Talladega: GM Racing preview

TEAM CHEVY SILVERADO ON THE TRACK: Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado Program Manager, NCTS: "This week our teams will be switching gears to the nuances of the superspeedway racing. Several of our teams have been in the wind tunnel fine ...

TEAM CHEVY SILVERADO ON THE TRACK: Dayne Pierantoni, GM Racing Silverado Program Manager, NCTS: "This week our teams will be switching gears to the nuances of the superspeedway racing. Several of our teams have been in the wind tunnel fine tuning their Silverados as they accommodate the addition of a right side window and a larger rear spoiler which are required at both Daytona and Talladega. On the chassis side they will be trying to optimize a chassis setup which prioritizes speed over handling and grip. There is an unbelievable amount of effort that goes into preparing the trucks for the superspeedway events. Some put a high priority on their qualifying setup while others concentrate primarily on race trim. As we have seen in the past, the best qualifiers aren't always the best trucks throughout the race.

"Each of the Talladega truck races has been truly spectacular. You can count on a large pack drafting together with constant shuffling between the lanes and many lead changes. I am sure that no one will be disappointed, the races are always exciting at Talladega!"

* In an intense NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) championship battle, Team Chevy Silverado has three drivers in the top-10 point standings


RON HORNADAY, NO. 33 CAMPING WORLD SILVERADO: "Racing at Talladega is a lot like racing at Daytona. Daytona is more of a handling track so the driver has to drive the truck a little more there than at Talladega. Talladega is really smooth now with the new asphalt surface they put down a few years ago. I am looking forward to Talladega. We've run good there the past two races and finished in the top 10 both times. We have a new truck that Rick Ren and the guys have built and I have had really good runs this year in new trucks, so maybe that will hold true this week."

JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 2 AMERICAN COMMERCIAL LINES SILVERADO: "Talladega is more of a horsepower race track. Daytona really requires more of a set-up and is more sensitive to handling issues. At Talladega it really is all about horsepower and staying out of the wrecks. At these superspeedways you are at the mercy of those around you. Ron [Hornaday] and I have always worked well together. If we can make it work so that our trucks work well together and we can safely reach each other we will work together. Having a teammate is always an advantage at a drafting track like Talladega. I think restrictor plate racing lends itself to the older, veteran drivers because honestly it takes a while to figure out this type of racing. None of us grew up racing at any track of this caliber on our late model circuits so we have all had to learn. It takes some getting used to running in the draft and figuring out how to maneuver a truck through the air stream. Until recently most of the veteran 'over-40' crowd has had the best equipment on the track in the Truck Series. I think the key to winning at places like Talladega and Daytona is a combination of experience, discipline and good equipment. The veteran drivers in this series have had that and I think as a result they have been the ones in victory lane at the end of the day."

MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 MENARDS SILVERADO: "At tracks like Daytona and Talladega, so much of it is good fortune, pure and simple. To me, success there defies any particular reason, whether you're a veteran or a younger guy. If you have a truck that is good enough to finish in the top-10, you have a great chance to win the race....it doesn't have to be among the best few trucks out there. If you're running in the top--10 with as few as three laps to go at Talladega, you've got a great shot. It's all about getting the right break at the right time. But you can't be too patient and just ride around in the back and expect to make a late-race run to win. You have to be smart thru the whole, wild race, but at the same time you have to race your heart out from the green flag to the checkered. Last year at Talladega, I had a good truck, and stayed in the top-5 most of the day. We were running in the top-5 with a few laps to go, but someone hit me in the tri-oval and it ruined what could've been a great day. That's just the way it goes...you try not to make any mistakes, but sometimes you're a victim of someone else's mistake out there. But to win at Daytona or Talladega, so much of it just comes down to good fortune."

CHAD MCCUMBEE, NO. 8 MALCOLMSON CONSTRUCTION SILVERADO: "Talladega is somewhere you always look forward to but never know what you may get. We have had four 11th place finishes in the last four races and that has really helped us reel in on that top 10. If we can get though Talladega and Martinsville without any problems, hopefully we can get on into that top 10. Our Malcolmson Construction Chevy was really strong in Daytona and I feel that we will have another strong truck in Talladega. Anything can and will happen there so maybe we will be on the good side of that and wind up in victory lane."

LANDON CASSILL, NO. 81 NATIONAL GUARD SILVERADO: "It's always a pleasure to race with my guys on the 81 truck. The team has been around for a long time, and has a lot of credibility, and I owe a lot of my recent success in the Nationwide Series to these guys for helping me out. We've got the National Guard on board, and I think it's a perfect combination for my first race at Talladega. I think racing at Daytona and Talladega for any young driver is a really neat thing, and a dream come true, so naturally this is a race that I've been looking forward to running there all year. I learned a lot in Daytona this winter about drafting, but I also learned even more about drafting at some of the truck races that I've ran this year at fast tracks. It's going to take a lot of focus to catch on to the drafting techniques on race weekend, but I think the seat time and experience that I'll get from the ARCA race will be able to transfer right over to the truck. I really think my Randy Moss Motorsports truck is capable of winning at any track I go to, but I think the most important thing for me to do is keep the truck in one piece all day. I need to learn as much as I can about drafting, and then maybe go for a few extra positions in the end. I know I've got great equipment under me, and I think if I drive a smooth race we should easily be in the top ten, or even better."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Truck