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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and others reflect on Father's Day

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Matt Kenseth is one father with a lot to be proud of this year. He spoke this weekend about his son Ross’s progress in both racing and education.
“Yeah, he has been doing really well and having a great season. He has won quite a few races this season and is leading the Midwest Tour points right now. He is actually racing Berlin next Tuesday,” Kenseth said. “He has had a heck of a year and I am pretty proud of him that he got in Clemson and yes it made me feel old going to freshman orientation with him on Thursday. qI got to go check that out and that was a little different. I wasn’t smart enough to go to college. It is crazy to think that he is doing all of that.”

Kyle Busch had kind words for his fathe Tom and the role his did played in his career?
"My dad was a big inspiration in both my brother’s and my career. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him and his passion for
motorsports and racing and him doing everything he did possible for us to have the opportunity to have race cars to go to the
race track with, and to buy tires and to buy fuel and to buy everything it took. And, then for him and mom to both make that
sacrifice for us."

Denny Hamlin said his dad is here at MIS to watch the race this weekend, which is not a common thing.

"It's awesome. He doesn't get to travel to a whole lot of races. He has an old dog that he prefers to stay with on
the weekends than fight the hustle and bustle of the races. For him to come out, it's very obviously special for me. He
made a ton of sacrifices for myself through my career. He sacrificed a lot of vacations and a lot of his savings to get me to
this point. You pretty much owe everything to your parents who helped get you to this point and I'm no different in that sense."

Congrats to Ty Dillon
At the end of an ARCA race Friday that seemed neverending, with a long stream of crashes and debris cautions, it was Ty Dillon, Richard Childress’ young grandson and brother of Truck series driver Austin Dillon, who took the checkered flag at MIS. Both of these brothers seem to have what it takes, so you can expect them to make their way through the NASCAR ranks in the coming years, mostly likely with continued support from the guy they call “pop pop”.

The mystery pit crew scenario
Heading into this year, Jimmie Johnson’s team began a scenario where team members compete to make the pit crew that goes to the track this week. This means that driver Johnson doesn’t even know who will be executing the pit stops each week.

“I have an idea, but the situation Chad (Knaus, crew chief) created is that he’s really trying not to have a first string, second string. You earn your position during the week in practices and prove that you’re the fastest guy that week and can do the best job that week going over the wall. I know every guy on the team; I train with them now and am in there on Tuesday’s working out with them so that we can form a tighter bond together. I see a lot of good things happening and I know that they’re working very hard for that coveted position to go over the wall and change or carry or jack the car.”
Interesting scenario, but I wonder if this will be the best plan come Chase time. I would think that a stable crew of the best people all year would be the best bet when the title is on the line.
But hey, I’m not supergenius crew chief Chad Knaus, so maybe he knows something I don’t.

Ryan Newman visits GM proving grounds
Prior to the race weekend, Ryan Newman – who has an engineering background -- paid a visit to the GM Proving Grounds in Milford to see the latest breakthroughs in the field.

He said he enjoyed the experience and was impressed with the facility.
It was pretty neat from a technical standpoint to see where GM is at their proving grounds. Number one – their proving grounds in Milford was amazing. The size of it and the mileage of testing tracks and courses and surfaces that they have working on ride control and stability and braking and things like that was pretty amazing. Then to get to drive the Camaro – the super-charged Camaro was pretty wild out on their skid pad. They’ve got a 67-acre skid pad and half of it has been repaved. We got to work on the grippy half so talking about the race track, I guess it’s kind of similar. We got to race on the new Michigan yesterday at the skid pad and the old Michigan was getting repaved. The way they work with their computers and the technology aspect of it to work on their stability control and they’re antilock braking and things like that. I was driving a Camaro and the engineer had a computer in the right side and he could manipulate the car and work on the traction control and things like that. It’s pretty neat to see their facilities for the first time and understand that they’re a big part of what has been very successful in the NASCAR Chevrolet program.”

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