Chad McCumbee, 22, has been assigned by Petty Enterprises to drive the ...
Chad McCumbee, 22, has been assigned by Petty Enterprises to drive the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge this June at the 2.5-mile Pocono (Penn.) Raceway. McCumbee made his first Nextel Cup laps Monday afternoon at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway located in Concord (N.C.). McCumbee, along with the rest of the Nextel Cup regulars, were testing for the upcoming May events highlighted by the Coca-Cola 600.
McCumbee made nine laps Monday afternoon posting a fast lap of 30.833 seconds at a speed of 175.137 miles per hour. McCumbee discussed his first impressions during the lunch break. McCumbee will continue to test Monday evening and Tuesday.
Chad McCumbee, Driver #47 Petty Enterprises Test Dodge:
"These are my first laps in a Cup car. I've driven ARCA cars, but with the rules in Cup and the Goodyear tires, this is really my first experience. I'm having fun, but it's all new. It's going to be a learning curve. I'm just trying to take in as much information as I can and stay conservative the next couple of days. It's a learning process as far as working with the guys and getting the 'feel' that I need with these cars. I need to give them direction as to where we need to go for the future.
"Everyone has been super excited for me since the announcement. It's been a long road, and it's a struggle to get to this level without dollars, but I've kept my faith strong. I've had a lot of prayers and they have finally been answered. We are just here today to make laps. We're not too concerned where we end up. We just want to work on the communication and what we need to make me feel good in the car. I just want to learn all night and on Tuesday too. Hopefully we can get more and more laps in.
"I just want to get my mind right before June (Pocono). It's a big step and a huge blessing to be involved with Petty Enterprises. I couldn't be more excited. I just want to do the best job I can do. I feel like it's going to be a good race. It's a place where I've had success and I'm communicating with Billy Wilburn really well so far. I think it's going to be a good deal.
"I think the communication with Billy Wilburn has been great. I don't get a lot of time with him. Kyle (Petty) and those guys are working hard, but when I see Billy at the shop or talk to him on the phone it has been positive. He's a super easy guy to get along with. He takes in all the information that I tell him and puts it to use.
Billy Wilburn, Crew Chief #47 Petty Enterprises Test Dodge:
"He made a couple of runs today and he's been super smooth. He's not as fast as I'm sure he wants to go, but we have some stuff that we wanted him to run. He's only here to make laps. We want to let NASCAR look at him, make sure he's smooth and doing everything right. That's our main reason for having him here. He's been great so far and it's been nice working with him.
"Chad has good communication. He has good reports about the car and that's good for us. We made a few changes and he has responded to each one. He has gone faster in each change. We're not at the top of the board, but that's not the intent. I hope people aren't thinking that. We're not here to do that with Chad. We want NASCAR to be happy with what they see. I think they should be happy."