Jacques Villeneuve talks about racing at Road America

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Jacques Villeneuve returns to Road America in a Penske Dodge

Jacques Villeneuve (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger)

YOU HAD AN EXCITING RACE HERE AT ROAD AMERICA LAST YEAR. “We had, ultimately, quite a good weekend even though the end of the race was a little bit too exciting. It’s great to be back with the team and Discount Tire and mostly the same guys on the car. Last year we went from here to Montreal, improved the crew and then went testing three weeks back. I’m very confident. It’s a great team and everybody is coming here to get a good result. The plan is to keep my nose clean for the race.”

Jacques Villeneuve
Jacques Villeneuve

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

LAST YEAR WASN’T THE FIRST TIME WE ENDED UP WITH A BIG MESS IN TURN 1 ON A RESTART LATE IN A RACE HERE AT ROAD AMERICA. IS THERE ANY CHANCE TO AVOID THAT OR IS THAT JUST WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE HERE WITH DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS GOING INTO A 90-DEGREE CORNER? “You’ll tend to get that because it’s in those first corners tire pressures are not optimum, the temperatures neither so everybody goes for it. Also, you arrive at the corner at a different speed than your normal racing speed. Some guys will brake the same as when they’re racing at normal speed and some guys will brake a little bit later knowing they’re arriving there a little bit slower so it does create a little bit of a situation probably because there are only two or three road courses a year. There is a tendency for that to happen that some drivers are not used to but you will always get that with double-file restarts. I guess that’s why they are there, to create some excitement as well. Obviously, you don’t want to get cut out like happened last year because you end up doing a lot of damage to the car.”

WHAT ARE YOU UP TO THESE DAYS? “Mainly raising kids. The last time I raced was in Montreal 10 months ago. It’s a little bit the same situation for all of us here. You kind of go to sleep for a while and suddenly you get all the excitement pumping. It’s fun but it makes it a little bit tough because the result becomes so important. It counts. You really have to make it count.”

IS THE SHAVED HEAD A NEW LOOK FOR YOU? “Yeah, it’s the more exciting look. It wasn’t exciting enough last year (laughs). Yes, I guess my girlfriend likes it (smiles). That’s about it (smiles). It’s nothing too important.

“You asked what I’m doing these days. I’m going to Australia in two weeks racing the V-8s there so that should be fun.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO SAVE THE BRAKES HERE? “They are marginal but they are easy to save. If you’re really doing qualifying laps every lap then they will go away. If you’re trying to overtake or fighting every lap then yeah, they’re going to go away during the braking but they are easy to recuperate. It’s not a big, big mess.”

Source: SRT Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags dodge, elkhart lake, penske, villeneuve