SRT Motorsports – Dodge Sprint Cup Series Keys for Success – Phoenix 2
by Official Release On Sat, Nov. 10, 2012
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Phoenix International Raceway
Keys For Success
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KEYS FOR SUCCESS: ADVOCARE 500
AVONDALE, Ariz. (Saturday, Nov. 10) – Each race weekend, selected SRT Motorsports engineers, Penske Racing engineers and crew chiefs, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering, provides the keys for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.
Track: Phoenix International Raceway (Race 35 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)
Race: Advocare 500 (312 laps / 312.00 miles – 500 kilometers)
Trivia Question: This driver won back-to-back poles at Phoenix in 2003 and 2004 driving a Dodge for Penske Racing. Who is he? (Answer Below)
HOWARD COMSTOCK (SRT Motorsports Engineering)
The Track: “The grip levels are certainly different and the drivers have more confidence in the track this year. I’d say that being able to be confident in the track has put the teams in a little different mindset. You have to be careful but last year there were a lot of people that were really nervous about how it was going to end up. When we finally ran the race, the race wasn’t quite as treacherous as we thought it may have been. By the time we race tomorrow it’s going to be the same ol’ Phoenix that we always see. We struggle getting up to the race but once we get in the race it’s the same ol’ Phoenix and I think one of the keys is you’ve got to have the mindset that it is the same ol’ Phoenix which means track position and watch your fuel economy.
“The track is slippery. It’s sat here in the heat all summer and it tends to be dusty here. It takes time to work itself in. If you try to hustle faster than what it’s able to give you’re going to end up with trouble and we’ve seen that. The guys that have had trouble were trying to hustle a car too much for the conditions at that moment. If you look back at first practice I think that’s why you saw Brad (Keselowski) back mid-pack for time, I think that’s why you saw Jimmie (Johnson) mid-pack for time. Those two drivers are on a different agenda. It’s not about the speed. It’s about the endurance.”
Run the Race Backwards: “As I’ve said before I believe races like this you have to run backwards. Start at the end of the race, get to the last available time to pit for fuel and work the race continually backward from there to whatever point that you’re at.”
Expect A Lot of Green Flag Racing: “You don’t get to Sprint Cup by crashing and bashing. These guys are professionals. They are some of the best drivers in the world. I think they know how to run close without running into people. The track is tricky enough that when people start to press later in the race I think there’s certainly a chance for late cautions. If I was going to lay out the race I would plan on early green flag runs and later caution flag runs.”
Trivia Question Answer: Ryan Newman, who backed up his strong qualifying runs with a third-place finish in 2003 and second-place in 2004.