This Week in Ford Racing September 27, 2005 ARCA RE/MAX Series Defending USAC National Midget Car Series champion Bobby East is hoping that the third time is the charm. East is scheduled to make his stock-car debut in the ARCA...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 27, 2005
ARCA RE/MAX Series
Defending USAC National Midget Car Series champion Bobby East is hoping that the third time is the charm. East is scheduled to make his stock-car debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday. Driving a team car to defending series champion Frank Kimmel, East benefited from a test session last week at the 2.66-mile superspeedway and topped 183 mph in the Tri-State Motorsports Ford. East spoke about his anticipated stock car debut and his expectations about being in the draft for the first time.
BOBBY EAST-29-Tri-State Motorsports Ford Taurus
YOU ARE HOPING THAT THIS WEEKEND'S ARCA RACE WILL BE THE START OF YOUR STOCK-CAR RACING CAREER? "This will be my first race. You know, I'm a little nervous. None of us really planned for Talladega to be my first race, but that's how it ended up between the rain at IRP and just barely missing the show at Richmond. One thing that I'm really happy about is that we tested at Talladega and the Kimmels had an excellent car for me to drive. The car drives really good. At the test it would go anywhere I wanted it to go. As a driver, that's about all you can ask for. We're hoping to qualify definitely in the top 10, if not the top five, and if we can do that I'm just going to ride all day and try to keep the leaders in sight and see where we end up with about 15 laps to go."
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE BY COMPETING AT TALLADEGA THIS WEEKEND? "Our whole reasoning behind racing at Talladega this year is to be able to run Daytona next year in the trucks. We're going to run for Rookie-of-the-Year in the truck series next year, and, obviously, if we missed Daytona that would put us way behind. I'm hoping to have a good showing and to do good, but also to show the guys at NASCAR that I can do the big tracks and just to get more experience on the bigger tracks."
HOW MUCH TIME DID YOU SPEND DRAFTING DURING THE TEST LAST WEEK? "We didn't get to do any drafting. That bugs me a little bit, but we have a Happy Hour Friday morning and we'll be drafting then. But, that will be my first time in the draft, Friday morning the day before the race. Hopefully it will go well, but like I said, the car was handling so good that I don't think the draft will be any problem. I think the car will handle good all day."
COMING FROM USAC COMPETITION, DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS WITH BUMP DRAFTING AT A SUPERSPEEDWAY? "I'm not intimidated by it, but you won't see me doing it just for the fact that it's my first race and it's my first race in the draft. Maybe late in the day, if I'm real comfortable near the end, I might try it, but that kind of depends on the situation. It's going to have to be a move for the win or to help Frank move up a little bit for me to even really think about using the bump draft. We're just going so fast - or at least I think - that the risk versus reward isn't there right now for me. "
HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DRAW FROM FRANK KIMMEL'S EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE TO KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEKEND? "I've kind of been picking his brain, and Frank is such a good driver and I trust everything that he tells me. That's an advantage for me. Obviously, he can't do it for me, but he can definitely help me out and let me know what to expect on the track and in the draft and what to do in certain situations. I really have to thank the Kimmels and Ford Racing. Both of those entities have been really good for me, and the Kimmels are fun. They're fun guys to race with and they're a lot like me and the team I've been racing with for the past five years. They're just really hard-nose racers and I really like that about them."
YOU MENTIONED RUNNING FOR ROOKIE-OF-THE YEAR HONORS ON THE TRUCK SERIES NEXT YEAR. WHEN DO YOU EXPECT TO ANNOUNCE YOUR 2006 RACING PLANS? "As soon as it's set in stone. Everything is in the works and everything is a go, we just need to get everything signed and figured out. We're getting ready for next year. Just as soon as everything gets set in stone, then we'll be able to tell everybody about it."