April 23, 2014
From The Pit Box with No. 2 Crew Chief Phil Gould
Crew Chief Phil Gould ready to return to Richmond International Raceway and top off milestone weekend.
From The Pit Box: Phil Gould
Richmond International Raceway
Crew chief on the No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Phil Gould dominated the Richmond 250 last fall with driver Brian Scott by leading 239 of 250 laps before finishing second. This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, the Richard Childress Racing organization enters their 1000th Nationwide Series start, and the duo would like nothing more than a victory to top off the organization’s milestone weekend.
We sat down with Gould to discuss what it takes to be successful at Richmond International Raceway:
Q: What is it like heading into Richmond International Raceway, knowing you dominated the race last fall?
A: It's always a good feeling to head back to a track that you had good success at last time. But we realize in our ever evolving world of racing that there are no guarantees that you'll have that success again. We'll still have a full-force effort and work really hard to cross our t's and dot our I's to have the best chance to carry the trophy home.
Q: Do you approach this weekend any different knowing how well you ran here last year?
A: No, the approach is the same. We have a good baseline knowing how good we were last fall. With Goodyear bringing a completely different right side tire and a slightly different left side tire it's pretty much a given that we'll arrive at a different set up than what we ran last fall. Hopefully we've done our homework right and we'll unload fast and continue to make our car better through the weekend.
Q: How hard is it to practice during the day and race at night?
A: It's extremely hard to practice in the daytime with much hotter track temps and then race at night in cooler conditions. On top of that, the Nationwide cars are usually the first ones to practice on the track for the weekend, so the track will be very "green". By the time we race, there will be a lot more rubber down on the track. You have to really pay attention to past notes and history about how the changing conditions affect the balance of the car to make the right adjustments heading into the race.
Q: How is the setup different for the spring race than the fall race?
A: I believe the set up variation from spring to fall depends on temperature. Usually it's not a lot different. But the races are pretty far apart on the calendar, so sometimes you learn things to get better over the course of the season and wind up with a lot different set up in the fall.
Q: How does it feel to be part of the 1000th Nationwide Series start for RCR?
A: It's really awesome to be a part of the 1000th Nationwide Series start for RCR. I was lucky enough to be a part of winning with Kevin Harvick way back in 2003. It would be even better to bring home a win in that 1000th start.
Q: How do you grade the 2014 season after seven races?
A: I'd say in 2014 we’re achieving a passing grade, but obviously we want more. We need to be consistently running in the top five week in and week out to have a shot at winning races. I feel we are close to achieving that and we'll continue to work hard to bring better race cars to the track.
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