Paludo Finishes 12th in NASCAR Debut at South Boston Mooresville, N.C. (04-05-2010) -- For years Brazilian race car driver Miguel Paludo has imagined what it would be like to race a NASCAR short-track event. On Saturday, at South Boston...
Paludo Finishes 12th in NASCAR Debut at South Boston
Mooresville, N.C. (04-05-2010) -- For years Brazilian race car driver Miguel Paludo has imagined what it would be like to race a NASCAR short-track event. On Saturday, at South Boston Speedway, Paludo found out that there was no amount of visualization that can prepare a driver for racing side-by-side for most of 150 laps on a .4-mile race track with 25 other race cars. Paludo qualified his No. 77 NBC Bank Camry in 16th position for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, and he finished 12th. He and HRE team owner Shige Hattori were thrilled with the performance and the results.
"I had an idea of what NASCAR racing would be like, but South Boston was totally different. When you are side by side you cannot make mistakes for all of the 150 laps. Everything was new to me, but it was exciting and it was a good first race experience for all of the NBC Bank Camry team," said Paludo.
Team owner Hattori was impressed with how Paludo was able to bridge the communication gaps with his crew chief, Jeff McClure, and spotter, Bill Bisnette, and how they were all able to work together to meet and exceed the team goals.
"Miguel is a road course racer, but he did so well at adapting to racing on an oval track. There are so many things that are different, but Miguel was able to be successful at making passes and at racing side-by-side for many laps. He and Jeff and Bill really did a good job communicating and you could hear them get more comfortable throughout the day," said Hattori, who has raced in IndyCar, NASCAR and Toyota Atlantics.
Paludo explained that in practice they tried some setups for racing and for qualifying and found a good setup, but that he didn't get all he wanted to get in his qualifying attempt.
"The NBC Bank Camry was so good all day at South Boston. I am very pleased with the HRE team and equipment. In the first practice, I was concentrating on getting laps and getting the car setup for the race conditions. We did well. In the second practice, we simulated qualifying for two or three attempts. I was about a tenth of a second off of my personal goal. When it came time for qualifying, the car was good but it was a little bit tight. I was really happy with starting in the middle of the starting grid, but I would have like to improve my time more on my second lap than I was able to do," explained Paludo, who has two GT3 Cup championships to his credit.
The rookie driver from Brazil said first priority was to finish the race and that his priority for his next race is to improve his finish position to a top-ten finish.
"I'm happy with all of the weekend. Shige, Jeff and Bill were very good to work with and our communication is getting better. I tried to stay calm and to save my tires from the beginning of the race. The car was tight and then as the tires wore out and the gas burned off, the car was loose off of the corners. Jeff was talking to me about using the blowers for the tires to help adjust the handling of the race car throughout the race. I think we are all looking ahead to the next race, at Iowa Speedway, and to improve our finish to a top-ten," said Paludo.
Hattori was very pleased with how Paludo worked in traffic and met and exceeded the team's goal.
"Miguel's race pace was really good. He was able to work in traffic and pass cars. Overall HRE did a very good job this weekend. I was so happy with the way everything worked out. Our goal was to finish the race, and we did more than our goal. Miguel was able to finish the race and do some racing," said a very proud Hattori.
-source: germain racing