WS: Utah: Moses Smith preview

Moses Looks To Utilize His Road Racing Skills The 3.06-mile road course at Miller Motorsports Park is the longest track on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule. It features a combination of challenging corners that vary in size, and a...

Moses Looks To Utilize His Road Racing Skills

The 3.06-mile road course at Miller Motorsports Park is the longest track on the NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule. It features a combination of challenging corners that vary in size, and a long front stretch that allows drivers to unleash the full horsepower of their stock cars. The spacious layout is one that many drivers find very accommodating to the big stock cars of the NASCAR Camping World Series West, according to Moses Smith (No. 16 HASA Pools/White Flyer Toyota).

"Miller has a really good flow for how big our cars are and how much horsepower they have," said the 32-year-old driver from Tempe, Ariz. "There's a lot of racing room and a lot of passing opportunities. It's a really neat track."

The circuit returns to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, this week for the NASCAR Camping World Series 125 on Saturday, Aug. 2.

The layout of the Utah track has some specific features, including a very long front straightaway and a series of three corners on the back of the course, referred to as the "attitudes." Both elements are challenging to a driver, Smith explained.

"The cool thing about the long straight away is that at the end of the straightaway it's kind of a sweeping turn," he said. "It's not like a 'real hard on the brakes' kind of turn. It makes the straight away even that much longer. It makes Turn 1 that much faster and more challenging."

The corners on the back portion of the course, meanwhile, can offer a chance to make up ground on the competition, Smith said. "We were definitely quick there last year," he said. "There's not a lot of room to pass back there, but there's enough corners to get guys set up or make up ground if you're closing on somebody."

Smith speaks from experience when he talks about getting around a road course. He grew up competing in go-karts and then graduated into the open-wheel ranks of racing, where he eventually won a championship in 2002.

"I've driven tracks all over the country and all I ever drove was road courses," he said. "I hope to take that experience and apply it when we go back to Miller."

As a rookie, Smith competed in the inaugural NASCAR race at Miller Motorsports Park a year ago. Adapting to the heavier stock cars on the road course was a major adjustment, according to Smith. "The biggest challenge overall is getting used to how much those cars weigh," he said. "The cars I've driven in the past weigh 1,500 pounds and these weigh 3,300 pounds. Managing the equipment through the race is definitely on my mind the whole time."

Smith started fourth and finished 11th at MMP last year, in a freshman season in which he encountered more than his share of bad luck. He has turned things around this year. Smith opened the season with his first career top-five finish. He is seventh in the championship standings, credited with seven top-10 finishes.

"I think I'm definitely learning more about the car and gelling with the team," he said of his effort this season. "It's been a good year. I'm a lot more confident in my driving. It's really come together."

-credit: billmcanallyracing.com

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Moses Smith