Chad Chaffin Discusses Atlanta experience and Speed. Experience Helps: "I really like Atlanta. It is a really fast track. It's probably one of the fastest tracks we go to as far as unrestricted motors. I think I get around there pretty good or...
Chad Chaffin Discusses Atlanta experience and Speed.
Experience Helps: "I really like Atlanta. It is a really fast track. It's probably one of the fastest tracks we go to as far as unrestricted motors. I think I get around there pretty good or so I have in the past. Some of my better Busch Series runs have been in Atlanta.
"So I think having raced there before will be a little bit of an advantage for me. Obviously the guys like Bobby (Hamilton), Ted Musgrave and Mike Skinner have raced there a bunch in Nextel Cup, so they'll have an even bigger advantage with the experience level. But looking back the tracks that I raced on in the Busch Series, like Darlington, Dover, Bristol and Charlotte, we had top-10 finishes at all those places last year. I am expecting that somewhere throughout the race in Atlanta, the guys who have raced there at least two or three times, will be better than those who have never raced there. So I will use the knowledge I have from racing there in a Busch car to run well. I'm really thinking we can pull out a top-five finish. I know that some of the other manufacturers tested there and that will help them. Even though Dodge didn't test there this year, Bobby and I tested last year before Homestead in the old trucks. I think we are real familiar with the track, so it will be just getting our trucks dialed in."
Speed: "I think it is incredibly fast to race in Atlanta in a Busch Series car, but not really for a Craftsman Truck. However it's really fast in qualifying trim, much more so than the race. So it is a hairy place to qualify at, but once they drop the green flag the tires give up a little bit within four or five laps and you lose a little bit of time. Atlanta is a very wide track. The groove really widens out when they drop the green flag, which makes for better racing. Then 20 laps into the run you will find yourself looking for more speed to run wide open. If you are in anything, Cup, Busch, Truck, ARCA, whatever it is you can literally run around Atlanta wide open if everything is right. It's not that bad to race on, but is probably a little too fast in qualifying trim."
* The truck Chad is racing is called Scarface. Chaffin's owner Bobby Hamilton raced this truck last year in Homestead and won the event.J
* Chaffin will be appearing and signing autographs on Thursday from 10 am -- 12 pm at J&R Clothing in Newnan, GA. He will also be at another location of J&R Clothing the very same day from 2 pm- 3pm in Fayetteville, GA.
* Chaffin is scheduled to appear at the Speedway Children's Charity event hosted by Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Tara Building from 6:30-7:30pm on Friday night.
Same Chassis Starting in Atlanta: "It's going to be a big advantage to have the same bodies and same thing under the truck as Bobby's does this year. The ones I raced last year were raced and won by Robert Pressley, which got torn down and rebuilt at the end of the year. Bobby had some new trucks made last year because Bill (Lester) got the rest of the fleet. So we all had trucks that some of the bodies were put on as much as a year apart in time. As our trucks evolved they kept getting better and better as all race teams do. Then what happened is we had trucks with certain aerodynamic characteristics, different chassis or front clips than the others in the shop. The crew chiefs had different philosophies as well. So we would go to a track and Bobby would have one set up, we would have another, and we couldn't help each other. As much as Bobby and I wanted to help each other we really couldn't because our trucks weren't alike. This year Bobby decided, and I am all in favor of, that we are going to run all the bodies very close.
"Even as they develop new trucks, we're going to base it off the other proven trucks. Then we are going to let the same people set them up, so it cuts back on everyone having their own little way to do things. Then it will come down more to strategy, racing luck and which driver might have got his feel in the truck better. I can sum that up in one word, consistency. It is the key."