Richard Petty Motorsports press release
RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS POST FASTEST SPEEDS BY FORDS IN PHOENIX
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (October 4, 2011) – The Richard Petty Motorsports machines posted Ford’s quickest speeds of the day during today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Phoenix International Raceway. Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion, posted the eighth quickest speed of the day and teammate AJ Allmendinger, pilot of the No. 43 Best Buy Ford, sat 11th on the charts at the conclusion of the first day of the two-day test.
“The track started off really, really slick and as more cars ran it rubbered in,” commented Allmendinger. “It felt like maybe there was a groove and a quarter or a groove and a half that built up. I think the layout of the racetrack seems fun. There’s a lot more room and a lot more grip off of Turn 2. My biggest question is how much it will widen out when there are three Series’ here because if it doesn’t it will make passing kind of tough. I think they did a good job on the racetrack and for us today it was just about trying all kinds of different stuff. We ran a lot of laps and I felt like we learned some things, so overall it was a good day for the Best Buy Racing team.”
“There’s definitely a big difference in the track,” said Ambrose. “The shape is different and I really like Turns 1 and 2 and the back kink. Turns 3 and 4 feel about the same as they used to. The track still has to groove in and I think all of us hope that the line fattens up a little bit so we put on a good race. Right now it’s a bit of a single groove track, but it is getting better and I think it’s really going to help the quality of racing here.”
“Coming in here we had some ideas and some thoughts based on the tire test and some information and data that we had and were able to look at, but until we really got on the racetrack and made laps, we weren’t really sure what to look for,” said Todd Parrott, crew chief of the No. 9 Ford. “Our cars unloaded off the truck pretty close to what we needed and had good speed. We tweaked on the front end settings today and the shocks and bump stops and just kept finding speed and Marcos was comfortable with the car. I think the No. 43 team did a lot of the same things we did today. We worked through a bunch of stuff and different combinations and we were pretty happy at the end of the day. Both of the RPM cars had good speed and drove well.
“Tomorrow we just want to make our car carry some more speed rolling through the center,” continued Parrott. “We’ll probably do some right side tires stuff tomorrow too, maybe put right side tires on it with a lot of laps on the left and get an idea of what it’s going to be like when we come back.”
Thirty six Sprint Cup Series cars took to the track on Tuesday. Teams will have the opportunity to test at the newly reconfigured track again Wednesday.