Indy Raceway Park
HERRING COMING OFF SOLID RUN IN NASHVILLE: Drew Herring is trying to make the most of his time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and is trying to make the most of his time with Joe Gibbs Racing. Last weekend, Herring made his second start of the season for JGR, coming at Nashville Superspeedway. Herring qualified 17thand fell a lap down early due to a tire problem, but that wouldn’t stop him and the No. 18 Sport Clips team. Herring got back on the lead lap and raced his way from 22nd to seventh before the checkers flew, notching his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series top-10 finish. In two races with JGR this season, Herring has made starts in both the No. 18 and the No. 20 JGR Toyotas. His stats have been impressive, as he has started from the pole (in Iowa), led 39 total laps and recorded finishes of seventh (Nashville) and 12th (Iowa). His seventh-place finish at Nashville last weekend helped the No. 18 JGR team to extend their points lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship to 28 points over the No. 32 of Turner Motorsports.
DREW BACK IN THE NO. 20 & BACK WITH SPOTTING “COACH”: After spending last weekend in the No. 18 JGR Toyota and helping that team maintain its points lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s standings, Drew will return to the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. It will mark the third race of the year that Herring will work with Crew Chief Adam Stevens and the entire No. 20 JGR team. Herring will also once again have Mark Robertson serving as his spotter for the weekend. Robertson, who works as Joey Logano’s regular spotter in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, has been spotting for Drew during his two Nationwide starts with JGR. Robertson has also served as a sort-of “coach” during Drew’s two races, helping the youngster on getting his line better and realizing when to push the car and when to save his equipment around other cars on the track.
A TOTALLY NEW TRACK FOR DREW: Nashville Superspeedway was a track that Herring had briefly tested at years ago. Iowa Speedway was one of the few tracks on the Nationwide Series schedule that Herring had raced at in 2010. Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis will be a whole new experience for Drew. The youngster has never seen the 0.686-mile oval other than on TV and YouTube clips. And Herring doesn’t do much with video game simulators like iRacing or NASCAR The Game. So Herring’s first laps on the flat short track will be his first time ever seeing one of the most famous short tracks in the country.
CHASSIS: The JGR team will take chassis #20124 to Indianapolis this weekend. The car has run only one other event this year, coming at Charlotte back in May with Joey Logano, where it finished 11th. Chassis #20127 will serve as the team’s backup.
“After last weekend, I’m ready to get right back in the car and get at it in Indy. Nashville was a great experience for me and a major learning experience. We had an awesome car and that made the whole weekend so enjoyable. And the more time I’ve got to spend with Adam (Stevens) and the rest of the guys on the No. 20 team, the more we are gelling and the more we are learning each other. I’m learning the best way to describe the car to Adam and he is learning the way I describe things. Getting to work with this whole team, and this whole organization, has been a great experience through these first two races. This is a first-class organization here. I was just telling someone the other day that everyone you meet here at Joe Gibbs Racing, and I mean everyone right down to the people who answer phones, are just amazing people and get along with everyone. This is such a great opportunity for me and I’m getting to work with so many good people and so many great companies like Sport Clips. I’m just excited to get to run another race this weekend.
“I’ve never been to Lucas Oil Raceway. The most I’ve seen of it would be watching the Nationwide Series races there on TV. But it’s a short track and that is what so many of us grew up racing, so I’m not too worried about it. I’ll spend some practice out there just getting used to the place, but once we do, I’ll be right back in the swing of things and we’ll focus on getting this No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota fast for the race. We had a strong car in Iowa on the short track there and I think we’ll be equally as good this weekend. It will be a little nicer this weekend too to not have the points to worry about like we did last weekend in Nashville driving the No. 18. This weekend, we want to go out there and run up front and be in contention at the end. If we can keep our nose clean and be there at the end, it will be a good day.”
"There will be something about this weekend that Drew and I share and that is that neither of us have ever been to Lucas Oil Raceway before. We will both come into the day feeling like we will be learning a lot. But it will be fine. Drew is a great driver and we’ve got great equipment and notes to go off of, so it won’t be bad at all. My biggest thing will be trying to figure out what track to compare it too. Maybe there will be something from Martinsville, from Iowa and from a few other of the short tracks we’ve been to that I can use to give me some ideas that will put us ahead of the game.
“I know one thing about any of the short track races that we go to and that is you can throw all the aero stuff out the window for the weekend. Races like this are all about handling and tire management. The one-day show is nice too, but it makes for a long day with the way the schedule is laid out. And pit road can always be a factor, because it is cramped for space. Like any short track too, whether it is here, Iowa, Bristol or anywhere else, there are always multiple opportunities to get caught in someone else’s problem, so having a good day on pit road and having good track position will be a big part of the weekend.”
By: joe gibbs racing