Fontana II: Ben Leslie - Ford interview 2009-10-13

This Week in Ford Racing October 13, 2009 The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday night. Ben Leslie, crew chief of the No. 96 DLP Ford Fusion driven by Bobby Labonte, won at the 1½-mile track...

This Week in Ford Racing
October 13, 2009

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday night. Ben Leslie, crew chief of the No. 96 DLP Ford Fusion driven by Bobby Labonte, won at the 1½-mile track in 2002 with the No. 6 Ford, and the No. 96 matched its best finish (12th) of the season at Lowe's when the series was there in May. Leslie talks about what it takes for a car to be successful there.

YOU WON THERE IN THE PAST AS A CREW CHIEF, AND THE 96 DID WELL THERE EARLIER THIS YEAR. WHAT DOES A CAR NEED TO DO TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "It seems like a lifetime ago since we won a race there, but Charlotte is a place that can be reasonably tricky because of the asymmetry of turns one and two, and three and four. So, it becomes a balance of something that is either close at both ends rather than have something that's really good for one end and not real good for the other. It's a real cool place. I look forward to going there every time. There are a lot of memories there for me - some of it's been lucky, some of it's fortunate. It's a place where tires fall off, and it's rough enough now a couple of years after the paving that it's getting back to more of the old Charlotte. There are more lanes. And, you end up racing the racing track, much like the old Darlington."

IN THE SPRING, THE RACE STARTS IN THE AFTERNOON AND ENDS AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN. THIS ONE STARTS IN THE EVENING. DOES THAT MAKE THE FAIRWAY FOR ADJUSTABILITY ON THE CAR WIDER OR NARROWER? "It widens it. For the 600 in the spring, going from the daytime into night, that throws another dynamic into it, because the track's characteristic changes going into nighttime, so now you have an asymmetrical track on top of the fact that it's weather dominant, so racing, roughly, under one set of conditions does help make it a little more forgiving."

DOES RACING IN CHARLOTTE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT AFTER RACING IN CALIFORNIA THE PREVIOUS SUNDAY CREATE ANY LOGISTICAL ISSUES? "No, because of how everything is structured, the logistics are all worked out. It's tight, but it's what we do."

-credit: ford racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte