Statesville, N.C. (August 7, 2012)- This week’s Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International will mark Landon Cassill’s second-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on a road course. Although he has limited experience making right-hand turns, he’s figured out how to speed up the learning curve. Cassill gets a head start on his less familiar tracks by logging iRacing laps. Prior to his start at Sonoma, he acquainted himself with the track via the computer simulation. He felt that it gave him a head start and is using the same tactics to prepare for this weekend’s 2.45-mile winding race track.
Cassill has one previous start at Watkins Glen, which came in 2008 Nationwide Series competition. It yielded a 31st-place finish. He has also competed at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Nationwide Series. He started 19th and finished 14th in 2008. In the Sprint Cup Series, Cassill’s lone road course start came at Sonoma this season. He finished 31st.
Cassill’s No. 83 car will be sporting a fresh coat of paint this week. The Burger King/Dr Pepper car is clad in red instead of the typical grey and white scheme. The red scheme will gradually transition as Cassill’s primary colors for the rest of the season.
Doug Richert, crew chief of the No. 83 team, has guided his drivers to 11 starts at Watkins Glen. His best finish is eighth place, which he scored in 1994.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Landon Cassill heading into Watkins Glen:
“I only have one start at Watkins Glen and that was back in 2008. Hopefully that will serve as a good foundation and I’ll remember what I learned from that trip. It’s been a while, but I’m looking forward to returning.
“I’ve been training on iRacing again. I did that before I went to Sonoma this season and it was a big help. It’s the only way to get prepared for it without actually being there. There’s no substitute for the real thing, but it gives me a good visual of the race track. I’ll be more familiar with the twists and turns and have a better idea of where my braking and acceleration points will be. I’m still behind on experience compared to the other drivers in the field. It’s still going to take some practice time and some laps to get it figured out, but I think I’ve got a good head start.
“I’ve also watched a bunch of footage from in-car cams and race broadcasts. I’ve been looking for how other drivers have navigated the course and how they’ve communicated with their crews. I’ve learned a lot just by watching them.
“It’s a completely different road course than Sonoma. Sonoma is a lot slower. Watkins Glen is fast, almost like a speedway of road courses, so you’ve really got to have a good-handling car for sure. It will kind of be starting from scratch for us. It’s definitely going to be tricky without us having any testing. We’ll have to take what we know and make the most of it, keep our Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota in one piece and bring home a good finish.”