Keys for Success: SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500
AVONDALE, Ariz., (Feb. 26, 2011) -- Each race weekend, select Dodge Motorsports engineers, team crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the 'Keys for Success' for the upcoming race. This week, the green flag drops in the 'Valley of the Sun".
Track: Phoenix International Raceway (race 2 of 36 NSCS point events)
Race: SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500
Track Length: 1-mile (312 laps)
Race Record: Trivia Question: How many lead changes were there at last year's spring event at PIR? (Answer Below)
HOWARD COMSTOCK (Dodge Motorsports Engineering) "There are several keys heading into Phoenix this weekend. An important key is that the race is moving from 600k to 500k and that changes the race strategy completely. The direct impact can be looked at in three important areas:
Fuel Stops: "The 500 kilometer distance means one less fuel stop than last year, but it's not one full segment shorter than a 600 kilometer race. This creates a "partial" fuel stop and the teams have to calculate that into their strategy. The effect is that a shorter race changes the window of opportunity and at a race where track position is critical like Phoenix, fueling strategy will be a key."
Two Tires vs. Four Tires: "Two tire stops work at Phoenix, but add to the equation that fueling a racecar takes longer because of the new gas cans. Consequently that changes the dynamic of the two-tire, four-tire strategy when you're trying to preserve track position."
Night and Day: "Last year, this race started at 4:30 p.m. and ran into the night. This year it's an early afternoon green flag, the race will be run entirely in the daytime. The net effect of the time change will alter the strategy on tires."
In a Nutshell: "You have a circular strategy going on this weekend. Tires are more important because it's a day race; two tires versus four tires is a strategy that works here. The fueling is slower and the race is shorter. That's a lot of things going on in one race."
Answer to Trivia Question: 20
-source: dodge motorsports