Â· Carlos Contreras, driver of the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, makes his debut at Martinsville Speedway for Saturday's NAPA 250. The two-time Mustang Cup Champion is accustomed to flat track racing, but is...
· Carlos Contreras, driver of the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, makes his debut at Martinsville Speedway for Saturday's NAPA 250. The two-time Mustang Cup Champion is accustomed to flat track racing, but is still learning how to race trucks. "There is a difference with the weight of the vehicle and there is not much contact with your competitors. In the truck series there is a lot of contact, especially on the shorter tracks."
· Crew chief Doug George is concerned about brake wear this weekend and with good reason. The track configuration finds many drivers working the brake pedal overtime and this is the team's first visit to the famed .526-mile oval. "I am concerned about consumption of the brakes this weekend," noted George. "With the long straight-aways, it is going to be tough for Carlos to slow the truck down. I noticed in the last race (Mesa Marin's .500-mile oval), Carlos was driving into the corners pretty deep. He is used to flat road courses with tight corners, so we should be o.k."
· Communication between Carlos and the Hot Wheels team has improved. In Daytona, it was difficult as Carlos tried to relay his thoughts on the truck and the handling problems. Now, with four races under their belt, the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge team is finding what works and more importantly, what means what. "When the truck was too loose, Carlos would tell his crew that the truck was nervous," remembered George. "Now, we know how to get the truck ready and find out the best setup for Carlos. We want to give him the right race truck for this little track this weekend."