Ryan Newman and Matt Borland, driver and crew chief of the #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway and discussed the reuniting of the two as crew chief and driver for the 2013 season, winning the Daytona 500 in 2008, and other topics.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE MATT BORLAND BACK AT THE HELM CALLING THE SHOTS?
RYAN NEWMAN: “Really excited the four races we had together at the end of 2012 I think our average finish was 7.9. Just really glad, most people don’t realize that Matt was the best man in Krissie (wife) and I’s wedding so he is obviously always been a great friend. From a competition level, professional level and a crew chief to driver relationship level we have had great successes and we have always had our failures because you can’t succeed all the time in this sport. We have learned from both the things that we’ve succeeded at and the things that we have failed at. Really look forward to just getting back on the success train of wins and poles and leading laps and having good finishes for Quicken Loans and all of our other sponsors. What we put together last year for those last four races from a team standpoint, Matt has done his homework in the off season and we are really excited to start 2013 with a good shot at winning the (Daytona) 500. They did a really good job of bringing a fast Quicken Loans car down here to qualify fourth. I made a mistake in the duel. Those guys have worked really hard to get the car ready for the (Daytona) 500 and I think we are getting really close to having a very competitive car.”
MATT TALK ABOUT BEING REUNITED WITH A DRIVER THAT CERTAINLY YOU HAVE SHARED A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS WITH DURING YOUR CAREER:
MATT BORLAND: “It’s definitely been great. Ryan is an awesome guy, obviously a great driver. It’s a little nerve racking being back on the box making all the mistakes again all those kinds of things. Getting nervous about things, but it’s awesome to work with him again. Just hear all his feedback and be able to go out there and compete for top-five’s and lead laps and do all those things that make the sport what it is and make it a lot of fun.”
THERE IS SOME SPECIAL NEWS TODAY FROM YOUR SPONSOR QUICKEN LOANS. TELL US ABOUT THAT:
RYAN NEWMAN: “We are really excited about the partnership with Quicken Loans, Stewart-Hass and myself to have them double up with their sponsorship of races. Something that really connects them to the fans is their sweepstakes programs. We had two successful ones last year and this year’s ‘Bring it Home’ sweepstakes every time I finish in the top five regardless if it is the Quicken Loans race or not five fans get their mortgage paid. They do that by going on qlracing.com website and register. Obviously, the more times you register per race or each race the better opportunity you have to get that reward. It’s a great way…who doesn’t want their mortgage paid? Quicken Loans can offer that to be able to tie it all together with the race fans and our race car we are really proud and excited to do that with them.”
WOULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE ROLE OF A TEST DRIVER TO HAVE SOMEBODY LIKE SCOTT RIGGS TO COME IN FROM THE OUTSIDE AND WHY WOULD YOU CHOOSE SOMEBODY FROM THE OUTSIDE?
MATT BORLAND: “Scott and those guys were actually doing a test while we were down here running the 150’s and it just gives you that much more opportunity to go and do more testing and do more research to try and get everything right so when we go and race, we have everything right. There’s a lot of durability things with this new car. There are a lot of new questions and a lot of new things that are going to go right and wrong. The more of those things you can figure out that are going to go wrong and get them fixed before the race, the better off you’ll be.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “It’s supposedly a homework program for myself and Tony (Stewart) and Danica (Patrick). Scott can give us some feedback about the way the car is driving but a lot of it really is the durability-side of it, the testing-side of it, especially this year with the rear-end stuff as far as the camber and the axels and things like that so when the questions we’ve had in our testing and how that can be mileaged-out. You can’t really mileage it out on a race weekend other than racing it. We mock all those things up on a race car and take it to the track and testing everything at different race tracks makes a huge difference. You go to a place like Martinsville where you get the heavy braking and heavy deceleration; you go to a place like Las Vegas and you work on wheel-bearing loads and things like that with more downforce in the race car. So there’s a lot of things that we don’t want to have to have any worry about when we get strapped in for 500-miles here at Daytona.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “I don’t think it’s as much that, otherwise they would have us doing it. I mean it’s just you want to have somebody that you respect and you trust with the information that you have to be able to make it beneficial for everybody; otherwise, there’s no point in doing homework, just have somebody else copy it.”
YOU ARE BOTH ENGINEERS. CAN YOU TRY TO GIVE US A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF HOW THE SHAPE OF THE CAR AND THE SHARK FIN AND ALL THAT HAS AFFECTED THE AERODYNAMICS AND THE SIDE DRAFT?
RYAN NEWMAN: “I think if you look at the front of all the cars, they’re a little boxier. They for sure match their production counterpart, in which we’re proud to have Chevrolets because the actual race car and the production car are both rear wheel drive, fuel-injected cars. But if you look at the shape of the car, it punches a little different hole. It’s got some upper edges to it. If you look at our old cars, whether it was back to the original car that I started with or the car of tomorrow, they were much more rounded and these cars have much less of that teardrop effect but ideal shape that you would have for drag. That makes the cars buffet around and the air moves around a little bit differently. I think we’ve got a different situation now with the shark fin and the spoiler and the way that the two match and made up in essence that the spoiler used to actually stick out past the shark fin and now it doesn’t anymore. And the shark fin is just as tall as the spoiler. So, you get some different aero-interactions with cars on the inside of you and behind you than you typically were used to. We were used to that for three, four, or five years. It wasn’t as much of a change, I would say, in the way that the cars aerodynamically drove, when we went from a wing to a spoiler as we went from the Gen-5 car to the Gen-6 car.”
MATT BORLAND: “Just to add on that, next week when we go to Phoenix and for all the downforce tracks, the package is totally changed and different from what we’re racing here in Daytona where we’re having a lot more downforce on the car and a lot bigger spoiler and a lot bigger pan, whereas at Daytona we’ve got less spoiler, less splitter, so you have a lot less downforce on the car. There’s also sort of two totally different packages within this same year and this same car.”
HAVE YOU MADE A DECISION ON WHETHER YOU’LL TEST AT LAS VEGAS JUST BEFORE THAT RACE?
RYAN NEWMAN: “We are, right?
MATT BORLAND: “Are you talking about the day before the test, or the open test? The extra day? Yes. Are you talking about an open test at Vegas, or the day before the race weekend? Because the day before the race weekend is open to everybody.
RYAN NEWMAN: The Thursday before the race weekend which they originally called a test day, then they changed it to a practice day. Yes, we’ll be there.”
CONSIDERING WHAT YOU GUYS HAVE A RESOURCES, WHETHER IT’S DEVELOPING THE TEST TEAM, OR HAVING AN IN-HOUSE WIND TUNNEL, HAS IT SURPRISED YOU THAT THE THREE CARS PLACED IN THE TOP-FIVE IN QUALIFYING?
MATT BORLAND: “Surprising, maybe yes, maybe no. Obviously the guys have done a lot of work over the winter. A lot of focus was put on trying to make the cars qualify really well. So from that aspect, no it is not surprising. But, you never know when you come down here what you are going to have, and it was fantastic with all the work Mobil did, all our partners did helping us get those cars ready. And, then just executing on qualifying day. It was great to see. Like I said, it is kind of a double-edged sword there. You are surprised, but you are not surprised.”
RYAN NEWMAN: “We were second in Talladega by thousandths of a second last year. So, we had speed last year. It wasn’t like all of a sudden we just got speed.”
TONY KEEPS GOING TO THE FACT THAT WITH MOBIL 1 THERE IS SOMETHING BEYOND JUST BEING A SPONSOR:
RYAN NEWMAN: “We have integrity in our answers, yes. We believe they make a difference, that is why we say it.”
WHEN YOU THINK BACK TO WINNING THIS RACE, WHAT COMES IN THERE?
RYAN NEWMAN: “I think it was an amazing moment in my racing career; my driving career; my family; and all those things that go into it – for myself personally, Roger (Penske), my Dad, so many people. But it’s in the past. The track’s changed; the tires have changed; the cars have changed; my crew has changed; a lot of things have changed. I know I still have the ability because the walls and the banking are still there, and are virtually the same. I have the confidence to do what I need to do, but, you can’t just say because I’ve done it, I can do it again. If you do, and you do do it, you merely got lucky. It takes a lot of things to make it right so that you can be in Victory Lane on Sunday.”
WHEN YOU LOOK AT TONY, WHAT DO YOU SEE IN HIS BODY LANGUAGE AFTER THE WEEK HE HAS HAD WITH YOU, DANICA AND HIS OWN CAR?
RYAN NEWMAN: “Just that he needs a couple of hours at the chiropractor, that’s about it. (LAUGHS) No, I think he’s definitely very happy to see the way that the cars qualified. That is a big part of coming here, and we were very open about it when we tested that we were putting our emphasis on speed, not drafting. At least from the No. 39 side. To come here and do what we did in qualifying made somewhat of a statement, no doubt. Tony also knows that when the racing starts that the speed is only a part of it, there’s a lot more to it. We all have be shiny in what we have to achieve. But body language-wise, he’s Tony. He’s usually got a bruise from a rock in a sprint car. His neck hurts a little bit because he got it up on his side. That type of thing. That’s his body language.”
-Team Chevy PR