Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Driver Notes & Quotes: Auto Club 400 at California

DENNY HAMLIN ON WHETHER OR NOT HE ENJOYS RACING AT CALIFORNIA: “We haven’t had a ton of success at California, but I like racing there. We have had some bad luck with tires or getting caught in wrecks, and I’m still looking for that first win. It’s big and wide and fast, and a lot of fun for the drivers. It’s a place where you can move around and change your line to try to get your car working the best. You need a lot of horsepower because the straightaways are long, and that place is tough on motors. It’s a little easier now that this race is 400 miles. I’m happy that they shortened it. Hopefully we’ll have a good car for practice and just fine-tune on it for the race.”

BOBBY LABONTE ON WHERE HE'D LIKE TO BE LATER IN THE YEAR AND CALI: “I would love to be in the top 12 after 26 races. I know there’s a lot of guys out there that feel the same way and have great resources. We’re going to do the best we can and hope to have those great moments and good races that put us there.”

“There are some great racetracks coming up on the schedule. Fontana is probably one I would say is not going to be the track I see myself excelling at. That’s why I’m going to work harder than I ever have before to go good there. It’s one that’s buffaloed me the past few times, but I’m not going to let it this time.”

JOEY LOGANO ON RACING AT FONTANA: “There is a ton to think about during a race at Auto Club. It’s a pretty cool race track. There is so much room out there to race and you can draft down the straight-aways. It’s starting to wear out so it’s pretty bumpy. But the craziest thing about it by far is the restarts, a good restart is huge. When the flag goes in the air, people are four and five-wide. You can gain and lose five spots before you get through the first turn, not the first lap, but the first turn.”

LOGANO CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 20 Home Depot Team is taking chassis #287 for Logano this weekend for the Auto Club 400. The team raced this chassis to a seventh-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and to a fourth-place finish at Texas in November. The back-up chassis is chassis #284 which Logano drove last year at Auto Club Speedway to an 11th-place finish and at Phoenix International Raceway in November to third.

Both MWR drivers should fare well in Fontana
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA: “Our mile-and-a-half program is the strongest it’s ever been right now so we’re excited about going back. Hopefully we can finish what we started at Bristol. I truly feel a win for this NAPA team is right around the corner. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in victory lane and I look forward to going back. I have an incredible race team and as a group, we’ve only been together for a year so to see how we have progressed is impressive. A win for us is going to happen. I hope it’s soon so some pressure will come off of them so we can keep having fun.”

DAVID REUTIMANN ON LIKING THESE TYPE OF TRACKS: “I like a lot of the bigger race tracks. I like California, but I don’t so much like Michigan and those tracks are really, really similar as far as the overall layout is concerned. They definitely drive differently and they act differently. The bigger race tracks — the mile-and-a-half’s and the bigger race tracks, we seem to have a good baseline deal and we seem to go well there. I always look forward to going to those places. I look forward to going almost everywhere, but the bigger race tracks I think are some places that we really seem to accelerate at and excel at. We work really hard on the race tracks that we’re not as good at to get better, but the intermediate tracks seem to be suiting our program right now.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI ON RACING AT FONTANA: “We ran really well with the Nationwide car at Auto Club Speedway last year. That was a huge boost of confidence for me because it has been one of the tougher tracks for me over the years. I’m really looking forward to going back this weekend and having a solid race with the Cup car. The Cup car was a little up and down last year at Fontana, but it was really fast at times. Everyone on the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge is excited about the car we are taking this weekend. There has been a lot of work put into it and I think it will race well.”

KESELOWSKI CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-743 during Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway (ACS). This is a brand new chassis to the No. 2 team.

JAMIE McMURRAY ON CALIFORNIA: “I don’t know what it is about racing at Fontana, but it’s a track that I really enjoy coming to on the circuit. Auto Club Speedway is more of a driver’s track where you as the driver can really dictate your times by which line you choose on the race track. Sometimes the high line works better and as the track changes, it could move to the middle or bottom groove, just depending on how your car seems to handle. That’s really what makes California a fun track to race on.”

McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1016 - Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats team are bringing chassis #1016 to Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This is the same chassis that gave McMurray his second pole at Fontana in 2010.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1103 - Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #1103 Auto Club Speedway this weekend. This is a brand new chassis.

KURT BUSCH CHASSIS CHOICE: The Penske Racing “Double-Deuce” Dodge Charger carrying the Auto Club colors this weekend is the “PRS-746” chassis. This is a brand new car and could be considered as a “carbon copy” of the “PRS-744” that Busch raced three weeks ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The “PRS-738” (car last raced at Phoenix) will serve as the backup this weekend at Fontana.







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