Question: What are your expectations heading into Bristol and what is the best advice you can give your driver Dario Franchitti? Brad Parrott: "Bristol luckily is a two- and three-lane race track now. They re-concreted it last year which made...
Question: What are your expectations heading into Bristol and what is the best advice you can give your driver Dario Franchitti?
Brad Parrott: "Bristol luckily is a two- and three-lane race track now. They re-concreted it last year which made it a real maneuverable place that will benefit Dario because he likes to run the bottom of the track and has been doing that the last couple of weeks. With the multiple grooves, it will give him some areas to pass cars on the bottom. The biggest challenge he has is running so much closer to the other cars. Those guys are crammed on the track and he is going to be closer to them than he has in the past.
"We are really looking forward to Bristol. Last year at this time, we were heading to Bristol with Juan Pablo Montoya for his first race there and he wasn't looking forward to it but he came out with one of his best efforts of the year in the Nationwide Dodge. I know Dario will like it at the end of the day, if he comes out of there with all four tires and four fenders on the car.
"The best advice I can give Dario, in regard to keeping his cool at a place where that doesn't usually happen is keep things in perspective. He is a very level-headed guy so I will just keep reminding him to maintain that. It will be my job to keep him calm. The biggest challenge is just having the mindset and focus to run 300 laps at Bristol on Saturday and then 500 laps on Sunday."
This is going to be your first time your tires have touched the track at Bristol Motor Speedway. How do you prepare for a race at a place like BMS? "Bristol is one of those race tracks I walk into and almost gasp because it really is an amazing sports facility. The way the entire race track is enclosed with the stands is something you have to see in-person to truly believe it and appreciate it. I have been really looking forward to this weekend since the beginning of the year. I have always had a lot of fun just watching races there, so if it is as fun to race there as it is to watch, it will be good. It is a lot different than what it used to be since it was re-concreted. Being able to run three and four wide there is going to be fun. I watched Reed and the guys race on the new surface last year. I watched what changes helped and which didn't help there throughout the race weekend so I have a pretty good handle on all of that. It is suppose to rain on Friday which is not good for us so we may be racing with limited practice. That means we will have to pull from all of the watching and learning from last season to get the best finish for the No. 41 Polaroid Dodge on Saturday afternoon.
Your teammate Dario Franchitti has never raced at Bristol either. Actually, I think he has only flown over the track in his helicopter. Are there any other folks in the garage you plan to seek out for advice or direction? "We will lean on a lot of guys and lean on Reed. He has run well there in the Nationwide car, but just hasn't had the best luck. He seems to like the place, too, so I will definitely be talking with him and any of the open-wheel guys I have talked to in the past like Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne. They have all been very helpful and open with information to help me learn these new tracks. I will try to find them at some point to help get ourselves prepared for Saturday."
No. 40 The Hartford Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #753. This chassis was entered in both Bristol races last year, scoring a 13th-place finish in March 2007 and a 14th-place finish in August 2007.
No. 41 Target Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #745. This chassis has not been raced by the Target team yet this season. However, Sorenson drove chassis #745 at the fall race in Richmond last year. He started the race in the 25th position and finished 32nd after getting swept up in a mid-race incident.
No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge (NSCS): Chassis #634. This chassis is one of the oldest CoT chassis in the CGRFS stable. Originally built in 2006, the car has never been raced but has been rebuilt with the new body specs and updates.
No. 40 Fastenal Dodge (NNS): Chassis #653. This chassis is the same car Franchitti and the NNS Fastenal team ran at Las Vegas Motor Speedway just a couple of weeks ago to score a sixth-place start and finish at the Nevada track. Franchitti also raced the same car at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year where he raced up inside the top five and maintained a top-15 run the majority of the day, until a bad vibration seemed to derail his effort during the last quarter of the race (started 22nd, finished 24th).
No. 41 Polaroid Dodge (NNS): Chassis #452. The chassis most recently carried Franchitti to a third-place start and 32nd-place finish at Memphis last October. This was the team's best car in 2006. With a total of six starts, the car tallied four top-five finishes and five top-10s.