ARCA Teams Test At Talladega To Prepare For Season Opener
Several ARCA RE/MAX Series teams participated in a two-day test here Monday and today, and five drivers on hand took a moment to share their thoughts about the test as well as the upcoming ARCA RE/MAX Series season, which opens on Feb. 10 at Daytona International Speedway.
Timothy Peters, Richard Childress Racing No. 31:
On today's test: "We are just getting prepared. This is a brand new car. We are just trying to work out the new car blues and so far, everything seems to be working good and in our favor. There is just so much difference between Talladega and Daytona especially with the new surface here. Hopefully we can forward a little bit of what we learn here to Daytona next week and put it in Victory Lane."
On his deal with Richard Childress Racing: "I signed on last year to run 21 races in the No. 21 AutoZone Monte Carlo. I am really excited about my opportunity at RCR and just can't wait till California. That is my first go-around with the AutoZone Chevy, and I am chomping at the bit. But right now our main focus is to get the No. 31 Chevy ARCA car ready for Daytona next Saturday."
On whether he feels driving for RCR provides added superspeedway confidence: "Being under the RCR banner period makes me a lot more confident. It is a great group of guys that I am surrounded by on the ARCA side, the Busch side and just in general. I can't wait to hit the racetrack."
On whether he will race at Talladega in 2007: "I may be here for the ARCA race in the fall, but right now as it stands I didn't get any superspeedway races (with RCR's No. 21 Busch Series program). But 21 races in RCR stuff - - I can't complain too much!"
Josh Wise, Eddie Sharp Motorsports No. 22:
On today's test: This is the first time we've had this car out so we are just trying to see what she's got and try some different things with it. We've still got some ground to make up. I have been here twice with ARCA cars before, but this is the first time we've had this car here, though. For me, I think I've learned about all I can learn probably from testing by myself. My big learning curve is going to come when I get in a pack of cars and knowing how the car acts around other cars. I am looking forward to it though. It will be pretty interesting. We'll work it out."
On his plans for 2007: "I will run about 13 ARCA races for Eddie Sharp Racing and run the truck series about 10 to 13 races for Darrell Waltrip. That is about it for right now. I am going to still run some open wheel stuff and see where it goes from all that. I signed with Michael Waltrip for a development deal. So they are working with Eddie to get me some seat time. I have never really experienced anything even close to what these cars have been for me. It has been good. I have gotten a lot of testing time, and that is what I need right now."
On his first impression of Talladega Superspeedway: "It's wild; it's so big. Before the first time I came here, we went to Daytona the weekend before and I thought, 'Wow, it's huge,' so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect size wise. It's just pretty wild how long it takes the cars to get up to speed and what a different kind of racing it is. Well, I haven't raced, but just in testing there is a big difference in what normal conditions would be."
On getting Talladega tips from his USAC team owner Tony Stewart: "He always helps me out with stuff when I need it. But I have always thought that people kind of have to learn their own way to do things. You can get ideas and pointers, but 80 percent of the time with advice you get from someone, you end up doing it differently anyway. So it is nice to have some people like that to lean on. Michael (Waltrip) has been a lot of help, and David Reutimann, with my testing. It's good to
have that, but in the end you just have to experience it and learn for yourself.
Michael McDowell, Eddie Sharp Motorsports No. 2:
On finishing fifth in the 2006 Food World 250 at Talladega Superspeedway: "That was one of the five races that I did for Eddie Sharp. It was a pretty neat experience to come to my first superspeedway and run in the top five. We came down and I think we tested during the official ARCA test for one day, but running around here by yourself and running around here with 43 other cars is a whole different deal."
On running the Rolex 24 at Daytona this past weekend: "There is a big difference between what I am driving here and what I drove just two days ago in the Rolex 24 (at Daytona). But it's fun. The more you drive, the better it is. I am just excited I got to do the 24-hour again for Finlay Motorsports, and also kind of relieved that it is over with and I can focus on doing a good job for Eddie Sharp Racing in the ARCA program this year."
On his first impressions of Talladega Superspeedway last Fall: "The superspeedway, by yourself, is a piece of cake. But when you get out there and you are running three-wide for 88 laps, it is very intimidating. But once I got comfortable with all the cars being around and kind of got into a groove, it was a lot of fun. It is mentally challenging. It is very difficult to position yourself exactly where you need to be at the right time. I find that the racing is different, but yet it is more challenging for me because I don't have a lot of experience. So, it's actually more fun because I don't know everything and I don't know exactly what the cars are looking for, where on the road racing side of it, I have been doing it long enough I am pretty comfortable with where I am at."
Bryan Silas, Fast Track Racing No. 11:
On today's test and contending for Rookie of the Year in 2007: "The test has gone well. We learned a lot and have been able to correct some problems with the car, so now we feel a lot more confident going into the Daytona race next Saturday. I'll tell you what, from last September I feel like we have picked up so much on what we need to do with the car and we actually came up with a better car this time than last time. I can't wait. I feel like we have a good team, but the competition is going to be tough this year. It is going to be an interesting season."
Chad McCumbee, second Fast Track Racing No. 11:
On his plans for 2007: "Andy Hillenburg hired me to run the first four races and try to help Bryan Silas get going. He is running the whole season this year and hopefully going for Rookie of the Year. We are just tuning on these things to get them as good as we can to give him the best shot at winning that thing."
On running the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250 here last fall: "It was a lot of fun. With the new pavement it made for some extremely tight racing. It was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to getting the superspeedway stuff back going and getting to run the ARCA and the truck at Daytona. We may be even here back in October. We'll see. I am going to run those first four ARCA races and if it is going real good, maybe we'll run some more. I plan on running a couple more, but we'll just have to see."
The 2007 racing season at Talladega Superspeedway kicks off with Aaron's Dream Weekend set for April 27-29, featuring the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice and The Birmingham News Qualifying for the NASCAR Busch Series on Friday, April 27, The Birmingham News Qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch Series race on Saturday, April 28, and the Aaron's 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series raceon Sunday, April 29. To order tickets, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342). For our hearing
impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available online at www.racetickets.com, or in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday - Friday. Kids age 11 and younger are admitted free of charge on Friday and Saturday of race weekend.
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