O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 Advance Kansas Speedway Practice for the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway kicked off today with an open test session that went from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Rookie Jon Wood is set to make...
O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 Advance
Practice for the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway kicked off today with an open test session that went from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Rookie Jon Wood is set to make his second start at Kansas Speedway after finishing second in the Winston West race in June, and veteran Terry Cook is hoping to build on the momentum of his fourth-place finish last week in Milwaukee. Both drivers commented on the track during the mandatory one-hour lunch break.
JON WOOD-50-Eldon Ford F-150
YOU RACED HERE IN JUNE. DOES THAT TRACK EXPERIENCE IN RACING CONDITIONS GIVE YOU AN ADVANTAGE?
"It should. I thought it would help me a little better than it has so far, but for some reason, we're just really, really loose. At a place like this I would rather be loose than tight. This is a track that if you're pushing the nose, you're going to have a bad day. We have a plan for some changes that we'll run in the second practice, and from what we know, it should help. I've got a good feel for the track and at least when I got here this morning it wasn't my first time seeing the place, but the trucks are a little bit different than the cars in terms of handling characteristics."
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CARS AND THE TRUCKS AT A 1.5-MILE TRACK LIKE THIS?
"A car feels like it's sucked to the track a little better than the trucks. I guess that's the downforce that these trucks don't have. That's basically the only difference that I've felt. The trucks don't have as much rear downforce as the cars and that's what I'm battling in terms of feel. It's just going to take some time to get used to the feel of the trucks, but it seems that we're getting closer with every practice session."
IS THIS TRACK SIMILAR TO ANY OTHERS THAT YOU'VE RACED ON BEFORE?
"I think it's a lot like Kentucky. I tested at Kentucky and it seems to be a lot like that."
IS THIS A PLACE THAT YOU CAN RACE TWO WIDE?
"It's going to be interesting going double file and three wide at this place. This is going to be my first speedway truck race, so this is a new experience. I don't think the outside groove will be very fast because it hasn't been worked in yet. There have only been two races here so far, and there's not a lot of rubber, so it's pretty much brand-new asphalt. I think it will be single file to start the race, but hopefully by the end we can get more rubber on the high side."
YOU WERE PASSED AT THE END OF THE WINSTON WEST RACE. DID YOU LEARN SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN USE THIS WEEKEND IF THAT SAME SITUATION PRESENTS ITSELF?
"No, I got passed in the Winston West race on a restart and that was because we had a different type of transmission than everybody else had. What we have just didn't seem to be working. I think we should be good here on restarts; we'll just have to wait to see what happens."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150
WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE TRACK?
"It's an extremely smooth track. I thought Las Vegas and a few of the other tracks that we've raced on were smooth, but this place is smoother than that. Whoever did the paving job here should be commended; it's absolutely perfect. The track, the facilities, the fan amenities, you can tell a lot of thought went into building this track. I see we even have a viewing area for the fans to watch the trucks as they go through technical inspection. There's no stone left unturned here. It's a beautiful facility."
ARE THERE TWO RACING GROOVES?
"We're working on it. I definitely think there will be two grooves come race time. Right now, I think there's one groove. Everybody is running the same groove and laying a lot of rubber down, but I think when it comes to Happy Hour and into the race, I definitely think there will be a second groove here. I definitely think you'll see two-wide racing around here without a problem."
THE 390-CFM CARBURETOR WAS MANDATED FOR THIS RACE, THE SAME ONE THAT WAS RUN AT TEXAS EARLIER THIS SEASON. COULD WE RUN THE LARGER CARBURETOR HERE?
"I think we could. In fact, the throttle response to these things is terrible, so keeping a lot of corner speed around here is the main thing. You have to be smooth with the Busch Series carburetor. If you get the thing bobbled up and you roll off the throttle, it takes a lot of recovery time to get back up to speed. The key here is to be smoother, faster with the smaller carburetor. What I've seen so far, I think we could come here with the larger carburetor and been OK."
YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE GOING TO USE FRANK KIMMEL'S NOTES FROM THE WINSTON WEST AND ARCA RACES TO HELP YOU THIS WEEKEND.
"They helped us quite a bit. Actually, the setup that is still in the truck right now is the setup that he won the Winston West race with. We're going to start adjusting on it here. We didn't get a lot of time on the track this morning. We were mainly trying to figure out gear ratios and where we're at with that setup."
IS THIS TRACK SIMILAR TO KENTUCKY?
"I think the only similarity that I've seen to Kentucky is from the airplane. Kentucky, to me, is quite a bit different from this facility here. At this facility you can really roll off the corner. There's really little braking, if any at all. You raise the throttle a little bit and then get right back on it. At Kentucky, you can't do that. You have to whoa it up down in Turns 1 and 2 and try to finesse it in Turns 3 and 4. You go uphill and climb the banking and the radius of corner doesn't start until real late in the corner, Turn 3 at Kentucky. Here, you're rolling through the corners, you're turning in and have a nice arc into corner. It's as smooth as Las Vegas, and from an aerial shot it looks like Kentucky, but other than that, it's it own beast."
MOST CRAFTSMAN TRUCK EVENTS ARE RUN IN ONE OR TWO DAYS. HOW LAID BACK ARE THESE TEST DAYS?
"Ron (Keselowski) and I were just talking, and we would prefer that the optional test days were four-hour tests rather than eight hours. Unfortunately with these test days, it's a good way to dial yourself out of the ballpark. You can have too much time on the track and start making changes that take you in the opposite direction, and all that does is confuse you. I think test days are important, but I don't know if you need eight hours. It is a lot more laid back and we don't have to rush through changes like we do because we have plenty of track time."