Watkins Glen: Casey Atwood preview

What's the key to mastering a road course? "I think the most important thing to learning road courses is learning the track - learning the turns and getting familiar with the race track and just getting experience on the track. I wasn't very ...

What's the key to mastering a road course?

"I think the most important thing to learning road courses is learning the track - learning the turns and getting familiar with the race track and just getting experience on the track. I wasn't very experienced on Sears Point. I haven't run very many laps there before. But I've raced at Watkins Glen three times and we tested there last year. I think the key is getting track time, and I've got a little bit more at Watkins Glen than I do at Sears Point."

Do you prefer oval tracks to road courses?

"I prefer ovals just because that's what I've always done, but it's really nice going to a road course - it's a fun change. I like Watkins Glen a little more than Sears Point. Sears Point is just a really tough track, and I haven't really gotten the hang of it yet. I've been to Watkins Glen a few times in Busch, and I've been to it once in Winston Cup. I feel more comfortable at Watkins Glen than I do at Sears Point. I'm looking forward to going."

Who do you turn to for advice on getting around Watkins Glen?

"When I first started in Busch I didn't really have much help. I was just getting started and didn't really know that many people. Bill (Elliott) has been on a roll lately, and he's good at road courses too. He was good at Sears Point, so I'll probably go to him if I'm having trouble this weekend."

Is this race more important than the others?

"We try to run good every week, but we really want to do well this weekend at the Sirius at The Glen. There will be a lot of people there from Sirius - especially since it's right in their backyard. It would be a bonus if we go there and run good this weekend. Best Buy is sponsoring Pole Day, and they've come on board with us this weekend. Sirius, Best Buy and Kenwood are sponsoring a free concert by a new artist, Tift Merritt, for fans at the track."

The Glen Stats & Facts

* Last season, in his first Winston Cup race at The Glen, Atwood finished 22nd after starting from the 34th spot.

* Atwood has raced at the track twice in his Busch Series career. He earned his best finish at the track, 12th, in the 2000 Lysol 200.

* In the only other road course race on the schedule this year, Atwood finished a respectable 21st at Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point Raceway) after starting 43rd.

* Atwood won the Pepsi ARCA 200 from the pole at Pocono on Saturday, June 27. He drove the No. 19 Evernham Motorsports-owned Dodge Intrepid R/T as part of the team's research and development program. Atwood's former crew chief Sammy Johns led the team from the pit. This was Atwood's first ARCA start.

Autograph Appearance: Casey Atwood and Ray Evernham
Saturday, August 10
Approximately 2:30 p.m., immediately following the Busch North Series race
Sirius Satellite Radio Rhythm of the Road Tour
Infield vendor display area near Turn 11 hospitality
Watkins Glen International

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Series NASCAR-CUP