The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series visits Pocono this weekend, its first of two yearly visits to the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped race track. Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, struggled at Dover this past weekend following a season-best...
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series visits Pocono this weekend, its first of two yearly visits to the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped race track. Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, struggled at Dover this past weekend following a season-best seventh-place finish at Charlotte, and says he is looking forward to racing at Pocono.
RICKY RUDD - No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion - WHERE IS THIS TEAM HEADING INTO POCONO?
"A lot of Pocono is aero, Charlotte's aero, Michigan's aero - they've gotten onto the right program to help straighten all these problems out, so Pocono, I'm very encouraged. I was not encouraged going to Dover because our Car of Tomorrow, we still have work on. Our Charlotte-type car is not 100 percent, but it's a top-10 contender if we get it all adjusted right. So, to answer that question, I feel a lot better going to Pocono, Michigan and tracks with the standard cars than anywhere we've got coming up."
WHEN YOU THINK OF POCONO, YOU THINK STRAIGHTAWAYS, HORSEPOWER, ROUSH-YATES POWER. "Straightaways, horsepower - you know, Yates power has been there, it hasn't been an issue all year, but handling has - and aero has been an issue - and I wouldn't say we've fixed all of our problems, that's an ongoing process, but it's understood a lot better. And, the cars I could run at Charlotte go to Pocono."
IS POCONO STILL A RACE TRACK THAT TEAMS LOOK TO AS AN INDICATOR FOR HOW WELL THEY CAN RUN AT INDIANAPOLIS? "Not as much so as in the past because what happens is Pocono is bumpy, and the way we run these cars now, with the coil-bind set-up, the cars basically travel around six or seven inches and then they stop, Pocono really tests these guys' know-how on that bump- stop package. If it wasn't for that, the two tracks would be very similar. But that's what separates the two tracks now is how bumpy Pocono is compared to Indy. Indy is zero bumps, and Pocono is like running off-road. And the way they stop these cars now with their stop package, it's separated the two tracks quite a bit." Back to Top
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Ford Fusion, heads into this weekend's race at Pocono in sixth place in the standings. Edwards moved up two spots following a season-best third-place finish at Dover on Monday. Edwards has a victory and two top-fives in four career starts at Pocono.
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
ON RUNNING AT POCONO. "Pocono's awesome, I really like it. It's almost like a road course; we have to approach it like a road course, the way you run corners. And yet it's all sacrifice -you're not going to be good all the way around the race track, so you've just got to pick which corners you need to run well at and which corner is just okay to be hanging out loose."
IS POCONO KIND OF A CRITICAL PLACE FOR THIS TEAM? LAST YEAR, IT SEEMED LIKE THAT TRACK THREW A CURVEBALL AT YOU AND THAT YOU WERE PLAYING CATCH-UP FROM THERE THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER MONTHS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO GET THROUGH THIS FIRST ONE AT POCONO? "I feel like the way the points are now, we're in a lot better position than we were last year, our team's running really well. But, yeah, we had to deal with the track the one race and I got in a wreck the next race, the year before that we averaged about a fourth-place finish, or a third-place, so I love the place; I think we just had terrible luck. If we could get out of there with a good run, steadily wind it down to the start of the chase, and everything goes as planned, would be great."
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, remains in third place in the points standings heading into this weekend's race at Pocono following a fifth-place finish at Dover. It was his sixth top-five finish in 13 starts this season.
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion
WHAT TYPE OF MINDSET DOES IT TAKE TO RUN AT POCONO? "We've struggled a lot there lately. The first few times, we didn't run that bad, and the last few years we haven't really run competitively at all. So, I don't really know. We're just going to have to go there and try to get our car to handle better and try to figure out how to get around it."
WHAT MAKES THAT TRACK SO TOUGH? "It's just unique. I don't know that that's necessarily a really tough track; there's a ton of straightaway, there's not many corners so the straightaways aren't very hard to run on. You've just got to have all three corners as good as you can get them, and the momentum carries down the straightaways. We've had a hard time figuring out exactly what we need to make the car drive good enough in all three corners to be competitive."
-credit: ford racing