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This Week in Ford NNS Racing: Brad Coleman

Brad Coleman
Brad Coleman
 
July 29, 2008 - Brad Coleman, driver of the No. 27 Kleenex Ford Fusion, seeks a top-five finish at this weekends NASCAR Nationwide Series race Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The 20-year-old finished eighth last year on the 14-turn road course. Coleman talks about road course racing and how he prepares for the back-to-back races in Montreal and Watkins Glen.

BRAD COLEMAN No. 27 Kleenex Ford Fusion LAST YEAR IN MONTREAL, YOU FINISHED EIGHTH. ARE YOU EAGER TO GET BACK? Yeah, Im definitely eager to get back because we should have had better than an eighth-place finish. We were running in the top five with 10 laps to go when that big wreck happened in turn one. We got caught up in it, the nose got all crinkled up and we had a lot of damage. We had to come in the pits to bang down the hood and I still couldnt see. I went out there for the green-white-checkered and went from 15th to eighth in two laps. It was a good effort. Im just really excited to get back there in the Kleenex Ford Fusion.

WITH YOUR ROAD-RACING BACKGROUND, YOU MUST LIKE THIS TIME OF YEAR WITH TWO RACES IN A ROW. WILL THAT GIVE YOU MOMENTUM HEADING INTO THE LAST PORTION OF THE SEASON? I hope so. Road races have been good to me. Its really a place where a driver can make a lot of difference, it seems. Its hard on all these ovals. A driver can make a difference, its minimal, but the road courses really make a big difference. Im just really excited to get back there.

AS ONE OF THE YOUNGER DRIVERS, YOURE SEEING TRACKS FOR THE FIRST AND SECOND TIME WHILE VETERANS HAVE BEEN RACING ON THEM FOR YEARS. SINCE THIS IS THE SECOND RACE IN MONTREAL, IS THE RACING FIELD LEVEL? I think its a lot harder to be fast there because you have the road racing specialists coming to it, you have the local Canadian favorites like Patrick Carpentier and Jacques Villeneuve coming in, so its hard to be fast. Id say it evens it out a bit.

WHAT TYPE OF RACING WILL THE FANS SEE? I think were going to see a lot of action. I think some drivers will have troubles with brakes, so well see some brake failures, just like last year. There are so many braking zones, the brakes get so hot, and you can blow them out and calipers and all that fun stuff. It should be an exciting weekend.

HOW YOU DO PREPARE FOR A ROAD COURSE? I just go home, hop on my simulator and Ill drive Montreal and Watkins Glen and get real excited to get there. Im going to Road Atlanta to test on Tuesday, so Im excited about that.

DOES THE SIMULATOR HELP? Yeah, they do. They help you visually get used to the track, not physically, but they give you a visual feel so you know where your markers are.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN MONTREAL? I want to get a top-five finish. Thats my goal, to get a top five. I think we can do it, if nothing goes wrong, I think we can and the same with Watkins Glen.

COMPARED TO OTHER ROAD COURSE, IS MONTREAL ONE OF YOUR FAVORITES? Oh, yeah. Montreal is one of my favorite tracks just because of the history and Formula 1 races there. Its always fun going there and seeing the Formula 1 teams on your garage.


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