Mansfield: Vidovich, Jourdain Jr - Ford interviews

Roush Racing announced a change in its driver lineup for the No. 6 Ford F-150 late last night with Auggie Vidovich taking the wheel in place of David Ragan. Vidovich, who finished sixth in the "Roush Racing: Driver X" Gong Show competition, will...

Roush Racing announced a change in its driver lineup for the No. 6 Ford F-150 late last night with Auggie Vidovich taking the wheel in place of David Ragan. Vidovich, who finished sixth in the "Roush Racing: Driver X" Gong Show competition, will race the No. 6 Ford in tomorrow's City of Mansfield 250 at the half-mile Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. The 25-year-old California native, who has a career-best finish of 22nd in three Craftsman Truck Series starts, spoke about how the opportunity to drive for Roush Racing developed and his expectations for the weekend.

AUGGIE VIDOVICH-6-Scotts Ford F-150

HOW DID THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRIVE THE NO. 6 FORD DEVELOP? "It was a big surprise. I was actually at the track in Charlotte with the 4 Busch car and Max Jones, the general manager for Roush's truck teams, grabbed me and put me up front in the hauler, and he talked to Jack and asked if I would drive it on Saturday night. I said, 'No problem,' and now I'm here."

YOU ARE KNOWN FOR YOUR PERSISTENCE IN KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH TEAM OWNERS. DO YOU FEEL THAT PAID DIVIDENDS FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND? "I do because if I wouldn't have kept bothering them and kept in their face and show them what I do, I probably wouldn't be standing here right now. They both know how hard I've tried, and I've kept my name in front of them."

AS A YOUNG DRIVER, HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO KEEP YOUR NAME IN FRONT OF TEAM MANAGERS AND OWNERS? "I just go to all of the race tracks that I can afford to go to - I'd go to IRP - and I'd just pick random ones out in a year and go the track, and if you see them you just make sure you go up and talk them and shake their hands and ask them if they have anything going on."

YOU WEREN'T HERE YESTERDAY FOR THE FOUR-HOUR OPTIONAL TEST SESSION. DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU'RE PLAYING CATCH-UP TODAY? "I'm a little behind because I missed the one-day test, but these guys are just so good and they've been around forever, they're putting a good truck under me, so I'm pretty confident of that. It's just a matter of me getting used to the track and the tires, and getting used to everybody; it's just a new deal that I got dropped into in the last minute."

ARE YOU ABLE TO USE WHAT THE TEAM LEARNED YESTERDAY TO HELP ACCELERATE THE LEARNING CURVE? "They put what they had yesterday in the truck and I just told them how it feels and how I'd like it to feel, and they've made some changes. We're using the same baseline setup, and today we're working to get the truck to fit my style because everybody is different."

IS THIS JUST A ONE-RACE DEAL TO DRIVE FOR ROUSH? "It's just a great opportunity to be in this Scotts Ford F-150."

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE RACE TOMORROW? "To get out of here and to have everybody happy, I need to finish. I need to not tear stuff up and finish. If I can do a top-20, a top-10, whatever I do is just a bonus. I need to finish the race tomorrow."

IS THIS THE OPPORTUNITY THAT YOU NEED TO GET NOTICED ON A NATIONAL LEVEL? "It could be. My focus is just on getting this truck up to speed and having a good finish tomorrow."

***

In other news, afternoon rain showers in the Mansfield, Ohio, area forced the cancellation of today's qualifying activities for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series City of Mansfield 250. The field for tomorrow's event was set by the NASCAR rulebook, and with 38 competitors vying for 36 starting positions, Michel Jourdain's truck series debut has been postponed. The No. 50 Roush Racing Ford has only been entered in four of the season's six events and did not qualify for a provisional. Jourdain will attempt to make his truck series debut at Texas Motor Speedway in the Sam's Town 400 in two weeks.

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150

YOU KNEW COMING INTO THE RACE THAT YOU NEEDED TO QUALIFY ON TIME. IS IT MORE DIFFICULT KNOWING YOUR DEBUT WAS DELAYED BECAUSE OF WEATHER? "Coming in you know something like this can happen, and when it's completely out of your hands it's hard, but at least it's one of those where there's nothing you can do about it. It's just what it is. It's bad, but it's completely out of our hand. Based off of where we practiced, we would have qualified for the race. Still, I enjoyed the experience of driving here, and it's a good, fun track, and I'm looking forward to Texas."

YOU WERE ABLE TO PRACTICE THE TRUCK FOR TWO DAYS AT MANSFIELD BEFORE THE RAIN WASHED OUT QUALIFYING. HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE IS THERE BETWEEN THE TRUCK AND THE CAR? "At least here on the short track, driving the truck, you don't feel any big difference. I think I will feel more of the difference at Texas with more drag and more downforce." WILL THIS HAVE ANY IMPACT ON ANY OF YOUR FUTURE RACING PLANS? "No. I'm going to go back and go to the shop again this week and work with the guys and just try to be positive and hope it doesn't rain in Texas."

-ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Auggie Vidovich , David Ragan , Max Jones , Michel Jourdain