This Week in Ford Racing August 17, 2004 NASCAR Busch Series Robert Pressley, driver of the No. 47 Ford Taurus, is a 10-time Busch Series winner looking to find his way back into Victory Lane. Pressley, who won a series-best five races in...
This Week in Ford Racing
August 17, 2004
NASCAR Busch Series
Robert Pressley, driver of the No. 47 Ford Taurus, is a 10-time Busch Series winner looking to find his way back into Victory Lane. Pressley, who won a series-best five races in 1992 and finished third in the 1993 Busch Series final point standings, spoke about returning to Michigan International Speedway, a venue where he won a Craftsman Truck Series race in 2002.
ROBERT PRESSLEY -47-Clorox Ford Taurus
IS YOUR CURRENT SITUATION WITH ST MOTORSPORTS THE MOST STABLE ENVIRONMENT YOU'VE BEEN IN RECENT YEARS?
"Back when I was with Jasper we had five pretty secure years there with sponsors and I was fortunate enough with Bobby Hamilton's truck deal to have a secure sponsor, but what I'm excited about is to be back in the Busch Series with somebody like Tad Geschickter as an owner. With Stacy (Compton) being a teammate and the security of the sponsorship, because nobody works them the way Tad does, I'm excited about the future, the big picture. I feel we've got the right people in place now and we're starting to see progress on the track. This is a new team this year and we're still building it and fine-tuning the pieces."
YOU ARE TEAMED WITH A NASCAR VETERAN IN STACY COMPTON. HOW HAS THAT RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPED OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR?
"I think that's what's going to make our two-car team more successful than others is that we share every bit of information we get. If one car is better than the other we go right to it and ask what they are doing. When we're practicing at the track, we're both going to do race runs and we're going to look at the monitor and whichever car is running the best you can bet the other team will be there asking questions. In the past, the thing was I had a rookie teammate so there was nothing that I could learn. Now I have somebody like Stacy who has been in the Busch Series for a couple of years and has been through what I call 'the new generation of the Busch Series' with the cars getting more aerodynamic from what we used to be. I've go so much feedback to work with this year having a teammate - we're going to be competitors - but it's a two-car team and one total team effort."
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE NOTICEABLE CHANGES WHEN YOU RETURNED THE BUSCH SERIES THIS YEAR?
"Years ago, the Busch Series you went out there and you had drivers that had to everything. They had to know what made everything work from being able to build their first race car to winning their first race, to driving their own hauler to the race track and having a crew chief that you depended on doing all of the work. Now I see in the series where you still have a little bit of the hands-on driver and you still have a driver-crew chief relationship with a little bit of technical help, but in Cup today you have a driver and he has a lot of input from engineers and chassis and shock specialists that have taken all of the mechanics out of the driver's hands, so now you don't want a driver who is as handson. You want a driver to drive the car and let the engineers and specialists make the decisions."
THERE ARE 13 NEXTEL CUP COMPETITORS ENTERED IN THE BUSCH RACE AT MICHIGAN THIS WEEKEND. DOES THAT MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR THE BUSCH SERIES TO BUILD ITS OWN IDENTITY?
"I don't think so. I still go back to 1991 and '92, what got me into Winston Cup racing was being able to win 10 Busch races racing against the Cup guys. I feel like out of the 10 races I won, seven of them were companion events where I raced Earnhardt, Waltrip, Mark Martin, Sterling Marlin and Ernie Irvan. I think that was a springboard for me. You get somebody like Mark (Martin) coming back, it's just going to step everybody up one more level, and I think guys like Casey Mears, if you're going to win in Cup you better be able to win in Busch against these guys first."
DO YOU EVER SEE YOURSELF RETURNING TO THE NEXTEL CUP SERIES?
"There is probably no way that I would ever go back Cup racing. If I was to go Cup racing, it would maybe to do a limited schedule, five to 10 races. The truck series, getting back there, it really helped me a whole lot knowing there is a difference between competing and winning. It gives you the urge to want to win again. You get in NEXTEL Cup and if you're not with a fully funded team that's not capable of winning races, then you just take what you've got and make the best out of it every week. That's not fun when you're racing for a 10th-place finish on a weekly basis. You get back in a competitive situation like the truck series, I knew I was capable of winning any week that I went out, and I'm looking at it the same way right here with the Clorox, Ford, and Robert Yates power."
THE RACES AT MICHIGAN HAVE A TENDENCY TO HAVE LONG GREEN-FLAG STRETCHES. DO YOU FORESEE ANY PROBLEMS WITH LONG GREEN-FLAG RUNS?
"Everybody is talking about this new tire, but one thing that I've seen, and it's kind of thrown us off this year, is that this tire is actually faster than the old tire, but it gives up after two or three laps. And then after it gives up, it really never wears out. It's a different scenario than what we've ever seen. Most of the times, tires that give up early go ahead and wear out. These tires aren't wearing out, but they're giving up and they're still faster than the older tires. Fuel mileage may come into play this weekend as well, but with Robert Yates power and fuel mileage, we're not concerned with that."