Nazareth tough to the uninitiated By Brett Borden NAZARETH, Pa. (July 14, 2000) It's an oval. No, it's a road course. It's an oval. No, it's a road course. It's tough to pin a label on Nazareth Speedway. Like it's NASCAR Winston Cup Series ...
Nazareth tough to the uninitiated
By Brett Borden
NAZARETH, Pa. (July 14, 2000) It's an oval. No, it's a road course. It's an oval. No, it's a road course.
It's tough to pin a label on Nazareth Speedway. Like it's NASCAR Winston Cup Series sister an hour to the north (Pocono Raceway), Nazareth is unexplainable to the uninitiated. Just ask the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers who took to her for the first time Friday in Bud Pole Qualifying for Saturday's Chevy Silverado 200.
"Everyone told me that this track was just like a road course, but it just doesn't seem like that to me," said Carlos Contreras, who will start 16th in the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge. "It seems more like an oval track that is really hard to drive. There are three very distinct corners that are all hard to set the truck up for and I have been having a hard time because when I get the truck good in Turn 1, then it is not as good in Turn 3."
Contreras wasn't the only Dodge driver making his debut at Nazareth. Scott Riggs shares Contreras' inexperience and confusion, if not his speed (or lack thereof).
"I feel like I'm still driving around here trying to figure out the racetrack and find the line that makes the truck faster," said Riggs, who will start sixth in the No. 86 Royal Crown Cola Dodge.
Perhaps the puzzling nature of this track is best exemplified by the performance of the hottest rookie, though. Kurt Busch, winner of the last two series events, will start 15th on Saturday.
"We're really off," said Busch, driver of the No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford. "It's tough going to what is a new racetrack to me each week. This one is really quite a bit different so we've got quite a bit of work to do. This track really requires finesse to get around quickly. I'm used to just going out there and jumping on the gas and you can't do that around here."
The veterans know that. Just don't ask them to describe what kind of track it is.