PARTS AMERICA 150 POST RACE NOTES BLAISE ALEXANDER ( ...
PARTS AMERICA 150 POST RACE NOTES
BLAISE ALEXANDER (#62 Lisa Express/Sunoco Chevrolet) -- This is my first ever road course. From the first practice session on Friday to qualifying, we made up 12 seconds. We kept getting better and better. The longer we ran, the better it (the truck) was handling. We didn't change much all weekend. It was just the more laps I got, the faster we got. Dorsey Schroeder helped me out quite a bit. Going into turn ten, I was getting a real good run coming off the turn before, and going down into one was where I was doing a lot of passing. Through the Inner Loop wasn't doing any passing. I wasn't getting a good run. I could have passed them there, but I just stayed behind them and figured I could pass them on the next corner.
RICH BICKLE (#17 DieHard Chevrolet) -- The race was awful good for the fans to see but we stunk. I started missing with about 25 to go and broke an axle with four to go. That's been my luck the second half of the season. It's been awful bad. It's just continuing. When I get to the shop I'm going to say what they need to do with some of our stuff.
RICKY JOHNSON (#63 Prime Performance Chevrolet) -- I had a great truck, a great crew, and I think that was the key to today. George Church's truck sat on the pole last year with Steve Park, so he knows this track and knows the set-up. I think that was the big help because we didn't get any practice time yesterday. To get out and qualify where we did we were happy with that and then race as well as we did...I was back to 21st twice. I came in and took on gas the first half when we didn't have to, so we lost position there and I was able to pick people off one at a time after that. I had some good people talking in my ear keeping me calm. I made some mistakes throughout the day, which I think everyone does on road courses. But all my crew came together. This was our first race together and to finish eighth place in the top ten, was a high goal, but I've got to give them a lot of credit because I beat the heck out of this thing. I hit some berms a couple of times and it held together for me. -- Where did you feel most comfortable on the course? -- I liked the high speed turns. My truck worked very well and I like the high speed. It may be because I've been instructing at the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Charlotte, so I'm comfortable at 140 (mph). One other thing was Robby Gordon gave me some pointers. We sat down with a map of the track and he told me give it up there, take it there. One of his big recommendations was give it up in two to have a lot between three and four and down the straight away. That's where I did a lot of my passing, so it worked. I grew up racing motocross and won seven national championships and then I went into off-road racing. I'm really thankful Prime Performance gave me this opportunity. I really like the trucks, I like the people, the schedule and I like the length of the races. I'm not going to lie. If someone offered me a top Busch ride or a Winston Cup ride I would take a look at it. I want to race. To come on our first run qualify 14th and finish 8th is great.