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2013 Charlotte (Test) Q&A: NASCAR - Brian Pattie
Posted by: newsla on Jan 18, 2013 - 05:55 AM
2013 Charlotte (Test) Q&A: NASCAR - Brian Pattie

BRIAN PATTIE, crew chief, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing


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How is preparation going for the season?
"It's going good for us, but all the teams are behind. The Daytona test went good for us. We had good speed. We worked a
lot of good things out with TRD (Toyota Racing Development) so looking forward to going back for the 500."

Do you believe the new car will give some teams an advantage?
"I foresee the same teams running up front just because of the development and the amount of money that we have to put
towards getting ready -- wind tunnel, computer simulation and track testing. I think the same guys will still run well. If they
don't, they'll put the money towards making sure they do. I don't foresee a change."

When do you think teams will be in good shape with parts?
"When you go to the 500 and everybody starts talking about how many cars they have back at the shop. Obviously, this is
the first new car that we've had in quite a few years. Don't take it the wrong way, being behind is not a bad thing when you
have new cars. It's just that we're not where we were 12 months ago as far as prepping for Daytona, but we will be. The
guys are working six days a week and 12 or 14 hour days trying to get ready. Come the week after the 500, we should be in
really good shape."

How will losing the Charlotte test impact you and how many cars do you have at the shop?
"We have a lot of testing going on that is already scheduled. After this event gets rained out/snowed out over the next two
days then we'll probably go to Nashville for a few times and New Smyrna and then get ready for the 500. As far as car
count, I think each of our teams at MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) have six already so we're in good shape, but last year at
this time we had 10 or 12. We like to be prepared and we will be here in the next three or four weeks."

What will Clint Bowyer be like in a 24-hour race?
"It's going to be interesting for sure. Thank God he (Clint Bowyer) can do stents and hopefully they will single-stent him
and he can go back to his bus and play around and then go back out. From what I heard, he was really fast. He enjoyed it a
lot. It's good that he can do different types of racing and broaden his horizon a little bit because he's somewhat one
dimensional in that sense where he focuses on a Cup car and that's it. He's excited and it will be fun to see how fast he is."

Are you expecting to learn about the NASCAR tech procedures at this test?
"We'll probably roll across it. Obviously, we have kinematics for each car here -- all three teams will probably roll across it
and see how it validates our stuff. We've been doing that all winter so we don't have to wait until today to figure that out.
We've been working with NASCAR since probably Homestead trying to get their fixture and our simulation to read the same
stuff so we don't have a problem when we show up at the 500. Just laser stuff -- our simulation kinematics program can
match the same numbers. Less human error and more computer, and in theory it works great, looks great on paper -- just
hope it works as good as it looks."

What is the most difficult part of getting the new cars built?
"It's just time. There's a lot of change between the platform that we have to go across, which has changed the way we line
our cars to rear end housing cambers to the new body, new suspension setups -- there's a lot of change. Besides on track
testing, there's just a lot of parts and pieces. You try to mileage out and make sure you don't have failures at the upcoming

If it is cold at Charlotte tomorrow, is it still worth testing?
"We're not gaining notes for the Coke 600 by no means while we're testing here. We're basically doing mileage checks and
more balance shifts and trends that we're going to see in our car. We won't actually test for the Charlotte race here so any
track time will be good."

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