BUSCH: Talladega: Ashton Lewis preview

Ashton Lewis started 38th and finished 33rd in The EAS/GNC Live Well 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Lewis' car was damaged in an accident and he spent considerable time in the garage area making repairs to his car. he started 30TH and ...

Ashton Lewis started 38th and finished 33rd in The EAS/GNC Live Well 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Lewis' car was damaged in an accident and he spent considerable time in the garage area making repairs to his car. he started 30TH and finished 31ST last April at Talladega, completing 86 Of 113 laps. Lewis plans to use the same Civil Air Patrol Chevrolet in the Aaron'S 312 that he ran at Daytona. The Talladega race will be the second of three restrictor plate races for Busch Series this season.

WHAT HAS THE CIVIL AIR PATROL RACING TEAM DONE TO PREPARE FOR TALLADEGA SINCE DAYTONA?

"We spent a day at the chassis dyno at Roush trying to find where the rear-end housing needed to be. Once we located the rear-end housing then we started mounting the body which is kind of backwards from the way we did it last time. They (NASCAR) have taken away the track bar split and track bar height rules so I think everybody is going to be trying to figure out which way to go there. It's kind of a crapshoot right now. We think we're taking a better racecar there. We know body-wise we're going to have a little bit better body. When this one went back together we got the spoiler down a little bit lower than before so we feel good about it. We know we're taking a better car back there but we've got to figure it out in a short amount of time which way we need to go chassis-wise."

HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS TALLADEGA VERSUS DAYTONA?

"Quite a bit. At Daytona in race trim you have to get the car to handle and get it to run all day long, whereas at Talladega you can race the shocks that you qualify. You can pretty much race the setup your qualify; just take the tape off it and go. Talladega you look at it as how fast you can make that car whereas Daytona you've got to worry about making it handle. There is a fair amount of difference in race setup."

WITH THREE RESTRICTOR PLATE RACES THIS SEASON, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT HOW YOUR TEAM PREPARES FOR THE SEASON?

"It obviously puts a little bit more emphasis on it, you know, adding the other restrictor plate race. It let's us know that we've always struggled on superspeedways and it gives us another bit of boost that we need to pick our program up there and do a little bit more work on it. We know that's still our weak point, but there's still 31 other races (laughs)."

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT OTHER DRIVERS ARE WILLING TO DRAFT WITH YOU?

"I think so. I still think it comes back to if you have a fast race car they are going to have to learn to work with you. Fortunately for us, we've had fast race cars at Daytona. Last year at Talladega, we struggled bad in the race but as long as you take a fast racecar they are going to work with you as long as you don't do anything stupid. We haven't caused a big wreck yet at either Daytona or Talladega so I think they've got some confidence in me and they are willing to at least run with me. Whether I pull out and they go with me, that's another thing. Until we get teammates out there I don't think I'll ever have that."

IS THERE ANY PLAN TO GO TO THE WIND TUNNEL OR GO TEST AT A PLATE TRACK BEFORE YOU GO TO DAYTONA IN JULY?

"No, I think we're down to just three test dates and for it being Talladega and Daytona we're just going to take our best shot at it. With Maxwell Air Force Base being right down the road we'd like to have a heck of a program for them and it's not to say that we can't have it but looking at the big picture it's not feasible to spend our time or not the correct way of going about it."

-lm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ashton Lewis