On the dangers of over driving at Martinsville, talk about how you learned and the best way to get around this track
“You can't tiptoe around the racetrack. There are certain areas where you really have to attack to turn a fast lap, and they don't come naturally for the majority of the drivers. It took me a few trips, and I was in a position where I was being lapped by the race leader, who was Tony Stewart at the time. To follow him and visually see where he was attacking, I had it all wrong. And we've all talked about it, but there is a certain rhythm that the track requires for you to run a fast lap time. And on top of that, a fast lap time is maybe a tenth of a second better than a slow one. So there are really, really small adjustments that you have to make. And it's been well discussed where you can't overcharge the entry; and then the forward bite up off onto the straightaways is really important. But there is a combination of the three sections of the turn from entry to the center of the corner to the exit where you have to compromise in two of the areas but be really aggressive in the center of the corner and try to play that rhythm lap after lap, and hopefully you're on the right side of the 10th bracket that you need to be on.”
Has the double-file changed Chad Knaus' ability to make different or risky calls at the end of the race because everyone has same option with the way restarts are now structured?
“I have to say it has probably been a win for the majority of the field. I would say the first maybe two or three cars have a little more pressure on their shoulders, as we all see, whatever the leader does, the majority of the field does the opposite just to try to gain an advantage. So, if you are first or second, third possibly, it may be a little more difficult for you then. But, in general, I think it has opened a lot of possibilities. The fact that you are racing the cars that you need to. Sometimes you aren't in the right lane over the course of a season and over restarts, it all balances itself out. Some days you are in the right lane, some days you are not. In general, I think it has been a very very good change for our series. It has given us more opportunities as drivers and it has put a better product on the track for the viewing audience.”
How much is it just the change of the look of the car with the change from the wing to the spoiler?
“We won't really know until we get to Texas. At the end of the day at Phoenix we will learn a little bit more about it, but the speeds aren't high enough here to have an affect. The balance of the car in a straight line in a wind tunnel provides more rear down force than what we are used to, what we had with the wing. NASCAR intentionally overshot that number a little bit to give us something to work with. But when you are in traffic, a spoiler is less efficient than a wing, so with that in mind, at high speeds you lose efficiency, you are going to lose downforce in the back of the car.
On top of that, we had more side force with the end plates on the wing itself which was a security blanket in some respects, it kept us from spinning all the way around in traffic. I've seen a lot of people who have said it is going to make for better racing and not many pointing out these other difficulties with the spoiler versus the wing and I just have a feeling it's going to make it more difficult. When we get on these faster tracks, it is going to make it tougher to close that gap and to get someone's bumper and put a pass together.”