BUSCH: Mexico City: Ford drivers Friday interviews

David Green, driver of the No. 27 Ford Fusion, took part in a morning press conference with fellow NASCAR Busch Series competitors Jason Keller, Ron Fellows and Burney Lamar prior to the first practice session for Sunday's Telcel-Motorola 200.

David Green, driver of the No. 27 Ford Fusion, took part in a morning press conference with fellow NASCAR Busch Series competitors Jason Keller, Ron Fellows and Burney Lamar prior to the first practice session for Sunday's Telcel-Motorola 200. Green, currently 32nd in the point standings, is hoping that he can rebound this weekend in Mexico City after a difficult first two races.

DAVID GREEN-27-Kleenex Ford Fusion

COMMENT ON RETURNING TO MEXICO CITY FOR THE SECOND YEAR, AND WHAT EXPERIENCE YOU BRING BACK HERE THIS TIME? "Yes, and last year we had some problems, too. I broke a transmission, but I did come over for the media day last year and spent time here at the race track and the toughest part about it is with all the fans here, the fan support that we have, it's very disappointing to sit in the garage area repairing your car mechanically, so our number one priority is to be out on the race track in front of these great fans. Yes, it's been a slow start to the year, but being able to bring Kleenex into the sport for its 13th year, and the NASCAR Busch Series is now celebrating Anheuser-Busch's 25th year, and even all of Mexico City I think is action-packed, so we're excited to be here once again."

COMMENT ON RACING ON A ROAD COURSE. "I think it's no different than when the NASCAR Busch Series came to Myrtle Beach, Hickory and the Nashville Fairgrounds. Jason and I used to race in the All-Pro Series back then, so when the series came to those tracks we had a real opportunity in the NASCAR Busch Series I think to compete in those events. It's no different than what we've experienced, and the same with Ron when the series went to Watkins Glen and the road courses. I think it's very unique and it's given a lot of opportunities for these drivers to be part of our series. Along with that, it's been a great opportunity for me working with Jorge (Goeters, No. 66 Ford). Last year here promised me to show me all of the little ins and outs of the track, but every time we went to find him he was always gone somewhere. My other buddy, Ron always helps us out when we got to Watkins Glenn. Seriously, it's a great opportunity for those guys. They're all in great cars, and it will be fun. I look at it as the same opportunity Jason and I got years ago."

DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS RACE WILL BECOME JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER ONE ON THE SCHEDULE? "Will it ever become a normal race? I think so. This year we're already a little more relaxed coming down, and the travel is a lot better and NASCAR continues to upgrade all of that stuff. As I was saying earlier, I think a race track is a race track, and we all have same mindset and same job to do. Yeah, I think it will be, but it is also different and awful unique to come here."

DO YOU FEEL MORE PRESSURE COMPETING IN AN EVENT AWAY FROM HOME SOIL? "I know how to real quickly get on the front page of the paper or get on the TV is to hang out with Adrian, and you get your picture made. Seriously, I think for Burney, Jason and myself, and we wish Ron was a part of the series week in and week out, this is the same concept as we did last week and we'll do next week in Vegas. It's the same amount of points, same philosophy, same everything. It's just a whole different way about going to do it here."

COMMENT ON YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WEEKEND. "I hope not to wreck. This is the third race of the year and I've seemed to somehow tear up two cars in both of our first practice sessions, so I might just skip the first one. Seriously, that's the toughest part about road course racing for us. I'd like to think that Ron could say it is the same for him, too, but I don't think so. It's kind of like the whole concept we do on an oval track racing, and you come here and it is totally opposite. When you get behind a little bit and you see that these guys are running a second faster than you are - a second here is like two tenths on an oval track - and you have to keep that in mind. If you start trying too hard, and like Burney said, the object is to keep all four tires on the track and it is a very fine line. I think from our end of it, with the gear rule and the transmission rule we have, it's just that you have to go out and get your car comfortable and driving good because it is a long, long race. A lot more things can go wrong here today than can go right."

COMMENT ON THE QUALIFYING PROCEDURES BEING USED THIS WEEKEND WHERE CARS WILL QUALIFY IN GROUPS INSTEAD OF INDIVIDUALLY. "When we ran against Ron and Terry Labonte and all of those guys for all those years, personally, I thought that the five lap or five-minute format was a lot more relaxing. It gave us guys that weren't road-course ringers to get those extra couple laps to get in the flow of things. There's probably not a tougher qualifying position in the world, I think, than the one lap Nextel Cup, or like last year, qualifying lap, especially for us guys. I think it's all good. I think it's a lot better."

***

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Ford Fusion, will be without his regular Busch Series crew chief this weekend. Pierre Kuettel was unable to make the trip to Mexico, so Edwards' Nextel Cup Series crew chief Bob Osborne will assume those duties this weekend. Edwards discussed the situation and his thoughts on returning to Mexico City.

CARL EDWARDS-60-Ameriquest Mortgage Ford Fusion

DO YOU FEEL MORE RELAXED COMING BACK HERE THIS YEAR? "Absolutely. I knew where to go eat. Jorge Goeters took us out to dinner last night, a multiple crew dinner. Man, I thought that was pretty cool. He's been kind of our ambassador here. We're just having more fun; it's been a fun week."

TALK ABOUT RUNNING A ROAD COURSE THIS EARLY IN THE SEASON. "It makes it tough on the guys. The guys have to have three different types of cars prepared. As a driver, though, I love it. I like racing different stuff. I wish we had dirt race in here, too. It's just fun to run different places. This is a cool road course. It's real flat and it's real easy. It's straightforward, so it's fun."

DO YOU THINK THE MEXICAN FANS WOULD GET A BETTER FEEL FOR WHAT NASCAR RACING IS ALL ABOUT IF THIS RACE WAS RUN ON AN OVAL? "I don't know. It just depends on what the fans want. If the fans wanted to see it, that's cool. It seems like the Mexican fans, they do a lot more road racing here than they do oval racing, so if they want to see road racing, that's what we ought to do. A cool one-mile oval would be pretty cool here, too, like Pikes Peak or something; that would be a great race track."

THIS TRACK HAS A LOT OF HISTORY BEHIND IT WITH DIFFERENT SERIES RACING HERE. "It's amazing. Last year I was trying to find a computer game or something with this track, and it was this old game called 'Grand Prix Legends' and they had this track on it. It was in '63 or something, and I believe it was this track. The scenery in the game is all grass and fields and there's nothing around. I don't know when this place was built, but it's been here for a long time. It's pretty cool to race at the same track that Formula One, CART and all of those guys have raced on."

WHAT IS THE SITUATION BEHIND HAVING BOB OSBORNE HERE THIS WEEKEND AS YOUR CREW CHIEF? "It's strange that P.K. is not here. I guess P.K. is a Canadian-born citizen and he had to get his passport from Canada. The story I got was that he sent in some picture that they took in Daytona and he was all sunburned and red, and they sent it back saying that he was too sunburned and that can't be your passport photo. He's always sunburned, though. He's always out in the sun. So, Bob's here and that will be cool. Bob was looking forward to a weekend off, and it was so funny because I didn't know he was coming until we got on the plane yesterday. I walked on the plane and there he was, and I was so glad to see him. He tried to act like he didn't want to come, but he had a good time last night at dinner."

YOU RACED TWO ROAD COURSES LAST SEASON IN THE NEXTEL CUP SERIES WITH OSBORNE AS YOUR CREW CHIEF. DOES IT HELP HAVING HIM HERE THIS WEEKEND? "We've got Bob and Jack Roush here this year, so that will make it a lot more straightforward. Last year we had Brad (Parrott), and he'd seen so much and I felt like we had a great advantage there with the experience that Brad had. The best case would be if P.K. was here and Bob was here. I'm sure P.K. will be watching."

***

Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the No. 15 Ford Fusion, is attempting to qualify for his 21st career Busch Series race this weekend. Jourdain, a native of Mexico City, last made a Busch Series start in July at Daytona International Speedway. With 46 entries in the Telcel-Motorola 200, and no owner points to fall back on, Jourdain needs to qualify for Sunday's race on speed. Jourdain spoke about the pressures of qualifying, his photo shoot incident on Tuesday, and the start of his weekend during a break between practice sessions.

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-15-Roshfrans Ford Fusion

THIS WAS NOT THE WAY YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED TO START THE WEEKEND. "I haven't done but two laps. They made a mistake. I think one of the water valves wasn't working, so the water was not circulating. Then something was wrong with third gear, so we haven't been able to do many laps in this first practice session."

AFTER TUESDAY'S INCIDENT, HOW IS YOUR LEG FEELING TODAY? "It's OK. It's doesn't hurt at all in the car. In the car it's like nothing happened. When I walk it hurts a little bit, but when I'm in the car it's OK, and that's what matters."

WHAT HAPPENED? "It was a photo shoot for the Mexican newspaper Record. They wanted all of the drivers on these horses, and when I got on the horse, the saddle was loose and moved. I think it hurt the horse, he went crazy and he threw me into a big pole. It bruised my left leg, but it doesn't hurt me in the car. I left foot brake, but it was no problem while I was in the car."

YOU HAVEN'T BEEN IN A BUSCH CAR SINCE YOU ATTEMPTED TO QUALIFY AT CHICAGOLAND LAST YEAR. WHAT WAS YOUR COMFORT LEVEL IN THE CAR THIS AFTERNOON? "I need more laps, definitely, but we should be OK. I hope we can do some more laps. If not, we'll be in trouble. We have some gearbox problems, and we don't have time to change it before the next session, so I hope we didn't hurt it too much. I think if we do laps we'll be OK, but we need more laps."

TALK ABOUT THE PRESSURE OF QUALIFYING HERE TOMORROW, AND COMMENT ON THE NEW QUALIFYING PROCEDURE BEING USED THIS YEAR. "Right now, yes, there is a lot of pressure. We don't know if the gearbox is going to last this second session or not, and we really need the laps. I think the new qualifying rules will help us because now there is not so much pressure on us for one lap. I think we should be able to beat three people on time tomorrow if we don't have problems. Obviously, this is the biggest race of the year for me, so I want to make sure we get our problems fixed and qualify tomorrow. "

-ford racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Terry Labonte , Jason Keller , Ron Fellows , David Green , Carl Edwards , Burney Lamar , Jack Roush , Jorge Goeters , Michel Jourdain