Columbus, Ohio (Pre Race) - This weekend the Pro Stock Truck class will travel to Columbus Ohio for the 36th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing. May within the class consider National Trail Raceway to be one of the...
Columbus, Ohio (Pre Race) - This weekend the Pro Stock Truck class will travel to Columbus Ohio for the 36th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing. May within the class consider National Trail Raceway to be one of the trickier racetracks to negotiate. The heat, humidity and intermittent rain combine for a slick surface that is difficult to traverse. "The track in Columbus we will have a lot of heat and high track temperature," said Todd Patterson, driver of the Dodge Motorsports Dakota. "The high outside temperature will cause the racetrack to hold a lot of heat. That will make the surface very slick and greasy. It will take a pretty savvy tuner to get down the track. This kind of greasy, slick racetrack will separate the men from the boys on race day. I think this weekend it will not necessarily be the fastest guys that will win, but the crew and driver that can figure on the racetrack will end up on top on race day." "The only good thing about racing in Columbus," said Brian Self, driver of the Roof-Tec Chevy S-10, "is that it will give us a head start on St. Louis. The next two races are going to be just alike. Both of these track, Columbus and St. Louis are going to be hot and greasy. They are calling for rain this weekend in Ohio, which will only add to the slick condition of the track. Not to mention what it will do to the pit area. Heck, this could turn out to be the first annual Columbus Mud-bogs." This race also marks the halfway point on the Pro Stock Truck schedule. This will be the seventh of fourteen races on the regular schedule. As the Winston points chase heats up, some drivers are developing a strategy for the rest of the season, while for others it is business as usual. "We have a strategy," said Mike Coughlin, driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10, "and that is, no strategy. This is a tough class, with a lot of tough competitors. Some times it is a feat to just qualify. For the rest of the season we will take it one race at a time. Track by track. We will try and do the best we can at every race, and tally up the points at the end." "You have to race every race like it was the first race of the season," said Self. "Of coarse, you can't ignore the points. The way it looks Number 1 and Number 2 are pretty much decided. It is going to be Randy and Bob, but they will have to fight it out between each other for who gets what. The real points race is going to be for third. Right now I am in the fourth position. I can catch Greg if I keep doing what I'm doing. That is qualifying and going a couple rounds on Sunday. It is going to be consistency that will keep us in the point hunt."
Rob Slavinski, driver of the Castrol Super Clean Chevrolet S-10, calls Columbus his second home. "I looking forward to racing in Columbus," said Slavinski. "This will be my first race in Columbus as a professional. I will have a lot of sportsman races that I came up through the ranks with and a lot of friends at this race. "My main goal coming into this race is to qualify. We qualified for the first four races, and have DNQ'ed at the last three. We are concentrating all our efforts into qualifying. After Chicago we spent some time testing in St. Louis with Jerry Haas. Jerry has helped us a great deal with our chassis. We had some mechanical gremlins that we couldn't find. I believe that Jerry has helped us straighten out our mechanical problems, and now we just want to qualify. If you don't qualify, you can't play on Sunday. I want to play on Sunday"
Qualifying at the 36th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals begins on Friday June 16 and continues on Saturday June 17. Eliminations will take place on Sunday June 18, at 11:00AM EST.