The Phoenix Factor
November 8, 2006
Furniture Row Racing’s Cup program finished 30th last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The team qualified at 33rd, and was able to steer clear of wrecks to secure a clean finish. Last weekend was a dramatic improvement for the program from the 2006 spring race at TMS, where the Cup program failed to qualify.
Crew Chief Joe Garone talks about Texas. “Texas was good for the team. We had a good qualifying run which led us to a 30th place finish, and moved us up a notch in the points. We did not race as well as I would have liked, but we are gaining on it. The pit crew did their first 4-tire, 12-second stop in competition, and our car didn’t break an engine or have any other mechanical problems to speak of. We’ll mark our first race at Texas a success.”
The Busch team also competed at Texas, however failed to qualify.
Both the Cup and Busch teams head to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend.
Phoenix is a unique one-mile oval that presents challenges at both ends of the track. Turns one and two each have eleven degrees of banking, compared to nine degrees in turns three and four. The backstretch is also unique, with a bit of a dogleg heading into turn three.
The following include some factors of Phoenix that the teams will be contending with this weekend. Both programs must find the balance in the set up. With the different degrees of banking on each end of the track, teams need to find a car set up that works well with each.
In addition, drivers Kenny Wallace and Jerry Robertson need to pick the right groove. Each driver needs to find the groove his car handles best in, and at each turn. As track conditions change, drivers need to be able to make the proper adjustments to their line to maximize efficiency. Kenny and Jerry need to be aware that a major factor at Phoenix is getting the car to turn, and carry the speed through the center of the corner. A good entry into the turns can make a big difference at this track.
Garone hopes to improve upon the 25th place finish that the team snagged earlier this season at the Phoenix spring race. Garone elaborates, “This is the second time we’ll be at Phoenix this season, and we expect to improve our qualifying position and race finish. Kenny does well at short tracks, and our cars are more competitive now than earlier in the season.
Furniture Row® Companies is one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions®, Denver Mattress Co®, and Big Sur Water Beds®. For more information, please visit