Craven to Drive ...
Craven to Drive #19 Busch Series Entry at Lowe's Motor Speedway: David Ridling, team owner for Emerald Performance Group, has made a decision to place Ricky Craven in the #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ridling has also purchased one of Craven's Busch cars and a PCCW motor for this weekend's event.
"We have 3 more races with Yellow Freight and we're going to each one of them with the intent to win," stated Ridling. "At the time, I'm unable to accurately pinpoint the source of our problems. It could be that the aero package is off, the engine, or the driver is off. We bought a car and engine that have run competitively in the top ten this year. Ricky Craven will drive and besides his solid performances at Charlotte (including two outside poles in Winston Cup), he has recorded two top-20 starts and two top-20 finishes out of the three times he's raced in the Busch Series this season. To me, these are three ingredients that are known entities. The decision to make a complete package swap should offer some pretty concrete information. I have to determine what element will make a substantial difference in our performance so we can win. We are not giving up. Even though I feel like we've tried to figure this out, we'll just tackle this from a different angle. That's why I made the decision to change everything now, and begin making new decisions on each element as fast as possible. Our most recent performances are not characteristic of the teams I've put together in the past. I have not been able to identify the problem, but I'll never accept the status quo. We've got to keep trying. We are going to do what we can to win."
Crew chief for Emerald Performance Group, George Church indicates the team feels positive as they head to Charlotte. "The team is definitely anxious to see what the consequences of these changes will be," Church said. "We all got a chance to work with Ricky during the test session at LMS last week. He runs a good line - it's apparent he's raced there before and understands the challenges of the track. The communication was good, too. We'll probably let Ricky take the lead in determining adjustments, etc. It's important for him to know his efforts will be matched and supported by the team's hard work."
Purchasing one of Craven's own Busch cars and a motor makes the driver feel slightly more at ease for an event well-known for its high number of entries. "For so many reasons, I thought using a car I was familiar with was the best choice," explained Craven. "First, it saved us a little time since my seat and belts were already in the car, but more importantly, I'll have a greater comfort level with this car. I know what the car can do, and what I can do in this car. That comfort may allow me to make slightly more aggressive decisions than I would in a car I hadn't raced before. I truly hope this combination provides something the team can be proud of."