Notes from TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Race #3 – Infineon Raceway – SaveMart 350 (Sonoma), Sunday, June 26, 2011

Notes from TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Race #3

Infineon Raceway – SaveMart 350 (Sonoma)

Sunday, June 26, 2011
American Muscle

Quote of the Day:

“If I were the other teams, I’d be switching over to his Racebuddy camera to see how he’s getting around the track because he’s in a totally different zone than these other cars.” – Kyle Petty on Kurt Busch during Lap 27 of 110

TNT NASCAR: Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut

Lindsay Czarniak (host), Kyle Petty (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst)

TNT analyst Larry McReynolds on the conditions at Sonoma: “The weatherman has been a great race fan all year long. You never have to worry about that when you come to Sonoma.”

TNT analyst Kyle Petty on open road racing at Infineon on why Infineon has become a course that unleashes volatile emotion: “There’s only a few passing zones on the course and the only other time you can pass is in pit road. When it gets down to the end, the last 10-15 laps, the only way around is knock somebody out of the way.”

McReynolds on what might happen in the end today if tempers flare in the race like in years past: “I promise you, if you go to the garage area after the race today, somebody will be hunting somebody. I promise you.”

McReyolds on the effect this race has on the Sprint Cup Series point standings: “This road course always tends to shakes up the points race. This is a place, I promise you, the points will move around a lot by the time the checker flag waves here today.”

TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach on passing on the road course at Infineon: “The easiest place to pass is probably Turn 11. The [most fun] way to pass is using the chrome horn.”

NASCAR driver Jimmy Johnson on his chance to repeat as a winner this year at Infineon: “What we learned last year is not working this year so we’ve had to kick the ball and start all over again. It’s been exciting and I’m not the only one [not sure about how his tires will react]. There’s only about four or five guys who have the set-up for this tire and the rest of the guys are all slipping and sliding.”

Johnson commenting on McReynolds’ observation about his lack of winning since last year at Infineon: “At the end of the day this sport is very, very tough. We made some big changes in the off-season and now we’re working through some of that now. There’s no one who wants to win more than me and we’re working very hard.”

Johnson on his preparation for this race: “This year we took a little different approach and didn’t do much. I have a lot of notes and video that I go through. I drive laps mentally. That’s something I picked up in high school on the swim team – knowing my swim, knowing my turn and I’ve crossed that over to motor sports. I really know my lap and reference points before I get on the track.”

Johnson on his humble beginnings in the sport of NASCAR racing: “It was very tough. My mom was a school bus driver and my dad was a heavy equipment operator and I’ve had a great problem driving for these great teams and big teams. The impression was that I came from a wealthy family, I wish that I did. My struggles. made me the guy I am today.”

Petty commenting on pit reporter Marty Snider’s interview of Marcos Ambrose about last year’s race in Sonoma where he was leading the race and made a mistake of stalling his engine that cost him the race: “In his mind he needs to make up for it to show he recovered from it. He said he put it behind him. You do put it behind you until about 3:30 in the morning when you wake up in a cold sweat and you remember that car sitting there on the hill. You never put things like that behind you. They come up 10 and 15 years later. Trust me, I know. That still bothers him on some level.”

TNT Pit Reporter Matt Yocum interviews 81-year-old Rex White, the oldest living NASCAR winner – 1960 Grand National winner – in ‘Pride of NASCAR’ segment: “I didn’t have enough money to buy a pit pass. If you didn’t take in some money [from the race] you didn’t have a way to get home. When you’re not sure you’re gonna eat when you’re on that path for your income, you gotta really like it. ”

White on the early days of NASCAR and drivers talking about designs of cars: “You could talk about a guy’s wife but you couldn’t talk about his car. A guy would fight you moreso over his car than his wife.”

Petty commenting on White as a NASCAR pioneer: “Rex White is a phenomenal guy.when you look at we did, like he said, ‘We raced to put food on the table.’

McReynolds interviewing Juan Pablo Montoya’s crew chief Brian Pattie about the keys to today’s race:

Pattie: “1) Fuel mileage. The key is making sure it [tank] is full. 2) Grip. Make sure you have plenty of this – tires. Lots of teams will be working with air pressure. You don’t have a lot of time to adjust. 3) Strategy. Depends on what fuel mileage you get. Do you pit two times? Or three? I don’t think a two-stop guy will win the race today.”

McReynolds: “My key is to stay on the race track. Dirt is bad. Asphalt is good. He [Montoya] starts 17th today. When Montoya won this race is 2007 he started 32nd.”

McReynolds prediction: “A month ago I wouldn’t have picked this driver to be in the Top 15. I think it’s about the double-deuce, Kurt Busch gets his first win on a Sprint Cup Series road race today.”

Comments on passing on the Infineon Course:

Pit reporter Chris Neville reporting from Turns 1-2: “You’re not going to see a lot passing here today.”

Pit reporter Ralph Sheheen reporting from Turn 4: “The problem is there are a lot of bumps here on Turn 4.”

Pit reporter Matt Yocum reporting from Turn 7: “This is where you’re going to see guys outbreak one another for a passing opportunity.”

Pit reporter Marty Snider reporting from Turn 11: “There are four places to pass at Sonoma, it’s not easy but it can be done.”

TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach on what it will take today to win the race: “It’s all about set- up [rigid vs. soft set-up]. What you have today, you can’t make too many adjustments in pit lane.”

Petty on what it will take to win today balancing patience and aggression: “You have to be really patient in the first half of the race. You have to keep your car on the race track. If I’m looking at balance here, it’s going to be 90-10. For 90% of the race you’re going to be patient and for 10% you’re going to be ungodly aggressive.”

TNT NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing: SaveMart 350 from Infineon Raceway

Adam Alexander (host), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst)

Pit Repeorters: Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Matt Yocum

Dallenbach on how difficult the race course will be: “If you can pass seven or eight cars, you’re a big mover..”

Petty on the race strategy: “This is not a place where you have a lot of pit stops today. You have what you have.”*

* Winner Kurt Busch made two pits stop on the day.

Dallenbach on the new tires drivers are using today: “When you change tires on these cars it’s a totally different set-up. You start from scratch.”

Kyle Petty on Kurt Busch during Lap 27 of 110: “If I were the other teams, I’d be switching over to his Racebuddy camera to see how he’s getting around the track because he’s in a totally different zone than these other cars.”

Petty on the heat inside the race car on the floorboard: “The temperature on the floorboard can get to 220-230 [degrees] and it’s a slow bake. It’s like a turkey in the oven, man, you’re just baking all day long. You leave the race track and your foot is burnt but it’s really baked.”

TNT NASCAR Summer Series – Post-race remarks

Tony Stewart on his collision with Brian Vickers toward the end of the race claiming Vickers blocked him: “:I’m not going to tolerate it. He was blocking and I’m going to dump him.”

Winner Kurt Busch on his victory at Sonoma with a two-stop strategy: “It was an unbelievable set-up. I’m real proud of our team. We had to conserve our rear tires. That was our main thought and once we had our fuel mileage, I started to pick up my pace. I didn’t want guys to think they had a shot at us.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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