"There is a lot of uncertainty when you head to a new track for the first time. There haven't been a lot of races on the surface, so the racing will not be too good right off. We'll have to keep running some laps to get the second groove...
"There is a lot of uncertainty when you head to a new track for the
first time. There haven't been a lot of races on the surface, so the
racing will not be too good right off. We'll have to keep running
some laps to get the second groove worked in. That's usually how it
is at a new track. Once that happens, it probably will be pretty good
Ward Burton, driver of the Caterpillar Racing Dodge
BURTON ON RACING AT A NEW TRACK
"I like racing at new tracks because they're in good condition. They shouldn't have any bumps or any characteristics of a track that has been abused by weather or by a lot of use. Like Dover, a couple of years ago there were some pretty bad bumps and then the IRL cars went there and they scraped the concrete and tried to smooth all of the bumps away. The track is much better than it used to be. But with Kansas being new, it should be a smooth ride and probably pretty fast. The only thing we'll be concerned with is a second groove getting worked in. We saw that it took awhile at Chicago to get some good side by side racing and I'm sure we'll see the same thing at Kansas. We'll just have to be patient and take our time getting comfortable.
"The 93 had a real solid test there a few weeks ago. We'll use their basic set-up right off the truck and then try and tweak it form there. It helps to have a starting point when you unload, otherwise it makes for a long weekend. We also have all day Thursday to get used to the track and work on our race set-up. That really helps when you go to a new track because you don't necessarily have to use a test to be competitive. NASCAR gives you an extra day to get your act together.
"I think it is important to expand into some new markets. I am actually glad to be doing some more racing in the Midwest. There is a lot of Caterpillar presence out here and that helps us keep our sponsor interested when we race in their territory. I am looking forward to the race, I have heard some really great things about the new track."
BALDWIN'S THOUGHTS ON THE NEW TRACK
"I heard some real good things about Kansas. Dave (Blaney) tested there and he thought the track was going to be great for racing. He thought that it was real fast, but slick. It appears that the cars are pretty slippery on new tires, but after that they come in nicely. We're taking the same car back that we ran at Indy. It's a car that Ward really likes and is comfortable with. It should run very well here too.
"It's always exciting to go to a new area. I am especially looking forward to Kansas. I heard the track is a first-class place. They have really built some great places for NASCAR the last five or six years. We'll try and get some time away from the track while we're there too. We'll see what the Kansas City has to offer."