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This Week in Ford Racing: Brad Coleman

Brad Coleman
Brad Coleman
February 19, 2008 - Brad Coleman, driver of the No. 27 Kroger/Cottonelle Ford Fusion, competes in his first full NASCAR Nationwide season in 2008. Coleman recently signed a two-year contract with Baker Curb Racing and looks forward to building the team with crew chief Shawn Parker. Coleman competed in 17 races in 2007 where he earned three top-five and five top-10 finishes.

Brad Coleman Ė No. 27 Kroger/Cottonelle Ford Fusion Ė THIS WILL BE YOUR FIRST RACE AT CALIFORNIA IN A NATIONWIDE CAR. ďYes, it will be but I have been there before. I raced in California in the Grand Am Series back when I was 16 and on the Team 16 with Colin Braun. We were running between second and third and had some problems on a pit stop. We had a slow pit stop and ended up going down under yellow. Itís great to see Colin in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series. I really enjoyed racing with him in the past. Colin, Adrian Carrio and myself raced as Team 16 in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2005. We raced to a seventh-place finish and set the record for being the youngest team to ever race there. I hope we will have a chance to race against each other soon.Ē

TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT CALIFORNIA. ďI like racing at California. Itís a great track thatís fast and flat. I think it is similar to Michigan, but I think Michigan has a little more banking but itís basically the same track. California is really wide which gives you plenty of room to race and pass. The aerodynamics are key to a great race. There are a bunch of different grooves so the racing has a tendency to get three-wide. It will be a great race for the fans and Iím looking forward to it. We tested one of our California cars at Vegas earlier this year and it handled pretty good, so Iím excited about getting our Kleenex Fusion on the track in California looking to see what the Roush Yates engines can do.Ē

WHAT ARE YOU GOALS FOR THIS SEASON? ďWell, Iím a competitor, so I want to go out there and win every race and the championship. But realistically it will be difficult to win every race. So, my goal as a driver is to drive as hard as I can and give as much information back to my team as I can. So they can make adjustments on race weekends and keep me competitive. Also, that information gets taken back with us to the shop, so the crews can build the best race cars for me and my teammate Brad Baker. I want to work with the team and crews as much as I can so we can build throughout this year and next. I have a two-year commitment with the team. We want to build the team, the chemistry and get the cars right, so if we donít have a chance to win the championship this year, we will next year.Ē

THERE ARE A LOT OF CHANGES FOR YOU THIS SEASON. ďYes, we started the year off on a positive note. The testing in Daytona and Las Vegas went pretty well. We had solid runs in both cities. I have a new sponsor, new team and new manufacturer for 2008. I only ran a partial schedule last year, so Iím looking forward to working with Baker Curb Racing for the entire season. I had some great runs last year and it was a bit frustrating watching races from home. Iím a racer and I want to race. Itís a transition, but Iím ready to compete.Ē

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR? ďThere are a bunch of places that Iím looking forward to going back to this year. We were on the pole last year at Talladega and had a top-10 finish. Then there was that race at Kentucky Speedway where I was so close and edged at the end by Stephen Leicht. I really enjoyed that race, but I know I can improve my second-place finish there. Iím looking forward to both road course races this year. Montreal was challenging but that was worth the effort last year. Thatís another track that Iím looking forward to racing on again.Ē

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