* Lime Rock Park Ready To Host Series' 15th Annual Road Course Race * Patience, "Race The Track" Veterans Say Keys To Success * From the Driver's Seat: 'Short Track Racing on a Road Course' DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2007) -- The NASCAR Grand...
* Lime Rock Park Ready To Host Series' 15th Annual Road Course Race
* Patience, "Race The Track" Veterans Say Keys To Success
* From the Driver's Seat: 'Short Track Racing on a Road Course'
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2007) -- The NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series makes its only road course appearance at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., this week with the Mohegan Sun NASCAR Busch East 200 Saturday, August 18.
This year's edition of the 82 lap, 200 kilometer (125.45 miles) event marks the 15th annual appearance by the series at the 1.53-mile course.
Theoretically, a road-course race, especially a long-running event on the schedule, would favor series veterans. After all, more than a dozen rookies will be seeing the place for the first time this Saturday.
"I'm hoping it gives the veterans some advantage," 2005 event winner Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Chevrolet) said. "We'd like to go in there and pull off another win.
"Lime Rock is a real fun track. It's a real tight, narrow road course that I've adapted to well. We've had good success there. Experience, I'd say, definitely helps because it has some idiosyncrasies to it that you learn the more you run it."
Kobylucks' advice to a first-timer at the track?
"Patience," Kobyluck said. "You want to try to go a little faster every lap rather than trying to go too fast on the first lap. You'll end up going off the course and into a tire barrier somewhere and your day will be done. Just race the track. It has the ability to take you out of it just because you get too racy too soon."
Andy Santerre is one of the most successful drivers in series history. He has four consecutive championships as a driver (2002-2005), 21 wins and 15 poles. His best Lime Rock finish as a driver was third twice. As owner of Andy Santerre Motorsports with his wife, Sue, their driver, Sean Caisse (No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet) has a best finish of fifth last year.
Santerre said of his different roles at the track -- driver, owner, or crew chief -- his Lime Rock experience was "toughest as a driver, definitely.
"It's a real narrow course, but NASCAR full-bodied stock cars put on a heck of a show there. It's short-track racing on a road course."
Caisse has similar observations from behind the wheel of Santerre's car.
"Lime Rock is a pretty cool place," Caisse said "It's one of the toughest road courses in the country It's really exciting.
"I learned a lot last year. We picked up about a half-second between the beginning of the race and the end. A lot can happen there, though."
In last year's event, Ruben Pardo (No. 22 Family Dollar/Super Cuts Dodge) became the first driver from Mexico to win in NASCAR touring competition. Pardo is entered in the event, and he's set a mighty goal that fellow countryman Rogelio Lopez (No. 03 Telmex/Lucas Oil Chevrolet) would like to equal. Lopez scored the first win by a Mexico citizen on a short track NASCAR touring event at Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tenn., July 22.
"Most of the time we used to race-road courses in Mexico, so I'm pretty confident on them," Lopez said. "The crew has put together a brand new car for Lime Rock, so all we'll have to do is shake it down."
In addition, German Quiroga (No. 21 Raintree Vacation/Aqua Pure/telcel Chevrolet), the current points leader in the NASCAR Mexico Series, is entered in the event.
Most intriguing to observe at Lime Rock will be series standings leader, rookie Joey Logano (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet). Logano won on a superspeedway (Phoenix in a NASCAR West Series event last spring) in his first NASCAR superspeedway start; on a short track (Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., in his first NASCAR Busch East Series start); and was a contender to win his first road-course start in a NASCAR West Series event at Infineon Raceway in California this summer until he encountered a blown engine. The 17 year old seems to adapt quickly to any track type.
"We didn't test at Infineon and we didn't test at Lime Rock," Logano said. "We tested once at Virginia International Raceway (road course in Danville, Va.). We should have won at Infineon. It took five or six laps and we pretty much had the hang of it by then. I'm looking forward to a good finish at Lime Rock for sure."
NEWS & NOTES
The race ... This event is the 10th of 13 races for the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series in 2007. It is the only road-course event for the series this season. It is the 15th annual appearance at Lime Rock, dating back to 1993.
The track ... Lime Rock Park hosts a variety of sports car events for several sanctioning bodies. The track is located in the northeastern corner of Connecticut, boarded by Massachusetts and New York.
Competing for Showdown spot ... NASCAR Busch East Series drivers only have four events left to secure a spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown by winning a race. Only Grand National race winners and champions of the NASCAR Developmental Series will be locked in to the field. All others must race their way in. The rich and prestigious all-star event is scheduled for October 20 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.
What: Mohegan Sun 200
NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Race #10
Where: Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn.
When: 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18
Track layout: 1.53-mile Road Course.
Distance: 82 Laps, 125.46 miles.
Posted Awards: $151,417
TV: HDNet, Live 12:30 p.m. EDT. (Enhanced replay, SPEED, Noon, Aug. 29, 2007)
2006 winner: Ruben Pardo.
2006 polesitter: Matt Kobyluck
Pre-race schedule: Friday -- Practice, 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 1:15-2:15 p.m. Qualifying, 4:45 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.