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 41 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:31:26 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
~Race2Win

Checker Auto Parts 500 - Ricky Rudd Notes

RICKY RUDD, SNICKERS® RACING
HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

NOVEMBER 18, 2007 RUDD TO MAKE FINAL NEXTEL CUP CAREER START AT HOMESTEAD

CHARLOTTE, NC (November 13, 2007) – The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the final race of the 2007 season, the Ford 400. Ford Championship Weekend will mark the final start for Ricky Rudd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and Sunday’s Ford 400 will be Rudd’s 906th career start in the series. NASCAR’s “Iron Man,” who holds the record for the most consecutive number of starts with 788, will start the final Cup series race of his career Sunday. Rudd holds numerous accolades on his resume including: 1992 IROC Champion, 1997 Brickyard 400 Winner, 2006 Virginian of the Year, and was named one of NASCAR’s “50 All-Time Great” drivers to name a few.

Quoting Snickers Driver, Ricky Rudd:
This is the last race of your career this weekend, has that fact sunk in yet?
“Honestly it really hasn’t settled in that this weekend is it. I was so busy trying to get my shoulder better the past few months and suddenly here we are at the end of the season already. The reality just hasn’t settled in but I’m looking forward to having time to spend with my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to have achieved so many things in my life both on and off the track. As much as I will miss racing on Sundays, I look forward to the next adventure in my life.”

How do you want to be remembered by your peers and fans?
“We’ve had a lot of loyal fans over the years that have always pulled for me and whatever team I was with during my career. I just want everyone to remember me as someone who gave 120 percent every day in the race car. Looking back, I know that I shied away from the limelight of the media a lot. I did that in order to make sure that I had a good balance of my work and personal lives. I found that balance was very important to me and I think that is one of the main reasons I was able to enjoy over 30 years in this sport. I’m just a guy who loves this sport. I came into NASCAR because I loved racing and I wanted to try and succeed in it. I gave it everything that I had, and hopefully everyone will remember that about me.”

NOTES OF INTEREST:

Sunday’s Ford 400 will mark Rudd’s 906th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start
Rudd has an average starting position of 12.9, and an average finish of 23.4 at Homestead
Rudd has completed 1,770 of 1,873 laps at Homestead (94.5 percent) and has led 49 laps
Rudd’s best starting position at Homestead is from second which he accomplished in 2000
Rudd’s best finish at Homestead is sixth which he earned during the 2000 Pennzoil 400

ABOUT MARS US:
Mars US is the United States food, snack and pet care operations of Mars, Incorporated, one of the world's leading food manufacturers. With more than $7 billion in annual sales in the U.S., the combined food, snack and pet care segments are a symbol of excellence for quality brands. Headquartered in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Mars US employs more than 9,000 associates in the United States, with 52 facilities nationwide. The company owns some of the world's favorite brands, including M&M'S® Brand, SNICKERS® Brand, UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs, and WHISKAS® Brand Food for Cats.

CHASSIS #79
Chassis #79 is the chassis the #88 Snickers Racing team will be running this weekend for the Ford 400. This is the same standard chassis the team raced earlier in the season at Charlotte for the Bank of America 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, at Michigan for the 3M Performance 400, and at Chicago for the USG Sheetrock 400.


 42 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:28:41 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
~Race2Win

Checker Auto Parts 500 - Carl Edwards Notes

Carl Edwards
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Ford 400
Sunday November 18
3:00 PM Eastern – ABC/MRN Fast Facts:

After a disappointing finish at Phoenix, Carl Edwards is currently ninth in the “Chase” for the NEXTEL Cup with 6067 points, 505 points behind the leader, Jimmie Johnson
Edwards will make his fourth Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. In his previous starts Edwards has achieved one pole, one top five and two top 10 finishes
Edwards’ average start at Homestead is 18; his average finish is 8.7. Edwards had led a total of 94 laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Office Depot Store No. 2578 from Ithaca, N.Y. is this week’s sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 this weekend at Homestead

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-320 Last ran Fontana in Sept. ’07; started 19th, finished 2nd
Ran Texas in Nov. ‘07; started 21st, finished 26th

Edwards on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
“The last two weeks we’ve had great race cars, but we’ve had some mechanical troubles that have kept us from realizing our potential. This week, we’re not going to have those issues and we’re bringing a really great Office Depot car that we raced at California and Texas. Hopefully, we’ll have a top five run that will clinch us inside the top 10 in the ‘Chase’. I really like Homestead – I ran eighth there last year and my teammates have won there the past couple of years – as a whole, Roush Fenway Racing runs really well there, and hopefully my Office Depot team will be able to cap off the 2007 season with a win.

“Homestead-Miami is pretty much the home track for Office Depot, since they are headquartered just up the road in Delray Beach. I’m really looking forward to spending time with the associates at their campus this week and having a great showing for them in the Ford 400 this weekend.”

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
“We really needed to have a better day last week at Phoenix. Our Office Depot Ford was extremely fast and well on its way to victory lane, but a parts failure ended our day early and really hurt us in the point standing. All we can do is the best we can this weekend at Homestead and hopefully end our season with a strong finish. The Office Depot team really stepped it up in the pits the last few weeks, so if they continue their good work and we can give Carl another a fast car, which I think we can, we should be able to run up front. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

 43 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:25:59 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
~Race2Win

Checker Auto Parts 500 - Greg Biffle Notes

Greg Biffle
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Ford 400
Sunday November 18
3:00 PM Eastern – ABC/MRN Fast Facts:

In Greg Biffle’s three wins at Homestead, his largest margin of victory was .389 seconds over Martin Truex, Jr. in 2006 and the smallest was .017 seconds over Mark Martin in 2006.
If Biffle were to win at Homestead this weekend, he would be the fourth driver to win four races in a row at the same racetrack in the modern era. Others who have accomplished this record are Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Talladega and Bill Elliott at Michigan.
Richard Petty (Richmond ’70 – ’73) and Darrell Waltrip (Bristol ’81 – ’84) are tied for the all-time record with seven races won in a row at the same track.
Biffle has three top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Busch Series starts at Homestead.
With the second place finish last week in Phoenix Biffle and the team are currently 15th in the point standings, 65 points out of the 13th position with one race remaining.
This weekend, Biffle will run the red and black Dish Network paint scheme.

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-315 Indy ’07; finished 15th
Michigan ’07; finished 19th
Kansas ’07; finished 1st
Atlanta ’07; finished 22nd

Biffle on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:“Obviously, Homestead is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I don’t know how many drivers have won four in a row at a track, but I know it’s going to be fun to try to get it done. We’re taking the car we won with at Kansas, and if we could get one more win for the season, that would be a great way to head into Daytona. Winning at Homestead is pretty cool because you’re the most recent race winner from the end of November until the beginning of February. It’s just a great way to end a season; even a less than successful one like we’ve had this year. I feel like we’re coming together as a team, and the second place finish at Phoenix last weekend was a big boost.”

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

“We’re taking the car that we won with at Phoenix and sat on the pole with at Atlanta. We’re working hard with the engineering department to see what more we can learn about our performances at these mile and a half racetracks. We’ve got the notes from Greg’s 2006 Homestead setup that we’re going to look at, and likely use, but we’ve also learned a lot from what worked at Kansas and what didn’t work at Atlanta. We’ll have the same tire compound at Homestead as we did at Atlanta, and we struggled a little there, so we have to take what we learned from that and not go in the same direction at Homestead. The car is likely to be tight, so we’ll need to work on making sure it turns through the corners as the track temperature changes throughout the race. Biffle has three in a row at Homestead, and believe me when I tell you that we are going to do everything we can to make it four in a row.”

 44 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:21:09 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
~Race2Win

Checker Auto Parts 500 - David Ragan Notes

David Ragan
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Ford 400
Sunday November 18
3:00 PM Eastern – ABC/MRN Fast Facts:

David Ragan competed in the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2004. He started 36th and finished 31st.
Ragan is currently 23rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings.
Ragan is currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. He trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 21 points.

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Show Your Card & Save Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-394 Previously ran at Charlotte; finished 40th
Indy; finished 16th
Fontana; finished 12th
Back-up: RK-201 - Previously ran at Michigan; finished 21st

Ragan on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:“I don’t have a whole lot of experience at Homestead. I raced in the Busch Series there a few years ago and I attempted to make the Cup race last year, so I have a little bit of time on the track, but nothing compared to the guys I will be competing against this weekend. We’ve had some disappointing races over the past few weekends. We really thought we were going to turn that around last weekend in Phoenix, but it just didn’t work out for us the way we planned. This weekend is the grand finale for the 2007 season and we really want to finish off the year strong. We are taking one of our best cars, and we plan to have a good finish for AAA, Ford, and all the other great sponsors that we have with us.”

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
“This weekend in Homestead we will be running the car that we took to Charlotte and Atlanta. It is one of our best cars and it is time that we show what it can do. We are also running the AAA Show Your Card & Save paint scheme, which is one of the guys favorite designs, so hopefully it will bring us some good luck. It is the final race of the season and as soon as we leave Miami we are heading home to start working on getting ready to go test. Daytona is right around the corner and we plan to come out of the box strong next year. It will be our goal to make the Chase for the Championship in 2008.”


 45 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:16:18 pm 
Started by moen15 - Last post by Darnell99Fan
I can't get to the forum any more.

 46 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:10:08 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
UPDATED!!!!

ENTRY LIST - Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - REVISED
Race 25 - Homestead-Miami Speedway - November 16, 2007
 
  No. Driver Hometown Owner Sponsor Truck Crew Chief

1 00 Andy Lally Dacula GA Darrell Waltrip TBA Toyota Patrick Donahue
2 1 Jason Leffler Los Angeles CA Tom DeLoach RFMS-Red Horse Racing Toyota Jamie Jones  Undecided
3 2 Kevin Harvick Bakersfield CA Delana Harvick Camping World Chevrolet Charlie Wilson  Lips Sealed
4 103 Justin Marks Rocklin CA Richard Germain TBA Toyota Jason Overstreet
5 4 Mike Bliss Milwaukie OR Lois Vance Open Joist Dodge Marcus Richmond
6 5 Mike Skinner Susanville CA Bill Davis Toyota Tundra Toyota Jeff Hensley
7 6 Travis Kvapil Janesville WI Jack Roush K&N Filters Ford Mike Beam
8 7 Jason White # Powatan VA Jack Pennington Hooters Energy Drink Dodge Steve Kuykendall
9 07 Tim Sauter # Nacedah WI Gene Christensen Lester Buildings Chevrolet Doug Howe
10 8 Chad McCumbee Supply, NC David Malcolmson The GPS Store/Garmin  Chevrolet TBA
11 08 Chris Jones Forest, VA Bobby Dotter Robert's American Gourmet Snacks Chevrolet Bobby Dotter
12 9 Ted Musgrave Franklin WI Robert Germain Team ASE Toyota Mike Abner
13 09 Joey Clanton # Tyrone GA Tad Geshickter Zaxby's Ford Gary Cogswell
14 10 David Starr Houston TX Greg Pollex International/MaxxForce Ford Dennis Connor
15 13 Willie Allen # Nashville TN Duke Thorson Thorsport Chevrolet Lance Hooper
16 14 Rick Crawford Mobile AL Tom Mitchell Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l Ford Kevin Starland
17 15 Andrew Myers Newport Beach CA Billy Ballew NEO Synthetics Chevrolet Doug George
18 16 Brian Scott Boise ID Dave Fuge Strutmasters/Truckseries.com Ford Dave Fuge
19 18 Dennis Setzer Newton NC Lois Vance Fastenal Dodge Jeff White
20 21 Jon Wood Stuart VA Eddie Wood Air Force Ford John Monsam
21 22 Dave Blaney Hartford OH Bill Davis Bill Davis Racing Toyota Richard Labbe  Lips Sealed
22 23 Johnny Benson Grand Rapids MI Gail Davis EXIDE Toyota Trip Bruce
23 27 Jacques Villeneuve St. Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Qbc Bill Davis UNICEF Toyota Doug Wolcott
24 30 Todd Bodine Chemung NY Stephen Germain Lumber Liquidators Toyota Mike Hillman Jr.
25 31 Tim Schendel Sparta, WI Shelly Brevak Mathews Archery/Texpar Energy Chevrolet Tony Mitchell
26 33 Ron Hornaday Jr. Palmdale CA Delana Harvick Camping World Chevrolet Rick Ren
27 40 Chad Chaffin Smyrna TN Curtis Key Westerman Co./Pollo Tropical Chevrolet Gary Showalter
28 46 Scott Wimmer Wausau, WI David Dollar TBA Chevrolet TBA  Lips Sealed
29 47 Regan Smith Cato NY David Dollar Ginn Resorts Chevrolet Eric Phillips
30 50 T.J. Bell Reno NV Jack Roush Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford John Quinn
31 51 Kyle Busch Las Vegas NV Billy Ballew Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet Richie Wauters  Lips Sealed
32 59 Terry Cook Sylvania OH James Harris Jr. Harris Trucking Co. Toyota Danny Rollins
33 60 Jack Sprague Spring Lake MI Jeff Wyler Con-way Freight Toyota Rick Gay Jr.
34 63 Scott Lynch Burley ID Michael Mittler Cooper Bussman Ford Michael Mittler
35 171 Bryan Silas Stuart FL Andy Hillenburg Gateway Insurance Chevrolet Tony Blanchard
36 75 Clay Rogers Mooresville NC Wayne Spears Spears Manufacturing Co. Chevrolet Tom Ackerman
37 77 Brendan Gaughan Las Vegas NV Michael Gaughan South Point Hotel Chevrolet Bryan Berry
38 186 Dana White Concord NC Phil Bonifield 888KARPORT.COM/Red Line Oil Chevrolet Phil Bonifield
39 88 Matt Crafton Tulare CA Rhonda Thorson Menards Chevrolet Bud Haefele
40 99 Erik Darnell Beach Park IL Jack Roush Northern Tool + Equipment Ford Matt Puccia
#Raybestos Rookie Candidate - Updated:  11/13/07 3:09 PM ET
 

 47 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:06:12 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
Just what we need....another Cup driver in the truck race....

~jayski's

Wimmer to make series debut at Homestead:

Scott Wimmer will make his Craftsman Truck Series debut this weekend in the Nov. 16 Ford 200 at Homestead. He will be behind the wheel of the #46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports entry.(RCR PR)(11-13-2007)

 48 
 on: November 13, 2007, 05:01:27 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
~RobbyGordon.com

Robby Gordon

No. 7 Menards/Mapei Ford Fusion

Post Race Report

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 13, 2007) – Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Mapei crew worked hard to get the best finishing position possible and build some momentum heading into the last race of the season.  Gordon also hoped to have some fun in the desert this weekend before heading south of the border to compete in the Baja 1000 on Tuesday. 


Gordon started the afternoon in the 39th position, but quickly started racing through the field.  By lap 10, Gordon worked his way up to the 33rd position.  His car was developing a tight condition, and Gordon was having trouble seeing through the oil-spattered windshield after one of his competitors leaked oil on the track. 


The yellow flag came out on lap 25 allowing the No. 7 crew to service Gordon’s car during the caution period.  The team went down one round in the left rear and took off a windshield tear off.  The crew only changed right side tires and quickly sent Gordon off pit road in an effort to gain track position. 

 
The NASCAR officials noticed a rule violation (equipment outside of the box), when the front tire rolled out of the No. 7 team’s pit during the stop and ordered Gordon to the tail end of the longest line.  Since the team was going to start in the back anyway, crew chief, Peter Sospenzo called Gordon down pit road to get fresh left side tires.  After initially leaving pit road in the 30th position, the team restarted the race in the 41st position. 

 
Starting in the back of the field left Gordon as an easy target for the leaders.  By lap 71, the leaders passed Gordon, putting him one lap down.  He continued racing his competitors to become the first car one lap down and be in the “lucky dog” position. 

 The caution flag flew on lap 85, but Gordon wasn’t high enough in the running order to receive the lucky dog.  Sospenzo called Gordon down pit road to service the car.  Gordon said that the Menards/Mapei Fusion was tight around the bottom of the track, especially late in the run.  The crew made an air pressure adjustment and put one round in the right side wedge bolt.  The crew did a great job and gave Gordon a really fast stop.  Gordon headed back out to the track second in the running for the lucky dog position. 

 
Gordon stayed on the track during the lap 96 caution period, and continued to race among the leaders.  NASCAR called a caution for debris on lap 107; this time Gordon was finally scored as the first car one lap down.  The lucky dog gave Gordon the chance to take his fast Fusion back into contention for the win.  Before the restart, Gordon brought the No. 7 Menards/Mapei Fusion down pit road for four fresh tires.  The car was getting fast lap times and handling great, so the team made no adjustments. 

 
Sospenzo called Gordon back down pit road under the caution period on lap 119.  The crew serviced the Menards/Mapei Fusion with four fresh tires.  The car was still handling well and the crew did not make any adjustments.  Gordon restarted the race in the 24th position. 


Gordon came over the radio on lap 133 and told the crew that the car was way too loose.  The car was loose everywhere on the track, and Gordon was just riding around trying to hold on. 
 

The yellow flag finally came out on lap 138.  Despite the loose car, Gordon decided to stay out and gain track position as the leaders came down pit road.  The Menards/Mapei team restarted the event in the 8th position. 

 
Less than 10 laps later the caution came out again.  This time, the team called Gordon down pit road and gave the car four tires and removed a windshield tear-off. 

 
The next round of pit stops occurred under green flag conditions.  The handling on the Menards/Mapei Fusion was starting to fade, and Gordon was struggling with a tight racecar.  Just as Gordon was ready to pull into the pits, he lost a lap to the leaders.  Gordon came down pit road on lap 219 and the crew quickly changed four tires, gave the car fuel and sent Gordon back to the track before he lost another lap.  After the pit stops cycled through, Gordon was scored in the 28th position, one lap behind the leaders.

 
The caution flag came out again on lap 233.  Gordon came down pit road to have the No. 7 crew service the car.  The car was loose going into the turns, but then was tight through the middle.  Sospenzo made the call to go two rounds down on the track bar to alleviate the problem.  The crew expected a four tire stop, but Gordon called for right sides only at the last second.  The strategy gave Gordon a chance at the lucky dog position on the restart. 
 

Gordon passed the only lap car ahead of him on the restart and moved into the lucky dog position.  By lap 244, the caution came out and Gordon was back on the lead lap.  Gordon knew he had a fast car and was happy to be back in contention for the win.  The team stopped once again for four tires and fuel.  By stopping under this caution, the team would be able to make it to the end of the race on fuel. 

 Unfortunately, Gordon’s tires were not able to make it to the end of the run.  There was metal in the high groove of turns 3 and 4 and Gordon found it on lap 263.  Luckily, his tires held up until NASCAR called a caution on lap 269.  The crew gave Gordon four more tires and went one round down in the right rear.  When the tires came off Gordon’s Fusion, the crew found a large gash in the right front and another cut in the right rear. 

 Gordon was racing in the high groove on lap 282 when he got loose in the marbles causing Gordon to brush the wall in turn three.  The Menards/Mapei Fusion seemed a little off after the incident, but Gordon was able to continue on until the end of the race.  Gordon took the checkered flag in the 24th position. 


The team left Phoenix in the 28th position in the NEXTEL Cup Series owners standings.  They are just 128 points out of the 25th position. 


“Our car was really fast today,” said Gordon.  “We had a little bit of bad luck, but we also had some good luck too.  We were the beneficiary of the lucky dog twice and we were able to finish on the lead lap.  Unfortunately, we were the guys to find debris on the track and then I got loose up in the marbles toward the end.  We had the pit stop penalty early, but the guys were able to fight back and get us a good finish.  It was a great effort by the team to fight back from everything; everybody did a really good job.”

 
Next weekend, the series will crown the 2007 champion at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The “Ford 400” will be broadcast on ABC with coverage beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 18, 2007. 


This week, Robby will travel to Mexico to race in the Baja 1000.  Gordon returns to the Baja peninsula to defend his 2006 title in the event.  His team will start in the fourth position on Tuesday, November 13, 2007.  Watch RobbyGordon.com for news and Baja updates throughout the week.

 49 
 on: November 13, 2007, 04:19:28 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
Erwin feeling pressure in first race with Biffle at HMS
No. 16 team has won last three Cup races at Homestead


By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM
November 13, 2007
10:23 AM EST
   
If there's an odds-on favorite to win the final race of the 2007 season, it has to be Greg Biffle. It doesn't seem to matter whether he starts up front or in the middle of the pack, in the last three seasons, Biffle has been the first driver across the finish line at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Crew chief Greg Erwin, hired in May to take over for Pat Tryson, will be paired with Biffle at Homestead for the first time -- and shares his thoughts on why Biffle's so good there, the last race of the conventional chassis and the team's struggles with intermediate tracks.

Q: What is it that makes Greg Biffle so good at Homestead?
 
Erwin: I think it's just one of those places that must fit his driving style, whether it's the way the banking is or the way the corners are laid out. I think you see that throughout the garage area, how there's guys that just tend to always dominate at certain places -- the Rusty Wallaces at Bristol and Martinsville. You look at how well Kevin Harvick's historically run [at Phoenix], and Richmond and Loudon over the years. On the big mile-and-a-half tracks, Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte, for instance. More like Jimmie Johnson, everywhere, right now.

I don't think there's anything about the cars or the setups. As much information as I can get my hands on over the last couple of races there for him, he's won there with a couple of different setups. So I think it's something that must just fit his comfort level and his driving style.

Q: It has to be nice to have that confidence from your driver heading into a race.

Erwin: It is. There's the pressure that you have going there, certainly what you put on yourself. He's 3-for-3 there so everybody will be looking at you as a guy that will potentially get the job done over the weekend. Honestly, I wish I could sit here and say that we were a little bit more on a roll with our mile-and-a-half program. But other than how that Kansas race shook out for us, I've been less than impressed with our mile-and-a-half performance at Charlotte, Texas and Atlanta.

I don't know really what to expect except we're going to go into Homestead with something a little bit different than what we've been trying to run the past two weeks, because I've not been happy with the outcome of those races.

Q: Last time to run the conventional chassis. Is it bittersweet?

Erwin: I think it is. This COT has got its plusses and minuses, but I think it's just human nature. We've been working with [the current car] for so long that it's like your favorite sweatshirt, you know. To have it go away, quite honestly, it's going to make things easier for us. We're seeing that already, during the course of the offseason and heading into next year. We're not having to bounce back and forth between the cars.

There's no doubt that getting on one common platform will be the best answer for everyone. But certainly, we miss seeing those cars go around the racetrack and all the little oddities that go along with racing cars of that style. So, yeah, we're going to miss it.

Q: What's the most critical thing about the setup at Homestead?

Erwin: What's happened to our cars over the last few weeks, we tend to start off pretty strong at the start of the race. It seems that we get our setups really good when the tracks are a little cooler, when the cars tend to be fast. When they're by themselves, they tend to qualify really well. But it seems as if we have any pitroad miscues or problems on pit road or mechanical issues that set us back in traffic, our car loses grip a little bit.

We're going to work really hard on making a good long run or half a fuel run in Happy Hour to make sure that as the tires go away, the car stays drivable for him. We've struggled with that a little bit.

Q: Is it a dirty air issue or a handling issue?

Erwin: I think it's one masking the other. Greg likes to drive a pretty free racecar on those mile-and-a-half tracks, so we tend to focus more of our effort on making the front end turn, through practice sessions on Saturday. And we don't seem to have any rear grip issues until we get to that spot in the race where we're either jammed up two-wide or three-wide or five rows deep, or what have you. So that's something I've been missing as crew chief, working with him, is understanding how tight we really need to be to run in those races.

Yeah, it's a dirty air issue. And you can look at all these racetracks, even Phoenix. Everywhere you go, you just know track position is going to be key.


 50 
 on: November 13, 2007, 04:14:53 pm 
Started by Darnell99Fan - Last post by Darnell99Fan
10 Questions: D. Gilliland

By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM
November 13, 2007
10:32 AM EST
   
1. What's the best advice you ever received and who was it from?

Gilliland: I forget who told me, but it's, "You must first finish to finish first." I think it was Jerry Dodd, one of the first guys I ever drove for on the dirt, when we got going. That's a fact.

2. What was your first car?

Gilliland: My first car was an '87 Ford Taurus four-door. Not very sporty, but my dad got it for me. We had an automotive repair business and my dad bought it from a customer. Not exactly what I was looking for but it got me from Point A to Point B.


3. What is at the top of your "things to accomplish" list?


Gilliland: To try and win a Nextel Cup race. It's definitely tougher than it looks, but we feel like we're getting better and better each week, and running more competitively. I've still got a lot to learn. A lot of people forget this is my first full-time year in the series so I'm still definitely learning a lot but we've been a lot more competitive lately. So I'm proud of that.

4. What's your favorite movie?

Gilliland: My favorite movie is Six Pack, with Kenny Rogers.

5. Where's your favorite scenic road?

Gilliland: Probably one of the nicest drives I've ever had is on the way to Bristol. Highway 421 through Boone and all through the mountains up there. There's a lake up there. It's nice and peaceful.

6. What's your favorite pizza topping?

Gilliland: Pepperoni.

7. Who has had the most impact on your life?

Gilliland: Probably my dad. Racing is probably one of the biggest things in my life and, without him, I don't know if I would be doing it. Just because I grew up around it and he's been very influential.

8. What's the last song you added to your personal music player?

Gilliland: Rockstar by Nickelback.

9. What's your favorite place to eat and what do you normally order?

Gilliland: Sullivan's Steakhouse in Charlotte and I order the surf and turf -- steak and lobster.

10. What's your favorite sport, outside of racing?

Gilliland: Probably golf. I'm not too much into baseball or football or things like that. With racing, at the level we're at, it's hard to do much else. When I'm not racing, my son races go-karts and quarter-midgets, so racing's definitely top on the list.




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