Loudon: Pontiac Racing - Compton, Ince

Old setups should rule at "New" New Hampshire DETROIT, Mich., July 16, 2002 - New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) may have a new look at both ends of the racetrack, but according to a couple of Pontiac Racing's key players, it won't take...

Old setups should rule at "New" New Hampshire

DETROIT, Mich., July 16, 2002 - New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) may have a new look at both ends of the racetrack, but according to a couple of Pontiac Racing's key players, it won't take new setups to be successful there this weekend.

The Winston Cup Series last visited New Hampshire in July 2001, but since then the track surface was expanded by 12 feet in all four turns. The new 92-foot wide configuration in the corners was designed to allow for the development of a second racing groove, but whether that will require a new setup under the race car is open for debate.

Driver Stacy Compton and crew chief James Ince both participated in the Grand National event at NHIS in May and both say that past setup notes should work just fine throughout this weekend's Winston Cup affair.

Thoughts From Stacy Compton, No. 14 Conseco Pontiac Grand Prix:

IS NEW HAMPSHIRE A NEW RACETRACK NOW WITH THE CHANGES THAT WERE MADE IN THE CORNERS?

"It's a new-looking racetrack. No, I don't think it's a new racetrack. There is a little more room on the bottom, but you can't get any bite down there. You end up running in the same place that we've run in the past. There is just no bite down there. You can drive down there, but you just can't get up off the corner. What you find is that you end up running where we did before. The outside line is now the old groove and you end up running right where you did before, other than you get into the corner a little bit lower. It's just as hard, if not harder, to pass now than it was before.

"Don't get me wrong - they've done a good job and they're trying really hard. But, it's a typical flat track. Traditionally, track position means everything on a flat track and I don't think it's going to be any different up there."

IS NEW HAMPSHIRE A GOOD BREAK FROM THE AERO GAME?

"I think so. I think you still fight some aero at New Hampshire and I wish NASCAR could find some way to take the aero out of the equation. It's so frustrating when everything we do is aero. Chassis are thrown out the window, springs are thrown out the window and, in some cases, drivers are thrown out the window. It takes the racing out of racing. But, everybody is in the same boat."

Thoughts From James Ince, Crew Chief, No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac Grand Prix:

IS NEW HAMPSHIRE A NEW RACETRACK NOW WITH THE CHANGES THAT WERE MADE IN THE CORNERS?

"It appeared people were better and I guess it looked a little easier to pass, but as a crew chief I couldn't tell that they did anything. The drivers all ranted and raved after the Busch race about how nice it was, but I just couldn't see much of a difference

"In any case, Loudon is a place that I enjoy going to. It's a challenging racetrack, but we've got a really good setup there.

"We like the place a whole lot, and any added opportunity to pass there is a good thing. Essentially, what I saw was that they made the apron to where it's got grip on it to where you can actually run down on the apron.

"For us, we're very much looking forward to going up there and glad we're taking Jerry Nadeau with us as our driver. We don't have a ton of experience with Jerry, but we do have some and now we get to take him to a racetrack where this race team is very strong."

WILL THE NEW CONFIGURATION CHANGE YOUR SETUP MUCH?

"I don't think so. With the Busch car we ran basically the same setup that we've always run there and felt really good about it. I don't think it's going to change a whole lot of anything for anybody. Now, I do know that they went back and did some repaving a couple weeks ago because they had some trouble. Anytime you've got new pavement it throws a curve at you. But, that is a really fundamental racetrack. You go there and if you do the right things to your race car, you can run well. Anytime we go somewhere that it's not an aero situation and you're back to springs and shocks, we feel like our chances go up substantially.

"We work really hard week in and week out to make these things drive good. This is a place that gets back to short-track racing, which is what we're accustomed to. We like going to flat racetracks. When you go to a flat racetrack, it definitely equals out the aero side of things."

-pontiac-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jerry Nadeau , Stacy Compton