DRO: Doug has tried a variety of things during the last few years in an effort to get the right mix of people working on his car. Did it concern you that maybe you wouldn't have the stability?

Ace: Our relationship, our agreement, is it's my call. He wants to win races. He wants this car to do well. He'll spend the money to do it. He has the enthusiasm and the ability to drive the thing. It's my call. If I don't like somebody who's here and [he's] not working the way you want him to, he's gone. It's my call. I'm not here to upset the apple cart. I don't want to cost anybody their job. I will try to make this as painless as possible. You need to adapt to my ways and I need to try to adapt to your ways and we need to try to meet in the middle somewhere. There are things I'm going to be pretty hard on, and there are going to be things I'll be flexible on. We've managed thus far to everybody get along. The guys are working very well. My relationship with Ron Douglas . . . he's a jewel. I'm very pleased with everything right now. We're just getting started. Our performance, we haven't had a chance yet because we're still building it. But in my heart, I know we're going to be just fine.

DRO: Is Doug championship material?

Ace: He wants to win. The only -- the only -- negative thing that I see here with Doug -- and there's nothing we can do about it, is his size. A hundred pounds is a tenth of a second. That's a given.

DRO: For every hundred pounds, you give up a tenth of a second?

Ace: [Nods.] This car is 100 pounds overweight. If there were a 170-pound driver in it . . . that's not going to happen. It is what it is. He owns it. He drives it. This is how it is going to be. If we can get this thing . . . if we are fortunate to get really good and go out and run with the best of the best, we're giving up something there.

DRO: When you analyze some of Doug's stats, he seems to be an underrated. Is he much more of a contender than people think?

Ace: I think so. Last year they had a terrible year. They blew up a lot of stuff. That's all that anyone remembers: "Oh, that's Snap-On. It blows up every time it goes down the race track." Well, they did blow a lot of stuff, and that's probably one reason why I'm here. If they had had a good year last year and didn't blow up a lot of stuff, why would they need anybody else? There was turnover. I don't know what all went wrong. All I know we made some major, major changes in it. He asks me every day, "Is there anything we need? Is there anything we're short?" We're getting everything that I think we need, but if there's more, we get together and we make changes. I'm happy with what we've got. We're not where we need to be totally yet, but we're going closer.

DRO: When you think about champions, you think about John Force and how he has those blinders on. He is focused 100 percent on what he's doing; he has one thing on his mind. Doug has his business, his family, his plane, his home. He's not totally focused on the car like John Force is on his.

Ace: Sometimes that can be good, to get away. For me personally, I've always said a racecar is like a woman. She wants all your time. And it's true. If you start cheating that racecar and you don't put into it what it needs, it's not going to perform. I spend a lot of time with the car. Some of the people who have been here in the past, they fly in and they fly out. Not taking anything away from the guys who are here hands-on, but there hasn't been a whole lot of leadership, and I'd like to bring that to the table. I have brought that to the table. Go to the next level.

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