Indianapolis: Ricky Craven preview

HICKORY, NC (August 2, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, will make his 10th start in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Craven's best finish at the historic speedway came in 2001 where he finished ...

HICKORY, NC (August 2, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, will make his 10th start in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Craven's best finish at the historic speedway came in 2001 where he finished ninth.

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

What makes running at the Brickyard so special? Is it interesting having the grandstands on the inside of the race track--do you notice them?

"History--years and years of history and racing heritage. Participating in front of a huge crowd and it is a big, big deal. Having the grandstands on the inside is kind of like a throwback to the old days, like the old Darlington. It helps establish how old and how significant the speedway is. As old as it is, it also has the appearance of a brand new facility, which makes it unique. When you are at Darlington, you know you are at Darlington. There are several examples of why Darlington was one of the first speedways built. You don't necessarily get that impression from Indy. It has a presence that no other race track has, but it is hard to explain. You know you are somewhere special."

"There are very few races in my career where I can look back and say, 'I'd love to have that one over,' but the 2001 Brickyard was one of those for me. We were running third at the time and attempting to get by Sterling Marlin. I was working him hard and I just lost the nose on the exit of turn two and hit the wall square, which flattened the side of the car. It took the goodness out of it and we ended up finishing ninth. That is one I'd like to have over personally."

How does Indy differ from all the other tracks?

"The flat corners and the high speeds. Most flat race tracks are usually one mile or smaller tracks, but Indy is unique. There isn't any place on the schedule where you can say, 'This is like Indy.'"

How reassuring is having the SAFER barriers at a track like Indy where the corners are flat and it produces such hi-speeds?

"It has become almost common place among all the NEXTEL Cup Series tracks to have the SAFER barriers, but Indy deserves a lot of credit as they were one of the first, if not the first to install the SAFER barriers. They had to absorb the cost and take the time all for the driver's safety. A track with the history that it has, I think they went a long way to make the SAFER barriers more common especially for a track that hasn't changed much through the years, other than maintaining it's appearance. They did it all for the right reasons and that was a testimony for the type of people they are. It was really, really wonderful."

How did your test session go at Indy on Monday, July 19th and Tuesday, July 20th?

"It was good. I was encouraged by it, but we still need a little speed. In qualifying trim, we were good."

Appearances:

* Craven will sign autographs on Thursday, August 4th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Kroger Supermarket located at 5025 West 71st Street in Indianapolis, IN. Phone number is 317-347-8480.

* Craven will appear on Speed Channel's Trackside show on Friday, August 6th.

* Craven will sign autographs at the Tide Souvenir Rig on Saturday, August 7th from approximately 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Please check with the souvenir rig in advance for ticket distribution.

Chassis No. 48: The Tide Racing team is taking Chassis No. 48 to Indianapolis this weekend, which is a brand new car.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Ricky Craven