Wood Brothers Racing California II Preview
Harrisburg, NC (August 26, 2008)-Marcos Ambrose will be making his fifth attempt in the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion this weekend for the Pepsi 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Since the no. 21 must qualify on time,the team’s focus will solely be on that during Friday’s practice session. Crew Chief David Hyder is confident that they have what it takes to get the job done and looks forward to the challenge.
In Ambrose’s last start with the Wood Brothers at Michigan International Speedway, the team encountered engine failure early in the race. It was the first time Ambrose and the team worked together on a fast, oval speedway. Yet, they were able to make many laps in the practice sessions and work on the team chemistry at a track that’s much like California. David spoke about their effort, “We learned a lot in Michigan and going into California, there is definitely a little bit of a difference in racetracks, but for the most part the set up is close to the same. I think we made a lot of headway the second day at Michigan for what we needed at an oval track with Marcos.”
Marcos is pleased with the direction the team is moving. He feels that they are working hard and making progress with Hyder at their lead. He’s also looking forward to putting the no. 21 on the starting grid in Sunday’s race. He said, “My last start in the 21 was not the best with the early engine failure at Michigan, so I’m keen to get in the race in California and give the Wood Brothers, the Little Debbie people and all the Ford fans that love the 21 car a good showing.”
Tech Talk with Crew Chief David Hyder
What is your focus for this weekend in Fontana?
“Our focus is to qualify the car and I think for the most part it will be just cut and dry on Friday as far as the balance of the car goes. Then Saturday we’ll go into it and make some good laps and make some long runs and see where Marcos needs to be and adjust on it.”
What race car will you be using?
“It’s the same car that we had at Pocono and Michigan. It’s not one of our newest version cars, we don’t have one of those done yet but it’s the next step down from that and it’s what we’ve got to race with now and it’s plenty good enough to make the race and run good with on Sunday.”
What’s the key to running well at the speedway?
“At Fontana you have a tendency of being loose in and tight in the middle and you’re always searching to have enough grip off of the corners as long as we make the car consistent getting into the middle of the corner and free it up so it won’t be loose off we’ll be fine.”
What do you like about Auto Club Speedway?
“It’s a horsepower track so definitely our motor program will show up there. I like going there just for the fact of that, but there’s a lot of room and you can race there. When it comes race time there’s not going to be a lot of grip so there will be race cars sliding all around. It’s going to make for a good race.”
*Top photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography/Bob LeSieur