Atlanta Served as a Learning Experience for Robinson and Team Atlanta, GA (March 10, 2002) Shawna Robinson and the No. 49 Dodge team received an education in racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Neither Robinson nor crew chief Teddy ...
Atlanta Served as a Learning Experience for Robinson and Team
Atlanta, GA (March 10, 2002) Shawna Robinson and the No. 49 Dodge team received an education in racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Neither Robinson nor crew chief Teddy Brown had ever raced at the speedway in a Winston Cup car prior to this weekend, and will take some valuable lessons with them for next fall.
Robinson qualified the car in the 31st position, improving from practice times. This was a successful run since the team worked extremely hard during practice to find the best setup. Atlanta is a notoriously fast track and it was a challenging task to find the right combination of speed, performance, and driver comfort.
Shortly after the green flag dropped on the 500-mile event, Robinson radioed to Brown the car was extremely loose so loose she could barely hold on to it. She said the car had no grip and the tires were not responding to the heat after making many laps. Robinson felt there was something wrong as she fell back to the 43rd position.
On the first pit stop at lap 48, the crew made air pressure adjustments, added a spring rubber, and took some bleed out of the shocks in an attempt to battle the loose condition. On lap 105, Robinson commented that the car was much better and began to show lap times as fast as the leaders.
Following the race, Brown said, "We definitely learned a lot about Atlanta and the car. We are looking forward to coming back here in the fall and know we will be better.
Quoting Robinson: "When the race started the car was not handling the way I wanted. Teddy Brown and the guys made changes to the setup as the race went on and the car's handling came around. The car was really loose at the beginning of the race and that caused us to lose several laps, but we still finished 34th. This was a brand new car and we found some ways to make it better. We've been looking forward to Texas for several weeks now and we will focus our attention on the Samsung/Radio Shack 500. The next three races are at very fast tracks and I'm going to use that to my advantage."