Fontana: Ricky Craven preview

HICKORY, NC (April 27, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, seeks a win at California Speedway, the hometown track of his car owner, Cal Wells, who hails from Pomona, California not far from California Speedway. Ricky...

HICKORY, NC (April 27, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, seeks a win at California Speedway, the hometown track of his car owner, Cal Wells, who hails from Pomona, California not far from California Speedway.

Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet:

Take me for a lap around California Speedway...

"California Speedway is sort of a newer, modern-era version of Michigan, which suits me just fine because I really, really enjoy it. Michigan has always been one of my favorites and California being a carbon copy works for me. Turn one has a long, sweeping entry where you can stay out against the wall on the frontstretch and just let the car lead itself down into turn one. You carry a lot of speed through the middle of turns one and two, which makes for a bit of a challenge exiting turn two. The wall comes back towards you quicker than turn four, but normally you get a little tight off turn two until the very exit of the corner and then you can actually chase the back of the car. Turn three is a much more aggressive entry. Again, you stay out as late as possible and then turn across to the apron and you can get back to the gas quickly and pretty aggressively because the exit of turn four mimics the entry of turn one where it is a sweeping radius and doesn't actually come back to make a full 180 degree turn. Turn four is much more forgiving than turn two."

"Getting around California takes a combination of all those things - handling, horsepower, aerodynamics - it takes the whole package. That's why I love the track because you have to factor in all those things including the draft. You'll see two, three cars pull out as a result of the draft on the frontstretch. Not nearly as significant on the backstretch but the frontstretch does create a heck of a draft.

What is your opinion on racing twice at California Speedway this year?

"I think it's great. I'm not thrilled it came at the expense of Rockingham, but the fact of the matter is it is an awesome market and a fun visit and a great track. I really enjoy the racetrack and we've run well...going back to the very first race they had there we finished in the top-10. With the Tide team, we've run in the top-10 and hadn't finished the job, but we have certainly earned the distinction of running well at California. It's also really cool that Cal Wells gets to go home twice a year now. California is his home turf, so a little added significance there. ."

Favorite place to visit in California?

"We have a good friend of the team named Joe McPherson...he's a good friend of Cal's who comes to quite a few races each year. He owns a place called Joe's Garage, and the place is just fascinating. Anyone that is a gearhead that loves the history of racing, all forms of racing they'd be cheating themselves if they didn't go to Joe's Garage. He has a collection of racing cars and memorabilia that date very far back and they come from all forms of racing. He's built this museum / reception party hall that is available to rent out. It is just incredible." (You can visit them on the web at www.joesgarage.com <http://www.joesgarage.com>).

Cal Wells, owner of PPI Motorsports:

What would it mean to you to win at California Speedway?

"The bigger thing than winning in my home state would be winning with my parents and family at the race track...that would be fun. We've won two races, but none of my family has been at the track when we've won. That has been very frustrating to me. It would be wonderful to be able to share that with my family, but my mom and dad, my brother, Dave and my good friend, Joe McPherson, will all be there this weekend at Fontana, so I would love to be able to share that with them. It is a track that we have the capacity to win at, but we'll just have to see!"

Chassis No. 40: The Tide Racing team is taking Chassis No. 40 to California this weekend.

Appearance: Craven will make the following appearances during the California race weekend:

* Thursday, April 29th: Craven and Cal Wells will sign autographs from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Foothills Ranch Chevrolet dealership located at 70 Auto Centre Drive in Foothill Ranch, California. The Tide team transporter will also be on display.

* Saturday, May 1st: Craven will sign autographs at his souvenir rig on from approximately 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please check with the souvenir rig in advance for ticket distribution.

-ppir-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven