Chicagoland: Ricky Craven preview

HICKORY, NC (July 6, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, will have a busy weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Craven is competing in the Busch Series event for Richard Childress Racing in the No. 29 ESGR/Navy Reserves car and...

HICKORY, NC (July 6, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, will have a busy weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Craven is competing in the Busch Series event for Richard Childress Racing in the No. 29 ESGR/Navy Reserves car and hopes running "double-duty" will help improve the performance for the Tide Racing team, as the additional track time has proven to be an advantage for other drivers at times. The last time Craven competed in a Busch Series event was during the 2000 season.

Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet:

How does Chicagoland Speedway differ from the other 1.5-mile tracks?

"They are all little bit different, but Chicago is most similar to Kansas City. It will become a better race track as it gets older and the surface has less grip. The shortest way around won't necessarily be the only way around. As you lose grip, the car can migrate to the middle or the top so you won't have to turn the wheel as much, which gives you another option."

You will be running the No. 29 ESGR/Navy Reserves car for Richard Childress Racing this weekend. Are you looking forward to running against the Busch guys and does running the Busch races provide an advantage for Sunday's race?

"I really believe running the Busch race helps out on Sundays and I'm really looking forward to it. We will see how things go this weekend and I'll have to dust off my Busch helmet! We tested at Kentucky a few weeks ago. The horsepower had increased since the last time I raced a Busch car, so it is probably closer to a Cup car than it has ever been. It is a very good opportunity and maybe we can run a few more races next year."

You tested the Busch car at Chicagoland Speedway a few weeks ago. Can you use the information you learned and apply it towards the Tide team?

"I haven't done this in several years so it will be interesting to see what, if any, benefits there are and from my standpoint, what we can translate to the Cup car. I'm looking forward to the extra track time. If you look at the past races in the last three and a half years for the Tide team, we have run in the top-10 at the majority of the race tracks. However, Chicagoland is an exception. Our best finish there is 20th. That is part of the reason we chose to run this race versus the other tracks."

Dave Charpentier, crew chief of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet:

What is your opinion on NASCAR's new shock rule that will be implemented starting at Chicagoland this week?

"It is not going to affect our team at all other than it will take all teams longer to go through technical inspection. I feel they could have just had one line following the race where the cars need to be a certain height instead of having put actual numbers on shock gas pressure. There are times we run high shock gas pressure in the right-rear to help the car turn better, but we don't do it to raise the ride height. They are just taking one more thing away from us. I think this decision is an overreaction as all they really need to do is enforce their maximum height rules."

Fun Stuff: The Tide team decided to have some fun and showcase their sponsor when building their new generator boxes for the race track. They designed the boxes to look like a washer and dryer set.

Appearances:

* Craven will appear at the Jewel/OSCO store located at 9350 West 159th Street, Orland Park, IL 60462 on Thursday, July 8th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

* Craven will sign autographs on Saturday, July 10th, following the completion of the Busch race at the Tide Souvenir Rig. Please check with the souvenir rig in advance for ticket distribution.

Chassis No. 53: The Tide Racing team is taking Chassis No. 53 to Chicago this weekend. This is the same car the team competed with earlier this year in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and at Michigan.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven
Teams Richard Childress Racing