The one-mile oval at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway should serve as a comfort zone for three-time NASCAR Mexico Series champion Germán Quiroga, driver of the NET10 Wireless® Tundra. After experiencing the draft for the first time at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in his 2012 debut in October, the 32-year-old driver tackled the blistering fast 1.5-mile Quad-oval at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last week. Each track was very foreign to Quiroga, but Friday's Lucas Oil 150 will be run on a track that is similar to the size and configuration of several tracks that he has conquered in his native land.
"Phoenix is definitely like the tracks that I am used to racing back home," said Quiroga, who was a 16-time winner in the NASCAR Mexico Series before bringing his talents to the Camping World Truck Series. "We have three one-mile oval tracks and a couple of them are tri-ovals like we will be racing on this weekend. I am very confident that we will do very well this weekend."
Friday's 150-lap race will be Quiroga's second Truck Series start on a one-mile track. The Mexico City native finished 16th in his series debut last September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, driving the same Tundra that crew chief Rick Ren and the No. 51 team will be bringing this weekend.
"I think that Germán will be a little bit more in his comfort zone going to a one-mile race track," said Ren, who has collected one win, and nine top-five finishes calling the shots in 12 Truck Series races at the Arizona track. "I feel really good about the truck we are bringing, it's the same truck he ran last year at Loudon and is the sister truck to the one that Kyle (Busch) won this race with in 2011 and that Brian (Scott) is running this weekend. They are both set up the same and we'll be able to share notes with the 18 team."
After an expired engine left the team with a disappointing 28th-place finish at Texas last week, the best remedy for Quiroga is to get right back on the track. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota for the final two races and feels that consistent seat time will lead to competitive runs.
"They say that the third time is the charm, so I am hoping we can achieve a very good result this weekend," said Quiroga, who is making his third start of 2012 and fifth of his Truck Series career. "We struggled a little bit in Texas, but that was last week. We need to move forward and keep working hard to achieve our best result in the Truck Series. Before this, I would do a race and have to wait a month. Now I get to drive three straight weeks and I think that will help a lot with being more comfortable inside the truck."