Coleman Pressley to tame, or be tamed by, Darlington on Friday night Nationwide Series driver making his first Darlington Raceway start CHINA GROVE, N.C. (May 3, 2010) -- Coleman Pressley has basically two options when it comes to making his ...
Coleman Pressley to tame, or be tamed by, Darlington on Friday night Nationwide Series driver making his first Darlington Raceway start
CHINA GROVE, N.C. (May 3, 2010) -- Coleman Pressley has basically two options when it comes to making his first-ever start at the historic track of Darlington Raceway for this Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race -- tame, or be tamed.
The 1.33-mile, egg-shaped oval doesn't have the moniker of "too tough to tame" for nothing. Many a driver, even some veterans, still struggle with how to race and win over the "Lady in Black" after several starts.
The 21-year old driver of the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports will get a baptism by firing up the unsponsored car this Friday. With a 2.5-hour practice session before qualifying, the young upstart will rely upon his dad, Robert Pressley, and crew chief Steve Plattenberger to shorten his learning curve.
But, the young Pressley has also been doing his own "R&D" to get ready for Darlington.
Fast Facts: This will be Pressley's first-ever start at Darlington, third of 2010 and eighth-career NNS green flag. In his prior starts at Bristol and Richmond this year, he had either a previous Late Model or NNS start to his credit.
Car Facts: The team will use Chassis No. 34 at Darlington. This was last raced at California Speedway in February. Since then, the car has gone through some geometrical changes to ready it for this weekend. The team is running a Chevrolet R07 engine for the second time this year; the first was Texas Motor Speedway.
OP Rankings: Having moved from 24th to 22nd in Owner's Points based off Pressley's 18th-place finish at Richmond last Friday, R3 Motorsports now trails 21st by just three points, 20th by 17 markers and 19th by just 25 points.
Noteworthy: R3 Motorsports has moved from 31st to 22nd in the Owner's Points standings through the last five races. After being out of the top-30 guaranteed position by 15 points heading into Nashville Superspeedway, the team has utilzed one top-15 and three top-20 finishes in their move upward. This single-car team has no Sprint Cup team affiliation, technology or resources, uses seven crew members working on the car before race day and has accomplished this all with no marketing partnerships.
The Plattenberger Plan: Each week, veteran crew chief Steve Plattenberger lays out a plan for the driver and team to follow. The success has been evident in the finishes and upswing in Owner's Points. This week, Plattenberger will have Pressley watch the first few laps of practice from a top the hauler. Then, he will ease him into the practice session so he can get used to the car, the engine and the track. During the race, the call will be for Pressley to learn as much as possible and keep up with the changing track conditions as the sun goes down.
Coleman Pressley Quotes: "Darlington; I'm finally going to race at Darlington. This is one of those tracks, as a driver, you look forward to racing on because of the challenges you face and the history of the place.
"I've watched my dad (Robert) race there and he has been giving me all kinds of advice on how to get around there. If I can get comfortable with the car and the track, I don't see any reason why we can't be successful. We have good cars at R3 Motorsports, so that always helps.
"My job is to hit my marks, pay attention to how the car reacts to changing track conditions and keep out of harm's way. I've been doing my own research on getting around Darlington by using the online simulator of iRacing. That's probably one of the best resources that is most like the real on-track action."
-source: r3 motorsports