Rich Bickle Michigan Preview

HARRISBURG, NC (August 16, 1999) When Rich Bickle and the 10-10-345 Pontiac visited Michigan Speedway this past June, the team qualified 41st and finished 24th in...

HARRISBURG, NC (August 16, 1999) When Rich Bickle and the 10-10-345 Pontiac visited Michigan Speedway this past June, the team qualified 41st and finished 24th in the Kmart 400. Heading into Sundays Pepsi 400 at the 2-mile Michigan tri-oval, Bickle is looking for much better results. "So much has happened to our team since the first Michigan race," said Bickle. "The biggest thing is we went to the wind tunnel twice, once for a private test in Canada, and the other at General Motors. Those tests really helped our program, especially on the speedways. We had been having trouble figuring out the aerodynamic packages of our Pontiacs and those tests showed us where to look. That one factor alone has really helped our speedway program." According to the 38-year-old Edgerton, WI driver, another factor in the improvement of his 10-10-345 Pontiac has come from behind the scenes where his Tyler Jet Motorsports crew has burned the midnight oil getting his cars ready. "I'm not sure theres a harder working team in NASCAR Winston Cup racing," stated Bickle. "James Ince came in as our new crewchief and really took the bull by the horns. The guys at the shop have been putting in a tremendous amount of work and our cars have shown it. We had a Top-10 car at Watkins Glen last week only to get off course and get stuck in the sand trap. That cost us a couple of laps and put us well down in the running order at the finish (36th). I know we're going to have another great car at Michigan. Our bad luck of running well and not getting the finish we earned can't last forever." As for the Michigan track, it presents a number of challenges according to Bickle. "Michigan is a fast, fast place," said Bickle. "The spring race there was run without a caution and at an average speed of nearly 174 miles per hour. That's gettin' after it. Michigan is a momentum track. Its big, wide and like I said, fast. There usually aren't many cautions, so you really have to have your car dialed in from the drop of the green flag. There aren't many opportunities to come in and pit to make adjustments, so preparation is a real key. I'm sure our Tyler Jet bunch will be ready." The Pepsi 400 at Michigan Speedway will open with practice and qualifying on Friday, August 20. The Sunday, August 22 race will take the green flag at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) and will be telecast live on ESPN.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle