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
DRO: Is Doug
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?
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
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
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.
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.