icky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, will start from the pole in Sunday's Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen. He spoke about the strategy involved and the differences between Sears Point and Watkins Glen. RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline...
icky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, will start from the pole in Sunday's Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen. He spoke about the strategy involved and the differences between Sears Point and Watkins Glen.
RICKY RUDD --28-- Havoline Taurus
HOW DIFFERENT ARE THE TWO ROAD COURSE SETUPS?
"I think for many, many years we had a different car that we would run at Watkins Glens versus Sonoma. The main reason was that Sonoma used to have a lot of left-hand corners in it and they've done away with that, so now we can take the car that runs at Sonoma and bring it to Watkins Glen. Even though you've got the same race car, the setups are completely different between the two race tracks. Sonoma is a much slower race track with very, very little grip. Watkins Glen has a lot of grip, so it takes a completely different setup."
HAVE THE ROAD COURSES CHANGED MUCH WITH THE TIRES? "I really don't see that much difference in 'em. The cars have gotten better over the years and the brakes have gotten better, but as far as feeling big differences in the tires, I think even on the oval tracks the changes have been so subtle over the years that the speeds have just slowly built and built and built. Nothing happened like overnight. You didn't wake up and all of a sudden you're running 20 miles an hour faster average speed. It just sort of evolved to that. Road courses are probably very much similar, even though it seems like maybe the speeds haven't escalated on the road course like they have on the ovals, but, again, you don't have anything to compare it to because the race tracks are different now."
WHAT DO YOU SEE UNFOLDING SUNDAY AS FAR AS PIT STRATEGY? "What I've seen happen over the years, especially this year, is that oval tracks have taken the same pit strategy as the road courses have for many years. On the road courses you figure out how many fuel stops you've got to make and that's how you run your race strategy. When the caution comes out, you don't just automatically dive in and get four tires like you did on ovals for many years. If you're not in your fuel window, then you don't pit. It's as simple as that. Everyone pretty much plays the same strategy. Sometimes it looks a little different. You've got guys at the very end of the pack that don't have anything to lose, they might come in and get four tires, but it will pretty much be run by fuel mileage."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN WITH EVERYTHING GOING ON AROUND YOUR TEAM? "It would be a tremendous day. Everybody with the Havoline team has worked very hard. This is a new car that was built right before Sonoma and it ran well there, and we've brought it here and it's still running well. If anything, it might take a little heat off of everything going on that are not race related and put the focus back on this year."