Ford Truck Teams Test 'Duct Tape' Packages at AMS
Monday, July 21, 2003
A roll of tape costs a race team less than a dollar, but the changes it produces in a Craftsman Truck Series race truck often mean several positions in the finishing order - and several thousand dollars.
Two Ford Racing truck teams took to the 1.54-mile track at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Monday to see just how much difference the tape configuration on the front air dam and grill made to the trucks¿ cooling system and downforce.
¿If you add more tape, your truck gets faster because you loosen it up and give it more downforce,¿ said Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Circle Bar Motel/RV Park Ford. ¿But if there¿s too much tape, then you¿re not giving the engine a chance to cool and it hurts you in the end. We¿re trying to find the balance.¿
Crawford tested 29 different tape set-ups on the grill of his truck Monday, and his team compared those telemetry numbers against the numbers set by Carl Edwards in his No. 99 Roush Racing Ford Monday.
¿What we¿re doing is going to help Ford Racing in the Truck Series as a whole,¿ Edwards said. ¿I think the other teams have done this, but I¿m not sure Ford had until this point, but hopefully we¿ll learn something that will help the whole Ford program.¿
The testing called for both trucks to set the same average pace, 160 mph, a task both drivers had a hard time with.
¿I keep accidentally running too fast,¿ Crawford said. ¿They gave me a speedometer and said ¿Don¿t let it get over this mark,¿ but I just can¿t make myself stay below it. It¿s against a racer¿s nature to tell him to slow down.¿
Edwards, a rookie in the truck series, tried another approach. He took a few laps to feel out the track before testing began.
¿I snuck a few fast laps in,¿ Edwards said. ¿I¿ve never been here, but I¿d heard it was fast. I watched the speedometer and was running in the 180s. This track feels a lot faster than most of the ones the Truck Series runs on.¿
Because the Craftsman Truck Series doesn¿t yet have a race date at Atlanta, the test didn¿t count against the two teams. Crawford, however, said he¿d be willing to trade the free testing for a race date.
¿I really like this track, and I think it would be a great venue for the truck series,¿ he said. ¿I can¿t wait until the day we get to run here under the lights, with sparks flying, flames shooting and lights reflecting off of our trucks. It¿ll be great.¿