This Week’s Monster Energy Chevrolet Impala … Ricky Carmichael will pilot Chassis TMS-311 from the Turner Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) stable in Saturday’s WYPALL 200 Powered by Kimberly-Clark Professional at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This a brand-new Chevrolet Impala that will be put through its first paces this weekend in Phoenix.
Calling the Shots … Veteran NASCAR crew chief Doug George, Carmichael’s crew chief in the NCWTS, will call the shots for the No. 34 team this weekend in Phoenix. Additionally, Carmichael’s entire Truck Series road crew will prepare the Monster Energy Chevy at PIR.
RICKY CARMICHAEL QUOTES
You’re making your last Nationwide Series start of 2011. You’re a big fan of one-mile race tracks, Phoenix has a new configuration and you’ve got your buddy Ron Hornaday Jr., as a teammate this weekend. You’ve got to be excited about going to Phoenix. “Life is good. Turner Motorsports and Monster Energy have given me a great opportunity to run some Nationwide Series races this year. I can’t wait to get out on the track Thursday and see what we’ve got. It’s a clean slate for everyone. The track has new pavement and I know the kink on the backstretch is a little different now so it’s going to be a new challenge for everyone. I’m really going to have to rely on the depth of our team so I’m excited to have my crew chief Doug George and my whole team from the Truck Series preparing the car. There will definitely be some synergies from that standpoint. It’s a great opportunity. I can’t wait.”
Have you had a chance to talk to anyone who has had the opportunity to go out to Phoenix and test so you know what to expect? “I talked to (Kevin) Harvick about it and I saw Dale Jr. (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) out at the SEMA show in Las Vegas last week. Both of them had a chance to go test out there so they gave me some insight. The track is good in the main groove but you definitely have to err on the side of caution if you get out of the groove. I’ve heard the track has had some other cars out there to try and lay down some rubber. We get a couple of extra practices on Thursday so that will give us some more time to get out there and get a feel for the track. That’s going to help out a lot. My main focus is going to be paying close attention and giving good feedback. We’re not locked into the field so we’ll have to qualify on time. We’ll definitely have our work cut out for us. We’re all going to have to be on our toes this weekend – me especially when it comes to cutting a fast lap.”
You’ve also got a lot going on in Phoenix away from the race track. “I always like going to Phoenix. My wife’s family is from out there and my kids will be out there, too so it’s going to be a fun weekend. On Wednesday, I’ll go to 2XL, which is the company that designed the Ricky Carmichael Motocross Matchup video game and record some voice-overs. I’ve got a dinner with the folks from QuikTrip on Friday and that’s always a great time. I’m just looking forward to the weekend. It’s a great opportunity and I want to make the best of it.”