This weekend at the prestigious Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Phil Gould and his No. 2 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet Camaro team have redemption on their minds. After leading in the closing laps of last season’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finishing second, Brian Scott and his Richard Childress Racing team are ready to kiss the bricks.
The Kendall Park, N.J.-native notes the 2.5-mile speedway setup is reminiscent of Michigan International Speedway. Earlier this season, the RCR team collected its second top-five finish of the season at MIS with teammate Paul Menard earning the victory. With consistency, fight and determination, look for the No. 2 team in contention this weekend at Indianapolis.
We sat down with Gould to discuss what it takes to be successful at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
How do you set up the No. 2 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet Camaro for Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
Indy is a unique track. The set up usually will end up close to what we run at Michigan. It is the most aerodynamic sensitive track we go to, so that will be our key focus.
What does it mean for the Nationwide Series to race at a prestigious track like Indy?
I think it's awesome. I still get goose bumps walking through the gate. Indy is such a special place rich in the history of auto racing.
Are your expectations for this year’s race higher after leading laps and contending for the win last year?
Absolutely, after coming so close to a win last year our team is motivated and determined to finish one spot better this year.
What are the keys to success at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
You need a fast car, and the right strategy to give you the best track position. You'll hear crew chiefs and drivers say it every week, but Indy is by far the most track-position sensitive track we go to. The closer to the front you are the better your car will drive. And the air is so sensitive; no tire advantage will offset a deficit in track position at Indy.
Do you have a special memory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in your time at RCR?
In 2006 when I was the car chief on the 07 car, I was a part of an all RCR qualifying front row. That was pretty cool. But we are hoping to make a special memory this weekend with our Smokey Herbal Snuff Camaro.
Halfway through the season, how do you assess the year for the No. 2 RCR team?
I'm pleased with our team so far. We have improved a lot of our weaknesses and have shown speed week in and week out. We have been consistent, which has helped us claw our way back into contention for the drivers’ championship. This team has a lot of fight and determination in it. I'm positive we will continue to get better, and hopefully break into victory lane soon.