Texas Motor Speedway fast for Sadler. Fort Worth, Texas (April 1, 2002) -- Elliott Sadler and his No. 21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus team tested at Texas Motor Speedway in March, following the race at Las Vegas. Texas is one of Elliott's ...
Texas Motor Speedway fast for Sadler.
Fort Worth, Texas (April 1, 2002) -- Elliott Sadler and his No. 21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus team tested at Texas Motor Speedway in March, following the race at Las Vegas. Texas is one of Elliott's favorite tracks, and he was impressed with the track's new surface and the speed it produces.
YOU TESTED AT TEXAS. HOW IS THE NEW SURFACE? "I tell you what, that is by far the fastest race track we will race at this year. The Texas Motor Speedway staff did a great job on the repaving of it. There is not one bump on the whole race track. Man, it is fast.
"I did race runs the whole time and my race runs were faster than we qualified at Atlanta, so that will tell you how fast we are going to be. I don't know how fast it is going to be, but it is going to be unbelievably fast. That may cause a problem on a one-groove track for a while until maybe the Busch cars get out there and get some two-wide racing on Saturday, and hopefully that will open it up for us on Sunday for a nice race for everybody."
DO YOU HAVE TO WATCH YOUR TIRES THERE? "I talked to with some of the Goodyear guys before and after I went. We felt pretty good about our tires. We put 60 hard laps on the right front and the tire was still pretty good. I think after more cars go there and put down some more rubber it will be good."
IF IT REMAINS A ONE-GROOVE TRACK BY THE TIME YOU GET ON IT TO RACE, IS THERE A CHANCE IT WILL BE A 'WRECKING YARD' LIKE IT WAS THE FIRST RACE? "I think that first race when everybody wrecked, nobody knew what to expect. But this new pavement they've got on it has a ton of grip. It is very, very fast and there is a lot more grip than anything they've ever had at Texas. I think it is going to be a different situation for everybody."
CREW CHIEFS HAVE SAID THEY WERE SEEING SPEEDS CLOSE TO 200 MPH AT THE END OF THE STRAIGHTWAYS. WERE YOU OVER 200 MPH? "We ran about 198, and 175 in the middle of the corners, so it's fast. I had a great time. They did a great job on the pavement. It's pretty cool."
TEXAS IS A DIFFICULT RACE TRACK, BUT IT IS BASICALLY SHAPED LIKE ATLANTA AND CHARLOTTE. WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM ATLANTA AND CHARLOTTE? "I just think that the corners are so much longer than at Atlanta or Charlotte. Yes, it has less banking than Atlanta and Charlotte, but the corners are so much longer that it is so much faster. I think it will be the fastest track we race at. I tested there a couple weeks ago, and it is fast. They put new pavement down and it is very smooth, probably the smoothest track we race at, and the fastest. But I really like Texas. I told everybody a long time ago that my first win would either come at Texas or Bristol, and I was at least right on one of them. This is a great track for us. We really like that place."
WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL THE NEW PAVEMENT MAKE? "Passing. There is a lot of grip now. We made a lot of long runs there during the test and we didn't slow down that much. When you go to a place where you don't slow down, there isn't a lot of passing. There's not going to be a lot of side-by-side racing, I don't think. You going to have to be right down around the bottom, kind of like the first race or two we had there. It's gonna be tough to pass because the guys aren't going to be out of the gas that long. It's hard to pass a guy when he is wide open."