's going to be the interesting part. We talked about it last night, Kurt and all of us, sitting around talking about it. We don't know whether you're going to have an advantage being on the inside or outside. If the guy is good enough to get a car pinned down over there, the outside may work. But you don't know. You just have to see how you can get in there two-wide because right, ‘till the track gets rubbered-in, it's just single file through there.”
DO YOU THINK IT’S POSSIBLE THAT WILL CHANGE DURING THE RACE, INSIDE VERSUS OUTSIDE?
“It could come down to how much that opens up. With the other races going on here that weekend, they'll open that groove up a good bit for us for when we run. That's going to be the key, is how much that groove opens up getting into (Turn) one there and carrying it through the center.”
ON THE ORIGINAL SCHEDULE, THERE WAS CUP PRACTICE ON THURSDAY OF RACE WEEKEND. THAT’S GONE AWAY. BETWEEN YOU BEING HERE FOR THE TIRE TEST, THEN THE RACE WEEKEND, DO YOU FEEL FAIRLY CONFIDENT YOU’LL HAVE ENOUGH TRACK TIME FOR A GOOD SETUP?
“Yeah, I don't think the track's going to change as much as what it would be just on a weekend. So I think the information that we've gathered from the tire test and what we'll end up with from yesterday and today is going to be valuable. I think it will translate over into race weekend. The track time is going to be not as big a key. If we came in here without any testing, you'd want hours on here. This test changes that.”
CONSIDERING THIS IS THE CHASE SEMIFINAL, NEW TRACK PAVING, CONFIGURATION, DOES IT CREATE MAYBE A LITTLE NERVOUSNESS OR TENSION WITHIN THE TEAM COMING INTO THIS RACE?
“No, I don't think so. I think from everything that we've learned, it goes back to having these test days. I don't think that it's going to be any more nervousness coming into the race weekend. The only question that's going to be out there is, I'll go back to us lining up and going racing for the money and the trophy, we don't know what that's going to bring.”