IRL: Jeff Ward Richmond preview

"Richmond is a challenging track," Ward said. "There's going to be a lot of traffic, which means more passing. There will be a lot of side by side racing. Qualifying and racing up front will be important, because it will be difficult getting...

"Richmond is a challenging track," Ward said. "There's going to be a lot of traffic, which means more passing. There will be a lot of side by side racing. Qualifying and racing up front will be important, because it will be difficult getting around slower cars."

"Jeff always runs well on short tracks and with three practice days we'll have more time to work on our set-ups," Mitch Davis, team manager said. "It's important to start and stay up front in this race."

IRL Appeal:

With this weekend's race in the heart of NASCAR country, the Heritage Motorsports team commented on the similarities and differences of the IRL and NASCAR.

"NASCAR's appeal is in their side by side racing," Davis said. "IRL technology has come a long way, so that we can offer fans the same side by side competition as NASCAR. I think we're really starting to see some great racing, and that is appealing to our fan base."

"In NASCAR's early years, they had no idea how big they'd get," Ward said. "NASCAR gives their fans great racing week to week. With the racing and competition in this league, there is great potential. No one holds anything back."

Heritage's Goals for Richmond:

"We're looking for a good, clean weekend without any problems," Ward said. "Bad things happen to every team, we've just had our bad luck three times in a row. Hopefully, that's all we have to deal with for the rest of the season."

"We go to every race to win and to compete, and this team has shown over and over that we can run at the front," Ward said. "We just need to stop the little problems and finish at the front."

Going in Prepared:

While the Indy Racing League is making its debut in Richmond, VA, team manager, Mitch Davis will be refining his knowledge on the familiar track. Davis competed for the first time at Richmond in 1988 with Mark Martin and Jack Roush's new NASCAR team.

"You take something with you from every race experience, that's how teams get ahead. This is not the first time I'm taking a new team into Richmond." (Note: Roush Racing finished 25th and 4th at the two Richmond races that season)

"I've been in NASCAR. They work hard and put on a great show for their fans, but I love the speed and technology of open wheel racing. I'm excited to be back at Richmond with the Indy Racing League."

-HM

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