Crew Chief Club at Richmond Preview

Event: Pontiac Excitement 400 When: Sat., May 15 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN Where: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval) · Together, Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott and Robin Pemberton have led their...

Event:  Pontiac Excitement 400        When:  Sat., May 15 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Where:  Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)

· Together, Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott and Robin Pemberton have led their drivers to 66 wins, 368 top-five finishes, 587 top-10 finishes and 68 poles prior to this Saturday's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

· Pemberton and driver Rusty Wallace hold the race record in the Pontiac Excitement 400. Wallace finished the race in 2 hours, 45 minutes and 54 seconds on March 2, 1997.

· McReynolds has back to back Pontiac Excitement 400 wins under his belt with two different drivers - in 1993 with Davey Allison and in 1994 with Ernie Irvan.

· The Crew Chief Club has four wins and one pole in the spring event at Richmond International Raceway. The wins were provided by Pemberton and Wallace in 1997, McReynolds and Irvan in 1994, McReynolds and Allison in 1993 and Pemberton and Mark Martin in 1990. The pole was provided by Pemberton and Ted Musgrave in 1994.

· In last year's Pontiac Excitement 400, the Crew Chief Club finished in the following order: Parrott/Jarrett Start: 4th Finish: 2nd Status: Running Pemberton/Wallace Start: 22nd Finish: 3rd Status: Running Makar/Labonte Start: 14th Finish: 8th Status: Running McReynolds/Earnhardt Start: 38th Finish: 21st Status: Running · All four members of the Crew Chief Club will be signing autographs on Sat., May 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Jimmy Makar and Larry McReynolds will be on the Chevrolet souvenir trailer, while Todd Parrott and Robin Pemberton will be on the Ford souvenir trailer. Crew Chief Club souvenirs are available on the Chevrolet and Ford souvenir trailers. Fans can also log-on to the Crew Chief Club at their official website, www.crewchiefclub.com.

WHAT'S ARE SOME KEY ELEMENTS FOR RACING AT RICHMOND?

Jimmy Makar - Interstate Batteries Pontiac of Bobby Labonte - "One key thing for Richmond is brakes. Richmond is probably the toughest place on brakes, next to Martinsville. You have to be efficient on the way you set up your brakes, the brake balance you have in the car and the cooling of the brakes. Another thing you have to have is a lot of forward bite. We work hard at getting a lot of forward bite to spin the tires off the corner. It's also tough to get the car to turn in the center of the corner. That's another thing we work at in preparing for Richmond. Some of it can be difficult, but basically that's what's key in our preparations."

Larry McReynolds - Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet of Mike Skinner - "There are several things because Richmond is a unique race track. The two ends are very different. You have to get your car to turn in the center of the corner without being loose in turns one and two. It's a high speed entrance corner so the drivers use a lot of brakes going into turn one. I think teams take brakes for granted at Richmond. We've done it and I've seen a few other teams do it, and then you run out of brakes because the race track is so fast. You use so much brake and you don't have that low gear, like you do at Martinsville, to slow you down getting into the corner. A car that's done a good job at getting down in the center without getting loose and at rotating through the center is the (No.) 2 car with Rusty and Robin. Their car really rolls through the center of the corner well. "Coming off of turns two and four, you think you're good coming out of the corner and all of a sudden, as the car gets all the way up on the straightaway, the back end will break loose. It's something you have to work on, but anything you do to correct it can sometimes hurt the center of the corner. It's a compromise. You don't struggle quite as much in three and four, but one big secret to going through turn four is getting your driver to work the car on the bottom of the race track. A lot of passing is done coming out of turn four if you don't do this because a car will get under you and beat you in the drag race back to turn one. At Richmond, the place to beat people is from the center of the corner to the exit of the corner. You don't necessarily beat people getting in to the corner but you have to be able to beat them getting off the corner."

Todd Parrott - Ford Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford of Dale Jarrett - "You've got to make your car last on old tires. Tire management is key and it's one of the things we work hard on. Dale likes Richmond and we almost won here last year. We're looking forward to going back."

Robin Pemberton - Miller Lite Ford of Rusty Wallace - "Once every year or so Richmond turns into a fuel mileage race, believe it or not. That always lurks in the background - to get good fuel mileage. You also want to get good performance out of your engine. I don't think you can get both, so on the strategy end you have to lean toward performance. Another big thing is the fact we practice mostly during the day for a night race. You have to set the car up neutral and hope your car will tighten up as the race goes on." k

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Mike Skinner , Ted Musgrave , Mark Martin , Davey Allison