Pocono: Ricky Craven preview

HICKORY, NC (June 8, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, will make his 14th appearance at Pocono Raceway this weekend. He and the Tide Racing team have posted two top-10 finishes in the past three years at the track, one of...

HICKORY, NC (June 8, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, will make his 14th appearance at Pocono Raceway this weekend. He and the Tide Racing team have posted two top-10 finishes in the past three years at the track, one of them in this race, one year ago.

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

I've heard Pocono Raceway described as a superspeedway, short track and a road course all in one. What does it take to be successful at this unique track?

"Having a lot of horsepower and a good handling car are the two key things to getting around Pocono. In this day of competitive NEXTEL Cup racing, you need both of those things every weekend we race; however, Pocono is an engine builder's nightmare for two reasons. One, you have to have an engine that has wide range because your RPMs vary greatly in different areas of the track; and two, because you turn so many RPMs, it is hard on the valve train."

"Pocono is a track that is a lot of fun to race, but since it is really hard on engines, finishing at the end of the day can be considered a good finish. The track is big and wide, and real fast. You have to get into a rhythm because of the shifting you have to do, which we don't do at any other tracks other than road courses, which is why you see the comparisons made to a road courses. Years ago, you didn't shift through the track, but everyone started shifting because it increased speed and it also helps save the engines, but you have to be careful to not to over rev the engine as well."

"You are also heavy on the brakes all day at Pocono, so you need to have good brakes, especially in turn one. The frontstretch is the longest straightaway we run anywhere and then you have to get slowed down going into turn one. There is a lot of give and take at Pocono because the three corners are so different and you can't be good in every one. You have to pick out where you can gain the most and give up somewhere else, so you compromise all day long."

What is the most interesting part of Pocono Raceway?

"The frontstretch at Pocono is unlike anything we see all year on the circuit. It is important to get a good exit off of turn three so you carry momentum down the frontstretch, but as a driver, you seem to have all the time in the world to think about your entry into turn one. Normally, we don't get that much time at any other track, which makes it very unique."

Appearance: Craven will make the following appearances this week.

Craven will sign autographs on Wednesday, June 9th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Forest City Chevrolet in Portland, Maine.

Craven will sign autographs on Saturday, June 12th approximately from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Tide Souvenir Rig. Please check with the souvenir rig in advance for ticket distribution.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven