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Analytical approach helps RCR find success
"We have to aggressively go after it and figure out what we are looking at and how we are looking at data and how we are looking at information so that we can be successful," Burton says. "I can tell you there have been a lot of times that we have gone to test Pocono stands out really clear to me when we were as bad at a Pocono test as we were when we went and raced California ... When we went back, we had relooked at data, relooked at how we understand the data and went back and were tremendously more competitive. Not because we learned what springs and shocks to run while we were running bad, but because we learned how to understand the data we are looking at.
"Data is a great thing, but how you use it and how you understand it is very important. As long as we have been working on simulation programs, as long as we have been working on data acquisition, we still don't know a lot. We still have a lot to learn. When you couple wind tunnel and you couple springs and bump stops and chassis flex and driver style, you have all these big things, it is not always going to give you the right answer. So you still have to feel your way through it so to speak. But it is real important when things aren't going well, you've got to address them right now. You can't sit and just wait and hope it is going to get better."
That commitment to improving, to learning and continually adapting and adjusting appears to have paid big dividends for RCR as a whole in recent seasons. A team that virtually reinvented itself in 2005 seems to hone in on an area it views as a weakness and marshal its forces to improve that.