Chris Dodd talks about team's performance and what the future may bring in 2018

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Chris Dodd talks about team's performance and what the future may bring in 2018 Empty Chris Dodd talks about team's performance and what the future may bring in 2018

Post by FUEL on May 2nd 2017, 1:15 pm

Q&A With SCS Team Owner/Driver Chris Dodd

Backstory: Sitting with CM Racing's Owner/Driver Chris Dodd, in front of the main CM Racing shop, a small industrial building on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina. With less then 20 employees and a small batch of SCS cars, this team pushes forward every week with a desire to grow and become a top team in the series one day.

Chris Dodd and the #3 CM Racing team currently sit 38th in Owners Points, 51 points back of 35th.

*Question 1: How would you grade this 2017 Season for your team so far?
Dodd: “You know, I would say a B. One thing that we have done well this year is qualifying for just about every race this year, and when we haven't made mistakes and gotten in incidents, we have done really consistently this year, around 20th-25th place. But there was that stretch of 4-5 races when we had almost zero luck, and that really hurt us in points. But even so, I feel like as a team we have done pretty solid overall.

*Question 2: What do you think has been the biggest difference between 2016(CM Racing's 1st Season) and 2017?
Dodd: “Just the fact that we are so much more competitive in qualifying I think has been the biggest thing, this #3 CM Racing team has really gotten a great qualifying setup down, which has enabled us to make almost every race so far this season.”

*Question 3: I know that as an Owner, there are a lot of things that you need to manage and prepare, and there are many ups and downs. But you are also a driver, on your own team nonetheless, so how do you  balance the Owner's side and Driver's side?
Dodd: “(Laughing)You know, sometimes it isn't easy!... Especially driving for my own team, I feel like there's a lot of additional pressure to make sure I don't make any stupid mistakes or get involved in incidents on the track, and it ain't fun to come back to the shop and have to apologize to the guys after a bad week. Sometimes after I get in a wreck or have a bad day, I just kinda sit there, not mad because our day went bad, but disappointed and upset that the team will have all that extra work that could have been avoided, even if it was not my fault at all and it was unavoidable.

*Question 4: Do you feel like it would be easier if you didn't own a team, or drove for a team separately from Owning CM Racing?
Dodd: “You know, I'll be honest, I do think about that, at least the 2nd part of it. Now, I would always own CM Racing, even if I drove somewhere's else. I love the Ownership side of the sport. To be an Owner of a team and being able to bring other talented young drivers, like Jonny Gardner and John Arndt for instance, up into the HNS and SCS is something that I truly enjoy watching. Like when Gardner won at Road America earlier this year(in the HNS), that I feel gave us as a team a huge boost of confidence. And as for the SCS side, when we can qualify for a race, run every lap and come away with a solid finish, as an Owner that makes me extremely excited...
But as a driver, you know, you always feel like you could do a bit more, and there many times where I wonder if I as a driver would be better off racing on another team, and as an Owner I wonder if there wouldn't be as much pressure on myself if there was someone else driving my car.”

*Follow-Up Question: So is there a possibility that we will see you driving elsewhere's in 2018?
Dodd: “You know, we'll see. Silly Season isn't for several months, and a LOT can change from now until then. I think the important thing right now is for us to continue making and running races this year, as well as getting our 2nd PT car with Arndt and Gardner whenever they are running.”

*Question 5: Speaking of Arndt and Gardner, they will be making several starts throughout the rest of the year. What is the goal with them driving the 2nd PT car, and is there plans to grow the team?
Dodd: “In one word, yes!(laughing) You know, I think the big goal is just for those guys to get experience in these SCS cars, and hopefully they can qualify for some races and get some races under their belts. As for the future, it is something we are definitely looking at, for sure.”

*Question 6: One last question(Dodd: “That's all?”(laughing)): What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Dodd: “You know, our main goal is to qualify for as many races as we can. We've only missed one this year, so at this rate, if we can make 30-33 races I think that would be awesome. I know things get a little more difficult as the season progresses, but as long as we keep doing what we've been doing this season, I think it's a reasonable goal. As for a more specific and bigger goal, man I would love to get a top 15 this year. I know that it's a serious reach for our small team, but that's what goals are for.”

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