CHINA GROVE, N.C. (November 8, 2010) - For the second-last NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the year, Coleman Pressley will once again drive the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports at Phoenix International Raceway.
To date, the 22-year old third-generation NASCAR driver has made four previous NNS starts with R3 and two with another team. This, however, will be his first start at the one-mile oval of PIR with its flat turns and tricky layout.
In addition to another start with the team, R3 Motorsports is also utilizing this race to showcase Pressley for potential 2011 marketing partners the team has been in discussion with recently. That, and it will add one more track of experience for the young drivers growing resume.
Fast Facts: This will be Pressley's 12th start of his NNS career, seventh of the season and fourth with R3 Motorsports. During that span, he's completed 1,298 of 1,374 laps contested for a 94.5 percent completion rate. His best start was ninth at Kentucky Speedway and finish of 12th at Nashville Superspeedway.
Track Facts: This will be Pressley's first start at the one-mile, fairly-flat PIR oval. Not to fear, though, as he made his first start at the tricky track of Darlington Raceway earlier this year and earned a respectable 15th-place finish. To prepare for this race, he's doing what most young drivers do with so much modern technology readily available - he's logging laps on his simulator. By noon on Monday, he was past the 1200-lap mark and going for more with friend and fellow driver Joey Logano advising and racing against him on his own simulator.
Car Facts: Steve Plattenberger and team are rolling out chassis No. 37 for this weekend's race. This car has been a workhorse for R3 Motorsports this year being used in four previous events. While the track will be new to Pressley, this car won't be as he raced it at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. The car was also raced by Robert Richardson, Jr. at ORP, where he finished 15th, and at Bristol, again, in August and Auto Club Speedway in October.
Did you know? If you think track position isn't important at PIR, consider this fact. Of the 17 NNS races run at PIR, 14 have been won from the top-five starting positions. Nobody has won from sixth to 10th and the slowest qualifier to make it to Victory Lane was from 20th place.
Coleman Pressley Quotes
Getting back in the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports again:
"Yes, this has been a really great opportunity for me this year and the team is great to work with, too. Their quality equipment and preparation for the race are what makes it so comfortable for me to work with all of them. We're hoping for a good run at Phoenix. I know we've all been talking with different people about getting on board in regards to sponsorship for next year, so that's even more of a reason to have a good outing at Phoenix."
Speaking of, how do you prepare for a track you've never raced on before:
"Well, I just got this really cool Gorilla Customs simulator for IRacing so I can race on all types of tracks. Joey Logano has the same type of system and we race each other quite a bit, it gets pretty comical at times. I saw his and I just had to have one, so I got one.
"For the Phoenix race, I've spent a lot of time trying to get everything I could out of it so I can learn the track's tendencies of where to lift, when to brake and how to get into and out of the turns. It amazes me how close they come to when you actually get on the tracks. Yes, I know it's not the real thing and I'm still going to have to work hard in both practice sessions and the race to be good. But, at least I have a better idea of what to expect when I get there."