Talladega: Stacy Compton preview

Fast Facts: Stacy Compton Aaron's 499 * Let's Eat ... After suffering through a bout with food poisoning during the Martinsville weekend, Stacy Compton is finally back to the dinner table. Compton had the diet of a 2nd-grader with the flu ...

Fast Facts:
Stacy Compton
Aaron's 499

* Let's Eat ... After suffering through a bout with food poisoning during the Martinsville weekend, Stacy Compton is finally back to the dinner table. Compton had the diet of a 2nd-grader with the flu early in the week -- bread, bananas and rice; but started back on more solid fare Tuesday in preparation for Talladega's famous pork chops this weekend.

* It LOOKS Fast ... Mike Hillman's "aerodynamic restructuring" will be put to the ultimate test this weekend as A.J. Foyt's Pontiac returns to a Superspeedway for the first time since Daytona. Hillman re-engineered just about every aspect of Team Conseco's Talladega entry -- relying on input from every member of the team. It's the first Superspeedway car built under Hillman's watch, and his first Pontiac -- constructed without the aid of testing or wind-tunnel time.

* Fond Memories ... Both Compton and Hillman have fond memories of Talladega 2001, albeit from the Dodge and Ford camps, respectively. For Compton, it's a return to the site of his Bud Pole sweep and the second best finish of his Winston Cup career -- 11th in the fall event. Ironically, Hillman's entry finished just behind Compton, 12th, after qualifying 16th in the October race.

* Every Little Bit Counts ... When tire wear forced Compton to the tail end of the lead pack just over 100 laps from the finish on Sunday, Mike Hillman's choice to keep his driver on the track to lead a circuit under caution paid dividends in the points standings on Monday. Team Conseco picked up an additional position in the points standings in Martinsville, edging Kyle Petty for 33rd-place (-2) on the strength of the 5 bonus points.

ACCORDING TO COMPTON ~ Like It? -- I Love It!

The Right Place at the Right Time ... "There's no secret as to what it takes for a good run at Talladega. You've got to have a good body on the car and a good engine under the hood. If you can check those items off the list, then you've just got to pick the right place to be at the end (hopefully near the front), pick the line that's moving and miss the big wreck. Last year we did just that. We were running in the top-15 all day and in 6th or 7th when the big wreck happened right off my rear quarter-panel, and we came home 11th."

ACCORDING TO HILLMAN ~ We'll Know When We Get There

The Basics ... "Historically, the Superspeedway program here has been a big hurdle. The only way I knew how to handle going to Talladega was to take what information we could from Speedweeks in Daytona and go back to the basics. Everyone here had input on the design of this car, with the goal being to build a car that's as round as possible and will punch a smaller hole in the air. This is my first time building a Pontiac for a Superspeedway and Stacy's second time driving one -- so we took what we learned from other makes and applied those lessons. Talladega is a place where we'll only get about 3 or 4 good runs before we have to qualify the car. If the air likes it, we're in business."

THE COMPTON FILES

First Winston Cup Start:  Martinsville (1996) ~ Started 9th Finished
33rd Last Race:  Martinsville ~ Started 16th Finished 18th Best Start:
Pole (2) ~ Talladega Sweep 2001 Best Finish:  10th ~ Daytona 500 (2001)

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Petty , Stacy Compton , A.J. Foyt