ENGINEERING TALK "And now for something completely different. The road race at Watkins Glen is truly a unique challenge for the teams and drivers alike. Handling is trumped by tire management that is trumped by fuel economy. It takes a...
"And now for something completely different. The road race at Watkins Glen is truly a unique challenge for the teams and drivers alike. Handling is trumped by tire management that is trumped by fuel economy. It takes a perfect race to get the win at Watkins Glen and that's why a win here is so coveted. Safety improvements made to the track this year after the huge crashes (at Watkins Glen) last year will go a long way in giving teams and drivers the confidence to be able to concentrate only on the race"
Howard Comstock, Dodge Motorsports Engineering
"I still think that I can improve on the road course. Right now, the way that the game has changed, everybody is really competitive on road courses. You have to be on your game. You have to show up and make sure that you don't lose a lot of points. It just seems like the fuel mileage is such a big, big issue when you get to the road courses. You race the races from backwards to front on when you have to pit for the final time. You stretch your fuel for as long as you can go and that's what we have to work on this time around."
Kurt Busch, No. 2 Miller Lite Vortex Dodge Charger
"Most of the time you go to the road courses and you think you are going slower and the corner speeds are slower, so it should be safer. A lot of times, the tracks don't get those types of wrecks and they don't think something like getting bounced off the tire wall and back onto track could happen. It happened twice last year and it was unfortunate that we were beside Kasey (Kahne) when he got loose and bounced us into the tire wall and back into traffic. It just shows how safe these cars are and Watkins Glen did a lot of work since then to move those walls back and make things safer. At tracks where you only race once a year, like road courses, it's hard to think of all the scenarios that might happen, but it's good that they try to make things better when they do."
"In NASCAR, there's no such thing as a 'throw away' race, especially with the 10-point bonus for winning races as we approach the championship chase. The guys in the top 12 are definitely looking to win at Watkins Glen because those 10 points could mean everything in the world in the end. Most of the drivers are in better shape and more focused on road courses because every race counts. The 'road course ringers' who come over are having a hard time finishing in the top-10 now. It just goes to show how important it is to everybody to run well at a road course."
Sam Hornish Jr. No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
"Watkins Glen is more of a true road course as opposed to Infineon Raceway, which races more like a street course. The key difference is speed. At Watkins Glen there are more high-speed corners, where Infineon has slower corners that are more stop and go."
Travis Geisler, crew chief, No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
-source: dodge motorsports