When three-time NASCAR Mexico Series champion Germán Quiroga packed up his belongings and moved to North Carolina earlier this year, he knew that his journey would be filled with many challenges - both on and off the race track. As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads west to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, for Friday's WinStar World Casino 350, the 32-year-old driver will face perhaps the toughest challenge of his budding career in America NASCAR. His job will be to provide veteran crew chief Rick Ren with the feedback needed to get the balance of his NET10 Wireless® Tundra stable enough to run wide open for several laps around the blistering fast 1.5-mile oval.
"Texas will be the fastest corner entry speed, turn the steering wheel and stay focused race track that Germán will go to," said Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) General Manager Rick Ren, who will serve as Quiroga's crew chief once again this weekend. "The main thing that we will need to work on for Friday is getting him comfortable driving into turn 1 -- you have to stay out by the wall and really turn the steering wheel into the corner at the same time as you are going through an elevation change. I think he'll have some success once he gets a few laps under his belt. Our trucks are always really good there, so if he has confidence in his ability and confidence in our race team, than we will be just fine."
Quiroga enters Friday's race beaming with confidence after his 2012 debut Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway resulted in his first career Truck Series top-10 finish. Making just his third career series start, the Mexico City native came from the 23rd starting position to finish eighth in the fred's 250. He'll have a confident bunch working behind him as well, as his No. 51 team visited victory lane with Denny Hamlin behind the wheel in last week's Kroger 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
With a confident team behind him and a fast NET10 Wireless Tundra underneath him, Quiroga will head wide open, deep into the heart of turn 1 at Texas Motor Speedway, 147 times Friday night, looking to 'net' his second consecutive top-10 finish.
Germán Quiroga, Driver of the No. 51 NCWTS NET10 Wireless Tundra:
Do you feel more pressure to perform at Texas after the result at Talladega? "I'm not sure if it is a relief or more pressure because now I have to do it again. I'm really happy for what we did in Talladega and looking forward to do the same thing in Texas -- top-10 I think was great for the team and for myself. It's actually a lot of pressure to try to do it again. I know it's going to be tougher. It's a totally different track and I have to be focused on many other things. At Talladega you have so much room and you can pass sometimes very easy where Texas is going to be really tough."
What have you done to prepare for Texas? "I've been watching videos lately. I'm trying to do the same thing I did before Talladega, but to be totally honest, it seems different. It's very hard to go wide open all the time. I know you can do it in qualifying and maybe for a couple of laps when you have new tires. Still, it's going to be very important getting into the pits and not losing any time getting in or maintaining the speed limit on pit lane -- then going off without making any mistakes. There are so many other things that I have to take care of and I will be learning. This is another learning weekend, which I have to take it like it is, but I also want to do well."
Rick Ren, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS NET10 Wireless Tundra:
What is the key to being able to run wide open through turn 1 at Texas? "You are really hauling the mail into turn 1 at Texas. It's all about learning how to get the truck pointed right in case it tries to get loose on you, so that it doesn't swap around. It is probably the fastest corner entry that we see with the trucks. Turns 3 and 4 aren't as bad, so, we will really work with him on having the truck stable and allow him to have confidence getting into turn 1 without lifting.
Did his top-10 finish at Talladega give German a boost of confidence? "Absolutely -- to come from the 23rd starting position to run as high as fourth at Talladega really pumped him up. You could see with each passing lap that he became more comfortable with his ability to move his truck around and work with his spotter. All of that will increase his confidence when we get to Texas. Rocky (Ryan) is a really experienced spotter and that helps a lot in the race. The great thing that I've learned with German is that he really listens to us when we try to explain to him what he has to work on when he shows up and how he needs to drive the race track. I think Texas will be a really cool race track for him and he will do just fine."
Germán Quiroga's No. 51 NET10 Wireless Tundra: Chassis KBM-3: KBM-3 will be making its first start of 2012 and seventh overall start in Friday's WinStar World Casino 350. It is the same Tundra that Quiroga drove to a 26th-place finish in the 2011 series finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The trucks best career result, a seventh-place finish, came with Brian Ickler behind the wheel in its debut race at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in September of 2010.
Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports