This Week in Ford Racing March 21, 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Danny O'Quinn, Jr., driver of the No. 50 Ford Fusion, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime last winter when Jack Roush asked him to campaign one of his Busch Series cars ...
This Week in Ford Racing
March 21, 2006
NASCAR Busch Series
Danny O'Quinn, Jr., driver of the No. 50 Ford Fusion, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime last winter when Jack Roush asked him to campaign one of his Busch Series cars full-time in 2006. O'Quinn, a 20-year-old native of Coeburn, Va., was a finalist in the Discovery Channel's "Roush Racing: Driver X" reality series, and is one of three drivers from that show to be given an opportunity to drive for one of Roush Racing's NASCAR teams. O'Quinn talked about traveling back to his home state of Virginia this weekend and assessed the start of his rookie season.
DANNY O'QUINN, JR.--No. 50--Barr-Nunn Ford Fusion -- DISCUSS THE SIGNIFICANCE FOR YOU OF RACING AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND. "It's definitely going to be a big deal this week. It will be our first short-track race, so we're definitely looking forward to that. It's somewhere that I'll be that I should have a little more experience on. Naturally, it's going to my hometown, so I'm going to have a lot of friends and family and people around pulling for us. We're really excited about that. I think we're going to have a really good race car there. It seems like the Roush cars run really well there. I'm definitely going to be pumped up more about that race than any we've been to so far."
HOW FAR FROM BRISTOL IS COEBURN, VA? "It's about 45 minutes to an hour away."
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO STOP AT HOME BEFORE THE RACE? "Well, I wanted to. We've got some things coming up, but hopefully after the race I'll stay Sunday and Monday, and maybe go back to the house and hang out a little it. I wanted to go up there this week, but we've got some other things we have to take care of, so we won't be able to do that."
HOW MANY RACES HAVE YOU RUN AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "I've run three races in the past. I've run two Hooters races and a Late Model race there in the last two years."
THIS YEAR'S BUSCH RACE HAS BEEN LENGTHENED FROM 250 TO 300 LAPS. IS FATIGUE A CONCERN FOR YOU? "I'm not concerned about that. I think we'll be fine. I've been preparing for that all winter, and I'm used to running the Hooters races on short tracks, which are usually 250 to 300 laps. I'm used to running races like that, so I'm a big fan of a longer race. It gives you more time to get it right. I actually like the idea of running 300 laps there."
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE START OF YOUR SEASON? "I think the biggest thing for us was to get a race in at each type of track. Really, in those first five we basically had five different tracks. We went from superspeedway to a two-mile, then to a road course and a flat mile-and-a-half and a high-banked mile-and-a-half. We really had the full variety of tracks, and hopefully we learned what we what we need to do next time when go back to all of those tracks. We really used those first five races as a test to get me some seat time and get us working on the same page. We're definitely looking forward to the rest of the year because while we haven't finished where we wanted to, that certainly should be big plus for us the rest of the year, though, just to have those races under our belt and getting me some more seat time."
HOW MUCH OF A RELIEF IS IT TO HAVE THE FIRST FIVE RACES COMPLETED AND TO BE IN THE TOP 30 IN OWNER POINTS? "That's a big relief knowing we're in the top 30 going there. Anything can happen in qualifying. It doesn't necessarily have to be our fault. Something simple could break, and even if it rained we weren't going to be racing. To get those first five in and be in the top 30 right now is a big deal. It definitely takes a little pressure off of us, and we can worry about racing and not have to worry so much about qualifying. I think that will make things go a lot better, and I can go out there and get a little more when we go to qualify now. Hopefully it will work out better for us."
GIVEN YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE COMPETING AT BRISTOL, DO YOU HAVE HIGHER EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS WEEKEND'S RACE? "We definitely want to go down there and run as good as we can, but I think with my experience there we can come out with a top-10 finish. I've run there before and I think if we can get a good setup I can drive that track. The Hooters cars are really similar to the Busch cars, so I feel like I have enough experience to run well at a track like that. As for the mile-and-a-halfs, it's going to take us a little time before we get up there and are in contention for the win. We definitely want to keep it one piece. That will be big at Bristol. You have a lot of wrecks there usually, so if we can stay out of trouble for the first half of it then we'll go racing the last 100 laps or so."
HO MUCH INPUT HAS JACK ROUSH HAD WITH YOUR TEAM TO START THE YEAR? "Everybody's been really supportive. Jack understands that we're a new team with a new driver and everything. I think that he doesn't expect as much out of us right now off the bat, but it's going to get to the point where we need to perform. Right now he definitely understands what's going on, and he's been really supportive of helping us with what we need to run good. I think if you give us a few more races, he'll be happy with the way we're performing then."
HAS JACK GIVEN YOU ANY SPECIFIC PIECES OF ADVICE? "The biggest thing that he's said is to go out and make laps right now and figure out what we need to be doing. It's hard to figure to anything out if we're bringing them back in a wad every week, so the biggest thing right now is to finish races and get me some seat time."