|Drew Blickensderfer, left, and David Ragan during practice at Kansas Speedway |
in October. (Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
“Our plan this week is to visit the new track surface and see where we stand compared to the old Daytona. We’ll basically shake down the car we plan on running in the Daytona 500 and try to get some overall speed, as well as work out some things for qualifying and when it comes to the race.”
What does the restrictor plate change mean?
“The restrictor plate change takes about 30 horsepower away from us, which will probably lead to more side-by-side and tight packs when it comes time to race.”
Did you learn anything from the tire test back in December that you can apply to this test?
“We learned a little bit, but we were cut short. There were some things we found during the first day that we were going to do the second day, but didn’t have the car to do it with. So we came out of the test with a handful of ideas that we will put into our car and try this time.”
Does the new track surface or new nose make much of a difference?
“Yes and yes, they both are quite a bit different than what we had in the past. Daytona was one of the most abrasive tracks we went to the last few years and now, being one of the smoothest, is quite a big change in setup and what you do to prepare for the race. The new nose is something everyone has to deal with. For a team like ours who started to run well at the end of the year it’s a change we’ll have to grasp quickly. It creates a little different balance and as with something new there will be things that come up and we’ll just have to adapt quickly and be ready for them.”
What’s your goal for the 2011 season?
“Our goal is to contend for a Chase spot, win a couple poles and win a race, or be in contention for race wins. We need to build on what we had going the last part of the year. We made some additions to the team that should help and we made some changes to the car over the off season which will hopefully give us more speed.”
What’s your favorite restaurant in Daytona?
“Deck Down Under.”
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