Saturday, October 27, 2012

Borland Happy To Be Reunited With Newman

Newman and Borland have a winning record
Matt Borland is back atop the pit box for Ryan Newman this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, renewing a partnership that produced 12 Sprint Cup Series victories and dozens of poles at Penske Racing between 2002 and 2006.

“It’s nice, said Borland of his new position, which comes in addition to his duties as vice president of competition at Stewart Haas Racing. “It’s good to be back with Ryan and we’ve got a great group of people at Stewart-Haas. Everybody has just jumped on board and hopefully make a good run at these last four (races) and get things rolling for next year.”
He said it is unrealistic to expect the tandem to pick up where it left off six years ago, adding, “it’s going to take a little while. He’s obviously been doing this every weekend for the last 15 years and I’ve been not doing it for the last six or so. It’s getting me back on the same page, but things are going pretty good.”
Borland said there are reasons for his previous success with Newman that he hopes to re-create once again.
“I think it’s just attitude and work ethic,” he said. “verything was about racing, everything was about winning and everything was about that particular moment in time being the best you can be. I think everybody on that team was in that mindset, (and) the program was able to run very strongly. I think that was the big piece.
“You don’t have data acquisition on the car,” he said, “(so) you’ve got to be able to trust what that driver is saying. You’ve got to be able to know that what that driver is saying is right. So you’ve got to spend a lot of time talking about what is going on with the car, what he’s feeling. Sometimes you might not get that answer in the first 30 seconds of a conversation. It might be four hours down the road and you’re like, `Wait a minute, you just said something there. I remember you said something over here that matches that.’
Borland is back!
“If the relationship is not good, you don’t have those two, three, or four-hour conversations. You end up with 30-second conversations. So then when you are making decisions you don’t really have all the information that you need.”
He called his decision to return to the crew chief ranks “a situation with our company that made sense right now. We needed to get a good strong team under Danica (Patrick) for next year, with her coming on board full time. Tony Gibson and that No. 39 team have done an awesome job the last four years, so it’s a good solid group to work with her and make that program solid.
“It’s good to see everybody,” said Borland. “It’s good to be back in a familiar job setting. The last four years I’ve been spending a lot more time working on parts for the car, working on R&D-type stuff. Now, it’s more about tuning the car (and) making the most of it on that day.”
He said the arrival of a retooled Sprint Cup Series racer next season could serve to level the playing field, allowing lower-budget teams to be more competitive, at least in the short term. However, Borland said the dominant operations will likely still prevail in the end.
I think it’s still going to be the teams that are strongest in being able to figure out things quickly,” he said. “Definitely, everybody is going to go back to ground zero (with the new car). Then it’s going to be a race to see who can find the package that works.”
Photo: Getty Images, Autostock

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