Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011
Dodge Motorsports PR Good Sam Club 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Keys for Success: Good Sam Club 500
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 22, 2011) – Each race weekend, selected Dodge Motorsports engineers, Penske Racing crew chiefs, engineers, drivers or engine specialists give their insight on the ‘Keys for Success’ for the upcoming race. This week, the green flag drops at Talladega Superspeedway and the Good Sam Club 500.
Track: Talladega Superspeedway (Race 32 of 36 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)
Race: Good Sam Club 500
Track Length: 2.66-mile (188 laps/500 miles)
Trivia Question: (Answer below) What Dodge driver set a closed course speed record of 200.447 mph, becoming the first stock car driver to officially exceed the 200 mph mark.
HOWARD COMSTOCK (Dodge Motorsports Engineering)
Handling the Pressure: “With NASCAR’s change in the restrictor plate and water relief valve, the more significant of the two is the water relief valve. Teams have been able to tolerate higher engine temperatures by having more pressure in the cooling system of the car. It’s like a pressure cooker; you can cook in a pressure cooker with higher pressure. They’re doing the same thing with the engine. You can tolerate higher temperatures as long as you pressurize the system and keep the water in the engine. Now that NASCAR has lowered that pop-off pressure, teams have to be more careful. Where teams use to run 50 pounds of pressure in the cooling system in order to keep the water in, now we’re down to 30 pounds of pressure. The temperature goes up, pressure goes up, NASCAR’s pop-off value opens and we lose water. Once you lose water you’re going to have problems. Of the two changes that NASCAR has made, lowering the threshold of the pressure relief valve is more significant. Drivers are really going to have to be careful.”
No Worry on Tires: “We haven’t seen tire issues at Talladega in a long, long time. The tire used here has been dependable. We’ve never seen a condition to cause a tire to cut down like it did yesterday on the 18 car. I don’t think the teams are worried about tires at all. When we make pit stops, it’s going to be about getting the car full of fuel, not how many tires you put on it.”
Answer to trivia question: Buddy Baker made a lap of 200.447 mph in 1970.