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From the Pit Box: Texas with Phil Gould

The 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season is in its final stretch to the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  This weekend, the No. 2 Shore Lodge team tackles Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season. Just 15 points out of fifth place in the championship point standings, Crew Chief Phil Gould discusses what it’ll take to be competitive in the Lone Star State.

Q: How do you set the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro up for Texas Motor Speedway?
Texas is a real areo-senstive track, and you need to prepare for that. In the spring, we were way too loose, as the race wore on, we got it where we needed, but it took too long to get there. In the spring, it was a night race and this time, we’re running in the afternoon. Usually when you practice and race during the day, it gives you a better idea of what to except going into the race.  This weekend, there will be a lot of cars on the track with all three series, so there will plenty of rubber laid down and more grip.

Q: How does the track change during the race?
As the race wears on, the track looses grip resulting in a lot of tire ware. The track is almost a lot like Atlanta now; the surface has turned gray and its real abrasive which increases tire ware. You’ll get looser as the race goes on, so you need to be pro-active to stay ahead of the track.

Q: What is/are the key(s) to success at this track?
Managing your tires is key. There will be a point of time where you’ll only have three sets of tires, and you have to make a decision to either stay out or come in and put new tires on. You don’t want to run out of tires before the end of the race. In the end, if you do what the majority does, you’ll be ok.

Q: What does the No. 2 team  need to do over the next three races to be inside the top-five in championship points?
We need to go out and do the best we can every week by finishing as high as possible in each of the three remaining races. If we aim high, do our job and homework, we’ll be fine in the end.

Q: As your freshman year crew chief season comes to an end, what would you consider it to be successful?
I would love to win a race. We still have three opportunities to get it done. I think that Richmond and Indianapolis proved we can win with our second-place finishes. With the remaining three races in the season, we’ll be good, but Phoenix is it. Our short track program for the No. 2 team is our strong suit. I look at Phoenix to be our best. Then to get to fifth in points, it would be a huge success.

Q: Favorite Race memory at Texas Motor Speedway?
We’ll make one this weekend…

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