Andretti Comments on New Car and New Qualifying Procedures at California John Andretti Comments on Auto Club 500 at California: "I think California is a great track. People want to see us race side-by-side, and we can do that there. You...
Andretti Comments on New Car and New Qualifying Procedures at California
John Andretti Comments on Auto Club 500 at California:
"I think California is a great track. People want to see us race side-by-side, and we can do that there. You can actually race three or even four-wide in some situations. I think the problem is, because it's so wide, we don't see a lot of cautions. Guys don't have to root and gauge so much, and that leads to guys getting separated and long green-flag runs where it stretches out the field.
"From a racers standpoint, however, California is great. It's really an ideal kind of track. You have room to move around and space to get your car working (handling) properly. That is important, even more so with this new race car. I think you see guys are moving around a lot more. You have to 'drive' these cars more. I think California is going to be a great race because of it.
"This Bob Jenkins owned team is excited about California too. It's really not a young team, but more of a smaller team in a lot of ways. They have been around for about four years. It's just a small group of dedicated guys. For us, going to California is going to be a like a two lap event. It's going to be like the Daytona 500 when we made it into the race on the last corner of the last lap in the '150' qualifying race. California, it's going to be the same. We have two laps to stick this into the race. We've got a lot of great teams and drivers to out qualify to do that. It's going to be a building program, and if we can qualify in on Friday, it's just another huge step forward.
"The new qualifying procedure will help us. It's a good change and it makes it fair for everybody. Last year, in the fall race, I was in the same position. I went out early, and the guys who qualified later in the evening, the track temperature dropped nearly 30 degrees. We still made the race, but barely skipped in. We had been the fastest non-guaranteed starter earlier in the practice session too. So, I think this is the best way to make it even without covering up the place and air conditioning it."