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I'd really like to thank him a lot for giving me the opportunity. You know that a lot of guys would say, "Dupuy's stuff runs good," but would never could give me the opportunity, the parts and the money to show I could run with these guys day in and day out. Joe did so I'm grateful for that.

DRO: Do you ever miss the days that you were on the road, just a couple of guys working on a funny car?

WD: I'm still on the road. It's just part of my deal that I don't leave the car. I sleep with it; maybe that's why it runs as good as it does, I don't know. I always liked things to be a certain way. We have more guys now and that's a little harder to control but I don't do much flying. But if (the rig's) in motion, I don't feel right flying in and out. It's all a team thing so I'm here night and day like (the crew members) are and I don't leave them. I just like it like that.

DRO: Your brother Jim Dupuy works with you on the car. Is he a real important part of the crew?

WD: Very big asset. I'm trying to train him to be an assistant. My brother is a big engine builder; he's always built Comp, Super Comp motors. He knows every aspect, the ins and outs of how the motors and the heads are built and all that, so he's a real big asset. And now we're getting to where we've got some better guys here so we're going to slack him off of building engines and start getting him more into the aspect of doing some of the stuff that I still do on the car and trying to train him to be the car chief and run the guys and make sure that everybody's doing stuff well. He wouldn't do it for anybody else. It was kind of hard to get him to quit what he was doing at home and convince his wife that he could make a little money out here and do this for me, 'cause I really wanted him here. He's doing a great job.

DRO: Does it help to have somebody you're that close to, to have as a confidant, as somebody you can just pull aside and say what the hell's going on here?

WD: Yeah, I didn't really have a good welcome when I first got here. When everything went down I said I need somebody here I can communicate with, so Jim was the first one I called.

DRO: Does your team still have a chance at the world championship?

WD: Like I told Joe, a championship is not totally out of the question, but it's far fetched. You know, if we can leave out of (Sonoma) third in the World, I feel I accomplished a whole bunch.

What we're trying to do right now is win races. Wherever the points fall, let 'em fall, but we're trying to build for next year so next year we can come out, have the team that I want under the car and run the Buds and the Millers for the money. We can do it, but right now this is my first year and it wasn't even a whole year. I didn't get to test - I didn't get to do nothing and you know we're still trying to build and learn things. We got the dynos going back into the shop and that's also a great part of our success in the last couple, three races -- clutch dyno more than the blower dyno. The blower dyno is good, we learned a lot on that, but the clutch dyno was very, very important to having a car that we could go out there and make a change and know it.

Out of 16 runs in the last two races, we only missed two runs. Up until St. Louis we struggled a little bit, but prior to that we were 18 and 3; 18 runs down the track since we smoked the tires in Englishtown to three not down. Now we're back to that kind of pace where we made 16 runs with 14 times down the track.

DRO: You're starting to get a baseline now and you know how the car is going to react and you know how Darrell is going to react.

WD: Yeah. It's not always the fastest, but it goes down the track. That's kind of what I did with (Jim) Epler. We didn't win all the time. When I started with him he (Epler) was 16th in points and we took him to 6th when we finished and we only had nine races to do that.

It's the same thing here. We were 13th when we got here and now we're four points out of 4th. We had a little penalty in Seattle that kept us out of 4th place.


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