FAST FACTS: Stacy Compton - NAPA Auto Parts 500 * ANTICIPATIONÂ --Â Â When Kurt Busch spun late in the race at Texas Motor Speedway to bring out the caution, trap Stacy Compton two laps down and ruin crew chief Mike Hillman's short-pit...
FAST FACTS: Stacy Compton - NAPA Auto Parts 500
* ANTICIPATION -- When Kurt Busch spun late in the race at Texas Motor Speedway to bring out the caution, trap Stacy Compton two laps down and ruin crew chief Mike Hillman's short-pit strategy -- Compton started counting the days until California. Team Conseco's intermediate Pontiac is the best downforce car in A.J. Foyt stable and Compton is anxious to get behind the wheel to earn the "should have been" top-10 he was gunning for at TMS.
* "Wheel-Watcher" Weekend -- Television personality Vanna White will join the Team Conseco crew as Honorary Crew Chief for the Sunday running of the NAPA Auto Parts 500. White spent a morning in the garage with Stacy and Vickie Compton, filming creative segments for "NASCAR Week on the Wheel" when the Winston Cup Series visited Las Vegas, and accepted Compton's offer to host White and her seven-year old son Nikko at California Speedway.
* GIMME FIVE!! -- Team Conseco has enjoyed a pair of top-10 qualifications in the last three races, posting 6th-place starts in Texas and Talladega to go with a pair of top-20s in Bristol (14th) and Martinsville (16th). Compton's quest for that elusive top-5 start was denied by Bill Elliott's cool-weather run to the pole in the Texas session, and Robby Gordon's outside pole lap at the end of the day in Talladega.
ACCORDING TO COMPTON: Downforce, Horsepower (and plenty of it)
On California -- "It's smooth and fast with lots of room to race. The keys to success are downforce, horsepower -- and plenty of it. Thankfully, the car we're bringing here is the same one we ran at Texas -- and it's the best car we have in the shop. It's a big, wide track; however, what a lot of people don't realize is that we're driving in a corner for more time than we're driving straight. It's how well we get in and out of Turns 1 & 2 that determines how much speed we'll carry down the backstretch, sweeping into Turns 3 & 4 then down that long, curved frontstretch where it can get pretty exciting. It's so smooth and wide, I've seen guys run four and five wide to make the pass going into Turn 1 again."
ACCORDING TO HILLMAN: California Dreamin' (in Talladega?)
Consider the Corner Turned -- "I starting thinking about California while I was walking down pit road in Talladega, with that No. 14 sitting fifth on the board at the time. This team has struggled quite a bit on downforce tracks and Superspeedways, and we knew we'd turned a corner on our aero package with the run at Texas. To come to Talladega and qualify that well (6th) with a car that hadn't been tested was really a boost for this team and a reward to all the guys that have been working extra hours over the past two months to get this program turned around. It shouldn't be a surprise anymore when we run well -- this is a solid team that's getting even better every week."