Volume X, Issue 6, Page 25

: Do you still have a business relationship with Toyota?

AJ: Yes

: Was there ever any interest in you designing a Toyota brand nitro engine?

AJ: There was probably some short lived talk about it, but Toyota’s not really interested in that, since they have TRD that does it, so there’s no reason for them to pay outside for something they’d normally do in-house.

: Are you still the conduit for the Toyota Funny Car bodies ?

AJ: Yes

: Do you do other development projects for TRD?

AJ: We do some work for them.

: What kind of work?

AJ: Cylinder heads for different sorts of motorsports and venues.

: Is there any interest at Toyota beyond the licensing of bodies Funny Car bodies, in their going after Pro Stock with their current engine configuration?

AJ: For them? You know what, I couldn’t answer that because I know they have a lot of ambitions over there. But to draw from NASCAR, there’s just not a lot of viable companies. It’s hard to say.

: Has the Toyota body evolved since you debuted it? Is it always an evolutionary process?

AJ: Well, not necessarily. The first body was a Celica. The second body was a Solara. The first body was developed by Swift Engineering. The second one was designed here, in-house at AJPE, and NHRA mandates that you can’t make changes to Funny Car bodies, you know, you have to apply for the changes, and get them approved and make them on a yearly basis. So the Solara’s been out, what, two full years now? This will be the third year, and there hasn’t really been any changes, all minor changes.

: Is there anything that you would change on the Solara if you could?

AJ: No, no. It’s state of the art. It’s as good as you can get out there right now.

: Does your R&D, or your involvement with other Don Schumacher Teams?  Are you involved with the other teams  other then selling parts?

AJ: From time to time, they may call me up and ask for some advice, or some questions, or some special formula, but as far as am I involved on a day to day basis with any other car, no.

: Do crew chiefs on other cars have a choice of whatever manufacturer of parts they want to buy parts from?

AJ: Sure, a little. They don’t have to buy anything from me. But they do.

: Do you have any connection with Mopar or Chrysler in terms of development you would have in nitro racing?

AJ: No.

: What do you think of the Ford engine that was developed at Force Racing for nitro racing?

AJ: You know, I don’t know all that much about it. All I know is that it had to fit into the box that NHRA allows us to build, so there can’t really be too many dramatic differences between the rest of the boxes, but there’s too many factors. So between those three boxes, I’m sure there’s not too much variation.

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