“Waiting Out The Storm” September 6, 2008Posted by claireblang in 2008 Season, NASCAR, Trackside, Transcripts.
Tags: claire b lang, jeff grodon, Richmond International Raceway, transcript, XM Radio
Claire B. Blog
Richmond Hotel Room —– Saturday August 6, 2008
When I left you – I was on the air in the XM Chevy Mobile Broadcast Unit last night in pouring rain and because of the high winds and wet conditions with 7 minutes left in the broadcast we lost the broadcast line. Everyone moves fast into emergency mode when that happens. I was on the microphone with a crowd of listeners at the unit and NASCAR’s VP of Corporate Communication Jim Hunter in the hot seat – engineer Robert Morrison was in the co pilots chair engineering the broadcast – when bam the broadcast went down. I grabbed for the cell phone and finished the broadcast during the “White Flag Lap” with listeners lined up on the phone from across the country. It was crazy. The topic that callers wanted to talk about most was Joey Logano not being in the show.
Logano did not make it in the show due to rain and I promised an update. Officials of Hall of Fame Racing, a JGR ally, have already announced Logano would run that team’s No. 96 Toyota next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Here’s something I thought you’d be interested in a transcript of what Jeff Gordon said yesterday in the media center after being fastest in practice.
Jeff Gordon – currently 10th in points and right on the verge of getting that spot and clinching a position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been the topic of conversation on my show from listener call ins lately.
Race fans are interested to watch his progress week to week. Last night I went over to the Outback near my hotel for dinner and at the bar there amongst the race team guys the discussion was about Gordon and whether he’ll click in through the rest of the season as a real contender in the chase. He’s got two wins here at Richmond, 12 top 5s, 19 top 10s, he’s sat on the pole five times. There’s some interesting things to digest in what he said to media yesterday in the media center – so I’m passing along a transcript.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT / NICORETTE IMPALA SS (Reporters Interview Transcript)
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, it’s been a great track for us even here recently. There was a couple years ago when we struggled at this track, and a lot of it was with the brakes. We seem to have resolved that, and it’s got us back on track and back just being one of our best tracks.
Looking forward to it. Obviously we were pretty quick in practice, so not thrilled about this rain that’s on its way because I would have liked to have qualified. I think we could be better than 10th, where the points will put us, and just looking forward to tomorrow night or Sunday afternoon or whatever it may be.
I know weather is going to be a big issue this weekend, but we did what we needed to do in California and we’re thrilled about it, came here with a game plan, and it’s been paying off so far.
Q. This place has not always been an easy place for you, been kind of an anxious place. Looking at this thing, because every year you come here there’s some people hanging on or people trying to get in, could it be that this race has come down to where maybe there’s more drama here because this is the last chance to get in than maybe there is in any given race in the Chase itself? Is there more drama and focus and electricity right here than if you take any given race except for maybe Homestead itself?
JEFF GORDON: Well, I think, you know, in the Chase it just all depends on how the points are being played out. I think the Chase is still fairly new, and so we’ve seen some serious drama. I think it was the first year of the Chase when we had Kurt Busch, whatever year that was, Kurt Busch, when we had three of us going for it down to the last lap in Homestead. That was pretty dramatic.
This race is dramatic. It’s just about story lines, as you guys know. It’s important to make it into the Chase. It didn’t matter if it was 10 or now 12; there’s always going to be a tight battle of who’s going to be in and who’s going to be out, so it’s a good story line. But I still don’t think it stacks up to the story line of going for the championship. You know, I think that that to me is a lot more dramatic. There’s a lot more excitement that is potentially there for the championship.
But this race is an important race. I mean, a lot of us, I think, have been thinking about this race for a while, especially the guys that haven’t been locked in, knowing that this is a big race for us. And then you’ve got the guys trying to stay in the top 35. That race has really heated up and is a good story, and then you’ve got Kyle, Carl and Jimmie who have really been the guys to beat here recently that are trying to get those coveted bonus points and the momentum going into the Chase.
To me there’s a lot of good story lines here, and maybe that’s what makes this a great race, all the stories.
Q. The one thing you’ve really battled this year is consistency. You’ve had some weeks where you’ve run really well and some weeks where you haven’t run well. Assuming you make it into the Chase, what’s your personal forecast for — do you think you’ll have something for them, as they say?
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, you know, you’re right. It has been inconsistent for us this year. You hear drivers talk a lot about it. If you were in our debriefs and our meetings, you would hear me talk more about it probably than anybody. The inconsistency isn’t just with our performance, it’s with these bump stops that we have to run on. I can’t stand them, and trying to get them figured out is just near impossible.
Some have done a better job with it. Maybe it suits come guys’ driving styles better, but it’s one of the things that challenging us.
And especially this year — you can go off last year and say you were good at this track and this track and this track. Yeah, that’s true, but if we went back there with the same old setups, we wouldn’t be as competitive just because teams have gotten better and we’ve learned more about how we set these cars up.
Then you add in the mile-and-a-halfs, and it’s a whole ‘nother challenge. That’s the biggest inconsistency that we’ve had is whether we’re on the left front bump stops, right front bump stops, front bumps upright, both bump stops, the timing of the bump stops, we’ve just had one heck of a time trying to get the front of the car to be consistent in and through the corner at a lot of tracks. And when you see us running good, it’s usually because we’ve got those close and it allows me to do what I need to do.
You know, that’s — when I say we have a game plan, you know, we learned some things — we’re learning things every week. Ironic thing, last
Jimmie got a full day in, and it rained on Tuesday and we didn’t get any testing in, and those guys took some of that information that they learned, took it to California. Obviously that worked really well for them. We didn’t have the chance to test, so we didn’t want to race it.
That’s how close this stuff can be. Every week you can learn something and find something that can work the next week or a couple weeks down the road.
So I was very happy with today because I feel like we’re really starting to get some things figured out, and I hate that it’s coming this late in the season because we’ve had some missed opportunities, but all that matters to me at this point with the type of year that we’re having is that we’re making gains.
Q. Given what you experienced last year, finishing third, fourth every race in the Chase and not being able to make up ground on Jimmie because he was winning, does that lead you to think that whoever wins it all this year is going to have to win multiple races in the Chase, and if so, does that narrow the field of serious contenders?
JEFF GORDON: Again, that’s the thing that I think is exciting about the Chase is you just never know. I mean, a guy can go — Kyle Busch can go to New Hampshire and Kansas and crash both races, and all of a sudden this thing is wide open. Or somebody hits on something and starts a streak that they haven’t had before. I mean, we saw last year with Clint Bowyer, goes and wins the first race, and nobody expected that.
So there’s too many unpredictable circumstances. I think you can look at the teams that you think are going to be the ones to beat. I just think one of these years with the Chase format, somebody is going to be a surprise. You’re going to have guys with momentum, you’re going to have guys with an incredible record like those three I mentioned, and might not even be a factor because of whatever, bad luck, whatever it may be.
So I’m not saying that’s going to be the case; who knows. All you guys are going to be in the media center and that’s why we’re going to be out there racing is to find out. I do think this year with Kyle’s performance of getting all those bonus points, I think that that gives him a huge advantage going into the Chase over — not so much over Carl, but a little bit over Jimmie and then a tremendous amount over all the guys that have maybe one or two wins. And it’s going to make it much tougher for those guys — as good as the 18 is running, it’s going to make it tougher for those guys like myself to make up that ground. We need them to have some tough luck and we’ve got to get on a roll now, which we haven’t been able to do over 26 races or 25 so far. But we’re still optimistic.
Q. You touched upon the importance of the one-and-a-half-mile tracks. Are they really the make it or break it in the Chase, and can you talk a little bit about your team’s struggles to get your arms around the one-and-a-half-mile tracks?
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, there’s quite a few of them in the — yeah, because there’s so many they’re obviously very important. I still think even looking at our performance last year, it — I mean, what Jimmie did last year was pretty extraordinary, to win the number of races that he did. But to me he could have won that many races. Had Charlotte been a little bit worse for him — they had a tough run at Charlotte and spun. He kind of brushed the wall. But that could have been a much worse finish, and that might have taken him out. To me it’s about not having the big problem more so than going and winning four or five races.
So I think that while the mile-and-a-halfs are very important performance-wise, it’s how you come out of Talladega and the short tracks unscathed that I think can win you the championship.
Q. Talk about your team trying to get your arms around the one-and-a-half-mile setup
JEFF GORDON: Yeah, again, it just goes back to — at the mile-and-a-halfs aerodynamics obviously play a much bigger role than the short tracks, so you want to maximize the aerodynamics. But we’re also dealing with the mechanical grip. These bump stops that we all talk about, they allow us to get the car at the — basically get the car where we want it on the racetrack, but then it takes all the mechanical grip away from it. So we’re trying to get our hands around that. You’ve got hard stops, soft stops, stops that come in sooner, stops that come in later, you’ve got a stop with a spring. There’s just a million different scenarios, and some guys are making it work, some guys aren’t.
I think all of us are constantly trying to gain the edge when it comes to that. I’m not so sure, there might be some guys out there that aren’t on stops at all that might be making it work. Those are the things that we’re up against.
Q. You keep talking about the overwhelming disadvantage of the bonus points. Now, I don’t really get that. I mean, I know that 80 points seems like a lot, but it’s basically 15 positions. Well, that’s tough in one race, but 15 positions in ten races, and then you say, well, the way they’re running, but of the last ten races they’ve won seven of them, and you add Jimmie in, they’ve won nine of the last ten races. If they keep doing like that, then it wouldn’t matter if you were 80 points ahead. It just seems to me to compare the 680 that you’re behind right now that 80 points over ten races is not a crushing blow because you’re going to have to pick up your performance anyway.
JEFF GORDON: You’re absolutely right, we’ve got to pick up our performance. I didn’t say it’s impossible, I just said it makes it tougher. I think that going into anything behind those teams that are already performing well, have earned those bonus points, and they’ve earned the right to them. You know, it just makes it an even bigger uphill battle.
Let’s say we go into the Chase and we run consistent sixth, seventh place every single weekend, and those guys finish tenth and we outrun them with their average finish, those bonus points are going to make a big difference.
I just think that we’re capable of being very consistent in the Chase. We haven’t proved this year that we can go out and lead a lot of laps and win races. I hope for that and I know we’ve got to improve our performance to even compete with those guys. But I do think that we are capable of being consistent when this Chase starts and stepping up our game, and in order to beat those guys, as good as they’ve been, as well as the bonus points, we’ve got to step it up to a whole ‘nother level that we certainly haven’t shown all year long. And while I’m optimistic, I’ll be shocked if we are even able to do that. That’s all I was saying.
Q. I think you’ve been saying since just about the first test of the Car of Tomorrow at Bristol, you were pleading saying NASCAR needs to work with us on this thing and work with us and let us get it where we can drive it, and now you’ve got people like Chad Knaus saying that it’s rapidly becoming a spec series; we’ve been doing some fan samplings that are just absolutely beside themselves, upset with the Car of Tomorrow. Do you think natural law is going to make it — is NASCAR eventually going to have to work with you guys so everybody can get the cars drivable for you?
JEFF GORDON: You’ve got to ask them about that. I don’t have an answer for that. I’m just a dumb driver, go in, put my helmet on, get behind the wheel and drive the race car. That’s what I’ve been told and that’s what I’m living by (laughter).
Q. Weather permitting, it looks like Joey Logano could get his first start this weekend. What was your emotional state before your first race, heading into your first race, and secondly, what do you think of the scrutiny that’s been put on this kid going into the first race?
JEFF GORDON: Well, I think he’s tremendous. I think it’s great for the sport. He’s very talented obviously, and he was running good today. So I know that they don’t want to see this rain. I think any time a young talent comes into the sport, it’s good in every way.
I think the one thing, you can have all the talent in the world, you can have a tremendous amount of experience getting to this level. The one thing you cannot be prepared for is when you’ve got that much hype and that much focus on you coming in, of the demands on your time, the cameras in your face, the autographs, the fan base; all those things are not things that you can train for.
So that’s — it didn’t happen to me immediately. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody with as much attention coming into this series as Joey, so obviously he’s got a lot on his shoulders. He seems to have lived up to all of it so far.
But I do know, once you get to the Cup level, that’s what changes is that you start — there’s just so many factors. And for me, back in 1992 when I ran my first race, I felt like the whole world was watching me, even though they weren’t. I felt like I was under a microscope, even though I wasn’t to the extent that I — it was excruciating for me.
I was excited to be out there and get that opportunity. I wanted to do well. I questioned do I have what it takes to be at this level, to compete at the top in this series. So there’s just a lot of unknowns. He seems to have a lot of confidence, and that’s certainly good. But I’m more anxious to see — and certainly Joe Gibbs and J.D. are great at being able to offer advice and recognize those things and be able to help him through those things that I’m talking about, which to me is what the challenges are going to be. I think he’s going to do a great job in the race car. It’s how is he going to handle all the other things on top of it, especially with all the attention from the media that he’s getting. That’s when you really find out what you’re made of.
And that’s when scheduling and having good people around you helping you get through the PR aspect of it, the monetary side of it, you start making a lot of money that you aren’t used to, all those things that start to weigh on your decision-making and your focus of being able to get out in the car and go do your job.
Q. You hear drivers talk about how I wasn’t ready to win a championship those early years of a career. Jimmie said it before, too. Is Kyle Busch ready to win one, and why?
JEFF GORDON: Well, I will say this: I think Carl is more ready than Kyle. I think Kyle has — he has the ability to go really hard, really fast, and he’s made big improvements in my opinion this year over last year. Last year when he drove for us, there wasn’t a single practice that they didn’t have to knock out the right side on the car. This year it seems to be like every fifth race that happens.
So he’s still doing it a little bit, which isn’t a bad thing he’s pushing that hard; that’s why he runs fast and they’ve won a bunch of races so he’s gotten more comfortable. He’s close. He’s as good as anybody out there right now. I’d certainly put him at the top or in the top three or four guys in my opinion of who really has a shot this championship or the best shot at it.
But I would put Carl ahead of him as far as being ready experience-wise, and I’d put Jimmie ahead of both of those guys with just his experience of winning the last two.
Q. And one more thing: Do you still think the Chase is harder to win than winning the title under the old format?
JEFF GORDON: I do. I think that right now I think Kyle would have a lock on this thing. I think there’s a very good chance he’s not going to win this championship just because of the Chase format. In my opinion it really comes down, except for those bonus points, it really comes down to ten races, those specific ten races.
I guess maybe it’s more for me. I feel like I focused so hard for so many years that, okay, you had to be good at a short track, at a superspeedway, at a road course, at the mile-and-a-halfs, and we didn’t have as many mile-and-a-halfs, but that was my goal. I looked at the guys who won championships and they were good everywhere and they were great at some places. So that’s what I focused on was trying to be good everywhere that I possibly could.
And now I don’t think it’s — now it’s you’d better be good at those ten races, and you’ve got to get yourself into the Chase so your team has got to be solid. But to be on your game for those specific ten races, not have any problems, there’s just a lot of factors in there, and to win it I think is very, very challenging. That’s why I respect it and why I want one really bad.
You know, maybe it being easier or harder is not the right terminology for it. Certainly you can’t compare history of the old championship versus the new one.
Q. Do you think with so much focus being spent on the last ten races, if you’re up there running for the championship like you and Jimmie were last year, do you think we’re going to see a trend sort of like we did this year where those guys running for the top spots are going to remain focused where everybody else kind of has the leeway to focus on getting ready for next year? Do you think that’s something we’re going to see as years go past with the Chase, or is that something with the development of the new car that was a fluke?
JEFF GORDON: I think any time you introduce a new car, I think you maybe are going to see more of that. But I think it’s always going to be the case — I think anybody that doesn’t make the Chase, their goal is get ready for next year. That doesn’t mean that they throw away those last ten races. They might hit on some things and really think outside the box that works where they win a race or a couple races, who knows.
But I think that for us, I know when we didn’t make the Chase, that was definitely our goal was we use these ten — you can’t find a better testing session than those final ten races. You know, next year if we’re able to go to more tracks like they’re saying with the possible testing schedule, then those ten races as a test are still important but maybe not as important because we can actually go to the racetracks now.
JEFF GORDON: Well, I mean, I think the strong teams are the strong teams, and they’re going to always be the guys to beat year in and year out. I think that what can happen is as a team — if you’ve got a teammate that’s outside the Chase or let’s say you get into the Chase a little bit and they’re outside the chance of winning the championship, then any of those thoughts that have been going through the crew chiefs’ and the engineers’ minds of things that they really want to try.
Just like today, we came here with a setup that we put it in our simulation on our computer, we put it on the seven post. All these things. Okay, we got it. We come here, and in the first 45 minutes we couldn’t get the heights worked out, the speed wasn’t there, and we had to abandon it. We had two hours to figure that out, get us ready to race, and then have to make sure we can qualify with it.
If you are trying to make the Chase or trying to win a championship, you can’t afford to do that. And that’s the advantage. If you’re outside of it, you can spend this whole two hours working on something if you want and then take it into the race and play with it for the whole race. You really in some ways have nothing to lose, unless it’s a sponsor situation where you’ve got a sponsor that’s bearing down on you or you’re in the final year of a contract and need to renegotiate or whatever, then you’d better get out there and shine. So all those factors play into it.
Q. At the risk of being overly simplistic and realizing that all sportswriters know just enough to be dangerous, isn’t it true that if you’re having a season like you did in ’98 or like you did last year where after 24 races you were 507 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, it’s a lot harder to win the championship under this format, but if you don’t have any wins or you’re Clint Bowyer, it’s easier to win the championship? So as far as whether it’s harder to win, it depends on where you are, because many people — the reason it’s harder for the guy at the top is many more people are thrown into the mix.
JEFF GORDON: Here’s what I say: I think it’s harder to win it, but I think more people have an opportunity to win it, which is, I think, what you were saying. That’s what I’ve always felt like the Chase — you know, the excitement about the Chase is that if you’re not having a great year — let’s say your first half of the year is not very good, but you really start to get into your rhythm in the second half. Then the Chase is phenomenal for you because now you’ve gotten the opportunity to win the championship, where in the past you would have never had the opportunity. You were gone. You were too far behind.
There’s certainly plenty of pluses with the Chase. You know, I think you’ve got 12 guys that can win it, you’ve got people that haven’t had a great first half that can win it, you’ve got a lot of different factors that play out. You’ve closed the gap, so if one guy had a big lead, the guy in second, third or fourth, now, they’ve got a shot to win it. I mean, those are all big pluses of the Chase and why I support the Chase even though I won my championships under the old format and maybe would have, could have, should have had a couple more if we were still under the old format.
But I still am a big supporter of it because I think it’s the best show for the fans. I think it’s fantastic for the competitors all the way around I think it’s a good format for our sport.
But I still think that to win it, it’s seriously challenging because of those final ten races. Maybe I’m just saying that because — you bring Jimmie Johnson in here and he could tell you the exact opposite, because he didn’t win a championship under the old format. So he looks at last year, how far behind he would have been and wouldn’t have won the championship if the format had been — so for some guys, they might think it’s easier. For me I think it’s tougher.
JEFF GORDON: You’re taking the words right out of my mouth.
Q. You had a good season, didn’t you?
JEFF GORDON: I had a great season, we just didn’t win the championship, which is really what we’re all here to do anyway. But I certainly look at last year as a great season for me, and we were just lacking that one position, which is a big one, but still, a very good year for us.
Q. You kind of alluded to this earlier with a question about Joey Logano, but what do you remember about the weekend when you made your debut, because since you’ve started racing, no one has won more championships, no one has won more races than you, but you really came in super low profile that weekend in Atlanta. What do you think about when you think about that coming in?
JEFF GORDON: Two things stand out to me from that weekend, maybe three. One is that we were fast in practice, went to qualify, and I blew the lap. We used to have second-round qualifying then and I was fastest second day, started at 21st, went to the drivers’ meeting, and Richard Petty’s final race, he hands out — I’ve told this story, I know. It was like a money clip, had his symbol, like his face and hat on it. I don’t know what it was made of, like silver or something like that, had 21 on it with my starting position, handed it out to every driver there. I still have it.
The other thing, the most important thing I remember, is crashing. I don’t remember what lap it was, I just remember backing into the wall pretty hard down in turns 1 and 2, which are now 3 and 4. That’s what I remember.
Q. So no media memories?
JEFF GORDON: Not at all. To me, Richard Petty — that was his weekend. He was swarmed by media and fans, and I was nonexistent and happy about that. I wish that was the case every weekend. Just to come in here and do your job is what I like to do. But I also know that the sport wouldn’t be what it is and we wouldn’t have the sponsors that we have if you didn’t have that attention.
So that’s my point is that those are the things that you really don’t — even in the Nationwide series, it’s just not the same, the media attention, the fan base, the pressures, the competition. It’s just a lot more to deal with when you get to the Cup series and nothing can prepare you for that until you get right here and get into it, and then you’d better have a really strong upbringing, good people surrounding you, and people recognizing when it’s too much, when you’re doing too much.
A kid like him, especially if he does well, then they’re going to want to use him even more. I won my first championship my third season in, and until 1994 when I won the Brickyard, I really didn’t have a lot of things that I had to do, you know, like — I had a contract that said I was committed to do a lot of things, but I didn’t have a lot of demand. So I didn’t find myself constantly being pulled left and right, until I won the Brickyard. It was the 600 first in May and then the Brickyard, and that’s when all of a sudden things started changing for me, then we went and won the championship in 1995, and it’s literally never been the same for me. Every weekend is slam-packed full of stuff, every week is slammed full of things, and now it’s just part of life. But for those first couple years it was a huge, huge adjustment for me.
Q. I notice that six of the 12 Chase drivers are in the Nationwide race, including the two guys at the top and the two guys trying to stay in. It doesn’t apply to you, so maybe you have a good feel for it.
JEFF GORDON: You couldn’t — I can’t tell you how happy I am not to be in that race.
Q. I was going to ask you, why would a guy run a Nationwide race when he’s on the bubble for making the Chase? Would it be just too much to deal with?
JEFF GORDON: It’s called commitment. They made a commitment that they wish they could all get out of (laughter). Or they’re needing to buy new bikes or they want a little bit nicer airplane. I can’t tell you. All I can tell you is that there’s not one driver I’ve talked to this year that said that they’ve enjoyed running the Nationwide races. With that spacer on them, they said they’re terrible, and they cannot compare the cars at all to the Cup cars.
You know, I think that the future of what they’re going to do with those cars is — I’m going to be curious to watch. I love sitting in my bus watching those races. You know, it’s a great place to be. Nothing is going to change that. I mean, who knows, I might run one or two somewhere down the road, I’m not going to say never, but to do it week in and week out the way some of those guys do and to do it on a big weekend like this one or in the next ten races in the Chase, I just don’t see where it makes any sense.
So I’m joking about why guys are doing it. You’d have to ask them.
Q. But you wouldn’t do it?
JEFF GORDON: Did I not speak clearly? I’m sorry, let me say it louder. Absolutely not. I have no desire to run back and forth — you know, I did the five or six races or whatever a few years back, and to me it was just — it took the fun right out of it. I mean, you’d go from one car, you run over to the other one. And it’s like being Rick Hendrick; he’s got four cars and two or three of them might be awesome but one of them is not going to be some days, so you can be in victory lane celebrating, and as soon as victory lane is over, you’re over there trying to figure out how to get that other car and team — that’s how it was for me, I’d maybe have one car running good and one car not running good. I didn’t feel like I was doing either job well. I felt like I did both of them mediocre. So I prefer to just focus on the one I think that I need to focus on the most and do the best job that I can.
Interesting comments from Jeff – – you talk with guys from other teams and they fully expect Jeff to make a surge at some point – they are definitely not counting him out. One thing is for sure – don’t expect to see him in a Nationwide car anytime soon.
Many of the drivers are here in town and hanging out in their motor homes watching football today. I saw a bunch of reporters at breakfast at the hotel. Most were planning to hole up with their computers and catch up on work or watch TV. Definitely a down day in the world of NASCAR and none of us have too many of them. Woah …. I swear to you power just went out in my hotel. This could get interesting. I’ll keep you posted. Here’s a revised schedule by the way as I promised listeners that I’d keep you all posted:
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY 2008
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
7:00 AM Richmond International Raceway Parking Lots Open
7:30 AM NSCS REGISTRATION OPENS
Track Credentials Office Opens
8:00 AM NSCS GARAGE OPENS
Ticket Office Opens
Press Box & MediaCenter Open
The Showplace Off-site Parking Lot Opens
Richmond Coliseum Off-site Parking Area Opens
Shuttle Service To/From The Showplace & Coliseum Begins
Hospitality Pavilion, Pit Stop & Green Flag Zone, TORQUE Club, Suites Open
Cup Pre-Race Pit Access
10:00 AM Grandstands Open
11:00 AM DRIVER / CREW CHIEF MEETING (TENT)
11:30 AM – 12:00 Noon PRE-RACE CONCERT – THREE DAYS GRACE
12:00 Noon NSCS “HOT PASS” IN EFFECT –UNTIL ONE HOUR AFTER RACE
12:30 PM NSCS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
1:00 PM NSCS CHEVY ROCK & ROLL 400 RACE (400 LAPS-300 MILES)
2:00 PM NSCS REGISTRATION CLOSES
3:00 PM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
POST RACE CHASE EVENT (LOCATION TBD)
POST RACE CLEAR GRANDSTANDS
5:00 PM TORQUE Club, Suites Open
Nationwide Pre-Race Pit Access
6:00 PM Grandstands Reopen
6:30 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
7:00 PM NNS EMERSON RADIO 250 RACE (250 LAPS – 187.5 MILES)
8:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
Enjoy the day!