Chaffin Applies Testing for New Venue in Mansfield
New Venues: "I think new places are good for the series. It allows us to go to a new state where the fans are probably real hungry to see us race. I think it's a good thing, but I don't think we need to be swapping around tracks just for the sake of doing it. If it makes sense, then do it. I'd love to see us stay closer to the roots of our sport. I feel like we are turning our back a little bit on the Rockinghams and North Wilkesboros of the sport, but I understand that NASCAR can't take Nextel Cup to any track in Ohio. There is not a track in the state that can accommodate a Nextel Cup race. The Craftsman Truck Series is the market, or series if you will, that fits the bill. So I see it is our role in the grand scheme of things to go to some of these tracks that Nextel Cup can't go to."
How to Get Ready For a Place You Haven't Seen: "I find that a lot of times when I go to a track for the first time that is probably the best I ever run at it. I don't know if I develop bad habits or get it in my mind to drive it a certain way after that. A lot of times even when we go to a track that I've raced at before, the first couple of laps when you are feeling your way around, are sometimes your best laps of the whole weekend. So when you are really comfortable with the track, you tend to overdrive the truck. New tracks don't bother me at all. I'm excited about another new venue, the new challenge and going up there."
Apply our Tests: "We learn a lot from our testing, which by the way has been going awesome. What we learn at a place like Pikes Peak, which is in between a short track and a Speedway in size, is things we can apply to both types of race tracks. We figure out shock packages and work on some geometry settings. The secret to racing is getting the vehicle to turn and hook up off the corners. The truck has to be able to apply the power it has under the hood. The key is to set the truck up to have the characteristics which allows you to run it at that certain track. We learn stuff at Greenville and Martinsville then we verified it at Pikes Peak. We'll apply our knowledge from testing and hopefully be very fast at Mansfield."
* Chad is racing Butthead in Mansfield, the same truck he raced at Martinsville.
Donating Blood for Red Cross: "We were at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital yesterday where the American Red Cross had a blood drive. I was there for a couple of hours and had a wonderful time. They were giving away hats and goodies to try to get people to donate. Everyone who gave blood got to put their name in a drawing for Craftsman Truck Series tickets. Later I drew the names of the winners and as luck would have it, one of the people was still there giving blood who won. They were really excited when I told them about winning. Those deals are really neat to be a part of."
Tight or Loose: "I don't prefer either. Coming up through the ranks I won more races with a tight vehicle, than a loose one. Generally in local racing on a half-mile track, you'll beat the guys that get loose. As you get into Craftsman Truck Series racing, it's hard to win with a tight truck. A loose vehicle is typically faster; it's just not as consistent and falls off after a few laps. However somebody out there will have their truck that is just loose enough to outrun you. You just have to get your vehicle right on the loose side of neutral if your going to be fast enough to win. Tight is more comfortable, but you can't win by being tight at this level."