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Good Morning – Garage at Richmond- Robby Reiser interview May 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Coffee with Claire B., My Show, Teams.
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Former logo of Roush Racing.Image via WikipediaGood morning from the Garage at Richmond International Raceway. I’ve been so busy on the air – I have forgotten to remind you to take the newest survey that I put up (http://www.polldaddy.com/p/548251/) about which female will make the first mark in NASCAR. I’m interested in your opinion.

Last night, I interviewed Robbie Reiser on my show – He’s the General Manager at Roush Fenway Racing. It’s no secret that Robbie misses being a crew chief but how much he wants out of the glass office and back on the pit box as Jack Roush would say, “Is the thing of which editorials are made.” Jack Roush has said there’s no room for another crew chief in his camp and that now that Robbie has moved up he’s not able to move him back. He simply doesn’t have another crew chief opening.

Bob Osborne returns to the #99 pit box after serving his suspension for pushing the grey area this week and Robbie returns fully to the upper management role. I called him up and asked him about his feelings going into this weekend here’s a small part of that interview aired on “Dialed In” yesterday (4/2/08):

CBL: So how do you feel about your current management job –
Reiser: You can’t take the racer out of a lot of guys and I’m one of them. You know I love to go stock car racing no question about it and I’m a pretty competitive guy and it’s hard to take competitive people out of competitive things. So, sticking me in a glass office is a little bit tough but it’s the direction of what we’re doing and where we’re going so that’s what I’m doing.

CBL: Ok so it could be like you could be trying to get the papers to the photo copy machine the fastest and you figure out the way to do it. You can be competitive in an office too you know. But you can’t take the racer out of a racer I know what you mean.
Reiser: It’s more fun working on race cars than what it is worrying about sick pay and safety glasses and who is here and who is not and all that kind of thing you know. It’s more fun working on things that go fast and working with the people that make them go fast. So, between that, that barrier that’s some of the issue that I have. But it will be ok. Ahm it’s just a different role and you gotta learn the different role and everything has it’s new challenges and if it was easy everybody would do it so that’s kind of all of it right there.

CBL: But this is what you wanted though wasn’t it – what you asked for. Or did you not know it was like this – you know what I mean?
Reiser: Here’s the deal. If you look back a few years ago Clint Eastwood ran to be mayor of this township in California and the reason he ran for mayor was because he wanted to change one of the roads in front of his house. You know – I wanted a lot of things changed but I didn’t want all the stuff that went with it. So as soon as he got the road changed he quit his job as being the mayor. So I guess the moral to the story is watch what you wish for you may end up with more than what you really wanted.

CBL: I got an email from a race fan listening who writes –‘So when is he going to be sitting on the 17 pit box again, we all know it’s going to happen – He still probably knows the dyno numbers on the 17’s engine. They all like you a lot you know:
Reiser: Well, I mean, you know in the last six weeks I had to fill in for Bob (Osborne) and help him along and Chris Andrews went down on the early part of the weekends and got the car running well and did all the things so we helped Bob as much as we possibly could and you know we have five teams here that we have to support and keep running and obviously we want to make them all run the best we can so, ah, this weekend I’m going to go along with Chip Bolin on the 17 and give him a hand a little bit and you know next week I might go and help somebody else so that is just how we end up doing it here.

CBL: I have emails what is wrong with the 17 – I keep hearing from fans who are concerned. Is too much being made of their early struggles this season?
Reiser: Hang on, the #17 has been the same as it’s been for the last ten years. It’s basically the same right now. The only difference is that I moved 40 feet up into the front office and Chip Bolin and the rest of the guys slid forward and are working on the car. There is really no change there. If you go back to 2005 we struggled a little bit to and had some days where it didn’t look like we were going to make the chase and middle of the summer we put it together and were able to get back into the deal and run for a championship by the end of the season. Not every season is perfect and there’s a lot of ups and downs and that team performance wise has run well. It’s just that they have been bit a few times with mistakes they have made and been at the wrong place at the wrong time. So I think if everybody just hangs tight. They are only eight races into this they are only 120 out of the top 12. They’ll be just fine and hopefully all that goes away. I mean, Chip has done a great job for the last ten years and done a great job being an engineer on the 17 and he deserves all the opportunity in the world to run that team and all those guy s that have been a part of that team deserve the opportunity to move up. Anybody that is in any type of job always looks for a promotion. So those guys deserve that and they need the opportunity to put everything together and get it running the way they need to get it running. And I think with all that said those guys will be just find and don’t be surprised if those guys go out and win Richmond this weekend.

CBL: What would be the chances that one day you’d go somewhere else and be a crew chief that you miss it that bad. Or is it not that bad that you want to be a crew chief again?
Reiser: Why are you starting with me today (laughter – kidding). You gotta weigh everything out you gotta do it for a while. You can’t just give up on everything that you start because you’ll never finish it. So it’s important to get used to this and do the right things. Obviously, if it doesn’t fit the style after a while then you probably gotta change directions and do something different. Where that is I don’t know.
You know I don’t think you ever know. I sure didn’t think ten years ago that I’d be doing this so..it’s ahm all just part of life and you gotta roll with the punches once in a while and if it doesn’t fit you then you gotta make that decision and I’m sure I’ll decide as I go.

Note: The above is a condensed segment of a longer interview transcribed into a shorter interview to post on this site. Reiser went on to answer my questions about the Green Bay Packer’s draft and the fact that he’s never been to a Packer Game at Lambeau. The visit to Lambeau field to watch his Packers play he said is something he plans to do if and when he gets a day off.

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