As Busch Series testing wrapped up at Daytona International Speedway for next month's Hershey's Take 5 300, ppc racing teammates Kenny Wallace and Michel Jourdain, Jr., and ST Motorsports' Jon Wood commented on the test session and the ...
As Busch Series testing wrapped up at Daytona International Speedway for next month's Hershey's Take 5 300, ppc racing teammates Kenny Wallace and Michel Jourdain, Jr., and ST Motorsports' Jon Wood commented on the test session and the upcoming season. David Green, who suffered from a kidney stone attack early Saturday morning and wasn't able to test until yesterday afternoon, talked about his health and the progress his team made with Aaron Fike behind the wheel of his Brewco Ford.
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. -10-ppc Racing Ford Taurus
WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS ABOUT DRIVING A STOCK CAR AROUND DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY?
"It's very different, and I'm trying to get used to it. I feel that every time I go out I get a little bit better and more used to it. Learning the draft is huge and it's the hardest thing. I have so much to learn with setups and what the car needs to feel like in order go fast."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ALL OF THE TESTING THAT GOES INTO ONE RACE?
"I like it a lot. I think this is a lot more of a driver's sport. Everywhere else it's run by computers, and here the driver's input means a lot to the speed and handling of the car. Also, I can really feel that the NASCAR family really likes one another and works together."
HOW DID THIS OPPORTUNITY BECOME AVAILABLE TO YOU?
"I've been a NASCAR fan for a long time. Ford Racing put some tests together with ppc Racing last year and we'd been discussing running a few races. The opportunity became available to run as a teammate to a veteran driver like Kenny Wallace and I felt like it was the right move to make in my racing career."
HOW DO STOCK CARS REACT DIFFERENTLY IN THE DRAFT COMPARED TO THE OPEN-WHEEL CARS YOU DROVE?
"Here you can run closer to each other. Over there the cars just lose grip when you run up behind someone and you slide up the track. Here you lose grip and you can stay close to the guy in front of you. Sometimes coming out of three and four you don't, so it's mostly about getting experience and getting your car to work in the draft."
DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THE DRAFT YET?
"I still need more time and may need a couple of races to get used to it. It's just different. It's not easier or more difficult, it's just different."
HAS KENNY WALLACE'S VETERAN EXPERIENCE HERE BEEN A BENEFIT TO YOU THIS WEEKEND?
"Kenny is helping me every time we go out. Before I got in the car yesterday he took me around, and he tries to tells me things before I experience them so I know what to expect. Him and Andy Houston, who is coaching me as my spotter, have been very helpful. The two of them are helping me a bunch, and I think I would have been much worse without them."
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE ADDED TRAVEL THAT COMES WITH COMPETING IN NASCAR?
"The beginning, especially, will be very difficult. I'm still going to back and forth to Mexico City. We're going to have our first baby in a month, so leaving my wife there pregnant and then with the baby will be very difficult. But once the baby is able to travel, we're going to move fulltime to Charlotte and it's going to be good. Over there you used to leave for the races on Wednesday and come back Monday. Here you leave Thursday and come back on Saturday night. I think in the end I'm going to spend about the same amount of days at home."
HAS THE TRANSITION FROM A SEQUENTIAL GEARBOX BEEN DIFFICULT?
"It's the same as everything else, it's going to take some getting used to. The gearboxes here are very good and much better than what I drove before in terms of durability. Before, where it was a sequential gearbox, you would shift without lifting. Here they are very good and I just have to get used to the H-pattern."