As Harrison Burton and the DEX Imaging team head into this weekend’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, they’re hoping to continue the success they’ve had on other road courses this year. And they’ll be hoping to avoid the pitfalls that come with racing on the infield course at the home track for many of the crew members on the No. 21 Mustang.
Crew chief Brian Wilson said racing in front of the home folks is a nice change of pace.
“Any time that we race in Charlotte, it’s a welcomed weekend that’s easy to be motivated for,” he said. “With so many of the teams and crew members residing in the area, the crowd in that stands and garage is filled with family and friends.
“You always want to race well in front of them.”
Wilson said that as he and the No. 21 team head into the sixth and final road course race of the season, their previous races turning left and right give them a sense of optimism.
“With this being our last road course race of the season, we’re obviously studying our notebook from the other races of this style,” he said. “Over the year we’ve had some great points days as well as our best finish so far this year in Indy.”
But the ROVAL, which incorporates much of the oval track into the 17-turn, 2.28-mile layout, is unique among road courses.
“Historically the ROVAL has provided some chaotic action, not too dissimilar to what we had in Indy this year,” Wilson said. “With this weekend being a cutoff race in the playoffs I believe we’ll see a large mix in strategies with some playoff contenders focused on stage points.
“This mixing of cars and strategies will only amplify the chaos, I believe. As we’ve shown at the previous road courses, the No. 21 Ford team will try to take advantage to have a strong points day and finish on Sunday.”
Cup Series practice at Charlotte is set for noon on Saturday to be followed by qualifying at 1 p.m.
Sunday’s 109-lap, 253-mile race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. with TV coverage on NBC.
Stage breaks are planned for Laps 25 and 50.