SRT Motorsports NASCAR drivers begin testing for 2012 season in Daytona.
Howard Comstock (SRT Motorsports Engineering) HOW WAS THE FIRST DAY OF TESTING? "A really good day for the Dodge camp. We still don't know how fast the cars are going to be in qualifying trim because we really haven't spent a lot of time there yet. But in race trim the two Dodge cars are awesome. We traded top speed with the Gibbs cars all day, but when it was our two cars versus their two cars, we were just a little bit faster. Nobody else has been close."
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ENGINEERING CHALLENGE YOU FACE WTH THE NEW RULES PACKAGE FOR THE DAYTONA 500? "Without a doubt the cooling system. Maintaining a safe engine temperature for 500 miles is going to be a big job. When you run by yourself you can get plenty air to the radiator and you'll be OK. If you want to go fast in the two-car tandem it's going to be a challenge. Drivers have to really watch what their engines are doing for 500 miles or you're going to risk a major engine failure."
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T) HOW WAS THE FIRST DAY OF TESTING? “We certainly didn’t have the overall speed in our Miller Lite Dodge Charger by ourselves in single-car runs. Once we got racing as a tandem with the 22 team we were really, really fast. Our race package seems to be very fast and reliable. AJ (Allmendinger) and I worked really well together and it’s cool to see us near the top of the leader board.”
HOW DID YOUR CAR REACT TO THE NEW RULES PACKAGE FOR THE DAYTONA 500? “There’s a subtle difference but it’s hard to tell right now. The car seems to feel lighter. We haven’t run in a pack of cars yet, so it’s tough to say. I know one thing, our Miller Lite Dodge is fast in tandem racing.”
HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH AJ FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY? “I thought that we worked really well together. I enjoyed the positive attitude that he brings to the team and that makes me feel good heading into the season.”
AJ Allmendinger (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) HOW WAS THE FIRST DAY OF TESTING FOR THE SHELL/PENNZOIL DODGE TEAM? “I thought that it was great. I think just to get fit in the car and figure out how to be comfortable and get a relationship with the team was important. Our Dodges are fast in race trim. The big deal is drafting with Brad (Keselowski) and building chemistry with him and trusting each other. We have a good relationship as teammates. It was a fun day. It was solid. It was fun being back at the track and in the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST NOTICEABLE CHANGE IN THE CAR FOR YOU WITH THE NEW RULES PACKAGE? “It’s fast. You can really feel the speed of the car. It’s a lot faster. The cars heat up quicker. All these smart engineers are going to go back and figure out how to keep them cooler before we head back for the (Daytona) 500. There’s nothing major that stands out, but you can definitely feel the speed when you’re closing in on cars in front of you. You get light and get loose and that’s where you need a good relationship with your teammate.”SRT engineering extends well beyond street vehicles. It is a little known fact, but technical support for the Chrysler Group’s motorsports programs is provided by the astute engineers at SRT. Lessons learned on the track directly translate to improved vehicles for our fans. SRT Motorsports Engineering is expanding its racing presence this year. Be sure to follow us throughout the 2012 season for direct news from pit lane.