This Week in Ford Racing Jack Roush, car owner of five Roush Fenway Ford Fusions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, got a first-hand look at last Saturday's rain-drenched NASCAR Nationwide race in Montreal. With another road-course event on ...
This Week in Ford Racing
Jack Roush, car owner of five Roush Fenway Ford Fusions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, got a first-hand look at last Saturday's rain-drenched NASCAR Nationwide race in Montreal. With another road-course event on tap this weekend at Watkins Glen, Ford Racing asked Roush for his thoughts on racing in the rain.
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING IN THE RAIN AT MONTREAL? "First of all, NASCAR from an officiating point of view did a great job. You look at what happens in an average race when you've got a wreck or an inclement situation - you've got pending rain and the prospect of having rain stop and start - they've got a lot of experience with that. They know how to predict what's going to happen. Nobody in the tower there, that I'm aware of, had any experience from NASCAR's side dealing with a rain event like that. They made really great judgments. They worked through it. It would have been nice if they could have run the full measure of laps, but they got through it and called a great race. It was great that Ron Fellows won for the Canadian interest that was there, so it was not an unhappy result, even though we would have liked to have seen a Ford product prevail."
ANY SURPRISES? "It turned out to be a great tire that was extraordinarily durable. It went through the dry period without getting hurt and still had enough edge on it and enough groove in it that when the track got wetter again, they still worked pretty good. It was possible to run the number of laps that were run on one set of rain tires and that was my biggest surprise. I figured as much effort that was being made to dry the track before they put the rain tires on that the rain tires would last just a few laps and everybody would be in to put on either a second set of rain tires or dries. As it turned out, the tire was right for the circumstance and NASCAR made great decisions and the result was good."
WHAT IF IT RAINS AT WATKINS GLEN THIS WEEKEND? "The thing that was clear is that the drivers, for the most part, were lacking in confidence of how to deal with the rain. There were a lot of missteps just based on a lack of respect for the rain and the conditions that went with it. There were a number of cars that got caught up in things. Jacques Villeneuve, for one, got caught up in a wreck under caution, which surprised me. Joey Logano got caught up in a wreck under caution. It didn't surprise me with Joey because he's so young and inexperienced. Generally it surprised me on Jacques that he let himself get caught up in that. But the thing that was most glaring that puts me to work this week is something like Scott Pruett's car. It was a disaster because it steamed up on the inside. If your car steams up on the inside, you can't see out. Some people had windshield wipers and some people didn't. There were various strategies on that. I think a wiper generally is a good thing. It was a surprise to me that Carl's car didn't have a wiper on it, but if you had a wiper - as a for instance like Marcos Ambrose had - that at 50 miles an hour the wiper didn't touch the windshield anymore, that's also not right. The idea of configuring the car so that it performs as it needs to and the systems work adequately in the wet condition is something that requires attention that the teams don't have experience with. I'm saying my teams don't have it either and without having a baseline of having to run a race that says, 'Here's a system that works. We've used this system forever.' Without having that baseline in systems, there's great jeopardy of having a car that will let a driver down on a day when he could do his business otherwise."
DO YOU SEE RACING IN THE RAIN A CONTINUED POSSIBILITY OR WAS THIS A ONE- TIME EXPERIMENT THAT WILL END? "I don't think we'll see racing in the rain on oval tracks and I think we're pretty good at Sears Point for the time of year we're out there. It doesn't rain much out there. Watkins Glen is not likely to have rain, although it is a possibility. I think they'd rather wait a day at Watkins Glen than to go through it, but for what we had going on in Canada, where the race was, there wasn't the prospect of going back there and doing it over so a rain date was not a possibility as much as it would be at Watkins Glen or even Sears Point. So I don't think you'll see NASCAR with any enthusiasm looking forward to rain and I think by and large it will be a really dire circumstance when they'll run another rain race. They'll try not to, I believe."
-credit: ford racing