GLADEVILLE, Tenn. – Some observations Friday from Nashville Superspeedway, site of the Nashville 300 this weekend:
Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards leads the points standings but says his Ford is at a disadvantage, power-wise.
"I do feel like some of these tracks that we go to that we’re a little bit down on power," Edwards said. "But we’re still operating with an engine that’s a much older design. I feel like we’re at a disadvantage now. Our 60 team’s still leading the points and we can still compete. We’ve got to work on other areas of our cars harder. Once we get the new engine, if it is indeed as good as I think it is, I think it will make us better. We do need some more engine."
Penske Racing’s Justin Allgaier met a woman at Nashville last year whose house was struck by the tornadoes that touched down in Murfreesboro, Tenn., not far from the track. It gave him some perspective, he said.
"I think it was either her son or son-in-law who called her and said, ‘You may want to come home. All your clothes are spread out all over the front yard, and the garage is completely gone and half the house is gone,’" Allgaier said. "I can remember the lady sitting there saying, ‘Well, I’m kinda busy. Just pick up whatever you can find and put in a box.’
"I can remember thinking, ‘Wow. Here we are enjoying doing what we’re doing.’ We were all kind of laughing here in the media center, and here’s somebody who has that kind of a story. It really put it in perspective for me. It was a tough race last year. We didn’t run very well anyway, so that made it worse."
Roush Fenway’s Paul Menard says the new Goodyear tire has his No. 98 team confused.
"It seems like the tire is not rubbering up the race track," Menard said. "It’s hard to know what the track’s going to do tomorrow because the rubber’s not being laid down. We’re kind of guessing ourselves to see what we need to do today to help it tomorrow."
Means Racing’s Tim Schendel crashed in practice on Friday and had to qualify the repaired race car that still had scrapes on the driver’s side. He missed the race.
Robert Richardson Jr. is on his second race car and third engine this weekend. He crashed his primary car on his second lap in practice, and that car had a new R07 engine. The backup had an SB2 engine that has different mounts than the R07, so the newer engine couldn’t be used. If that wasn’t enough, the first SB2 engine needed to be replaced.
Officials from Road America attended the Nashville race to get an idea on how NASCAR runs a standalone event. Road America hosts its first Nationwide Series race on June 19.