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Oct 30, 2012 - 06:52 PM
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2012 Texas II: German Quiroga NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Oct 30, 2012 - 06:46 PM
2012 Texas II: German Quiroga NASCAR Truck Race Preview

When three-time NASCAR Mexico Series champion Germán Quiroga packed up his belongings and moved to North Carolina earlier this year, he knew that his journey would be filled with many challenges - both on and off the race track. As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads west to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, for Friday's WinStar World Casino 350, the 32-year-old driver will face perhaps the toughest challenge of his budding career in America NASCAR. His job will be to provide veteran crew chief Rick Ren with the feedback needed to get the balance of his NET10 Wireless® Tundra stable enough to run wide open for several laps around the blistering fast 1.5-mile oval.


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"I think it's definitely going to be one of my biggest challenges," said Quiroga, a 16-time winner in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series. "I personally think that it might be a great result at the end of the weekend, but I've been in a lot of pressure lately and this will be one weekend where many eyes are going to be watching me to see if I can really do what I did in Talladega. Many eyes in Mexico and the support of my fans -- I really want to do well. I'm expecting to be calm by the race and just focus on all the little things that can mess up a race."

"Texas will be the fastest corner entry speed, turn the steering wheel and stay focused race track that Germán will go to," said Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) General Manager Rick Ren, who will serve as Quiroga's crew chief once again this weekend. "The main thing that we will need to work on for Friday is getting him comfortable driving into turn 1 -- you have to stay out by the wall and really turn the steering wheel into the corner at the same time as you are going through an elevation change. I think he'll have some success once he gets a few laps under his belt. Our trucks are always really good there, so if he has confidence in his ability and confidence in our race team, than we will be just fine."

Quiroga enters Friday's race beaming with confidence after his 2012 debut Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway resulted in his first career Truck Series top-10 finish. Making just his third career series start, the Mexico City native came from the 23rd starting position to finish eighth in the fred's 250. He'll have a confident bunch working behind him as well, as his No. 51 team visited victory lane with Denny Hamlin behind the wheel in last week's Kroger 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

With a confident team behind him and a fast NET10 Wireless Tundra underneath him, Quiroga will head wide open, deep into the heart of turn 1 at Texas Motor Speedway, 147 times Friday night, looking to 'net' his second consecutive top-10 finish.

Germán Quiroga, Driver of the No. 51 NCWTS NET10 Wireless Tundra:

Do you feel more pressure to perform at Texas after the result at Talladega?
"I'm not sure if it is a relief or more pressure because now I have to do it again. I'm really happy for what we did in Talladega and looking forward to do the same thing in Texas -- top-10 I think was great for the team and for myself. It's actually a lot of pressure to try to do it again. I know it's going to be tougher. It's a totally different track and I have to be focused on many other things. At Talladega you have so much room and you can pass sometimes very easy where Texas is going to be really tough."

What have you done to prepare for Texas?
"I've been watching videos lately. I'm trying to do the same thing I did before Talladega, but to be totally honest, it seems different. It's very hard to go wide open all the time. I know you can do it in qualifying and maybe for a couple of laps when you have new tires. Still, it's going to be very important getting into the pits and not losing any time getting in or maintaining the speed limit on pit lane -- then going off without making any mistakes. There are so many other things that I have to take care of and I will be learning. This is another learning weekend, which I have to take it like it is, but I also want to do well."

Rick Ren, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS NET10 Wireless Tundra:

What is the key to being able to run wide open through turn 1 at Texas?
"You are really hauling the mail into turn 1 at Texas. It's all about learning how to get the truck pointed right in case it tries to get loose on you, so that it doesn't swap around. It is probably the fastest corner entry that we see with the trucks. Turns 3 and 4 aren't as bad, so, we will really work with him on having the truck stable and allow him to have confidence getting into turn 1 without lifting.

Did his top-10 finish at Talladega give German a boost of confidence?
"Absolutely -- to come from the 23rd starting position to run as high as fourth at Talladega really pumped him up. You could see with each passing lap that he became more comfortable with his ability to move his truck around and work with his spotter. All of that will increase his confidence when we get to Texas. Rocky (Ryan) is a really experienced spotter and that helps a lot in the race. The great thing that I've learned with German is that he really listens to us when we try to explain to him what he has to work on when he shows up and how he needs to drive the race track. I think Texas will be a really cool race track for him and he will do just fine."

Germán Quiroga's No. 51 NET10 Wireless Tundra:

Chassis KBM-3: KBM-3 will be making its first start of 2012 and seventh overall start in Friday's WinStar World Casino 350. It is the same Tundra that Quiroga drove to a 26th-place finish in the 2011 series finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The trucks best career result, a seventh-place finish, came with Brian Ickler behind the wheel in its debut race at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in September of 2010.

Notes of Interest:

Germán Quiroga 2012:
• Came from the 23rd starting position to finish eighth in the fred's 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (10/6/12)
Germán Quiroga 2011:
• Made two NASCAR Camping World Series Truck Series starts for KBM in 2011, including a 16th-place finish in his series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon
• Captured his third consecutive NASCAR Mexico Series championship behind the strength of three wins, 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 14 starts

Germán Quiroga Career:
• Three-time NASCAR Mexico Series Champion (2009 - 2011); only driver in series history to win multiple championships
• Collected 16 wins, 52 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes over 70 starts after the Mexico Series became officially sanctioned by NASCAR in 2007
• Led 12 laps before being relegated to a 28th-place finish in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in 2007 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico
• Posted runner-up finishes in the final NASCAR Mexico Series point standings in both 2007 and 2008
• 2005 Formula Renault 2000 Series Champion and Rookie of the Year
• 1999 Mustang Series Rookie of the Year
• 1998 Reto Neon Series Champion
• 1996 Reto Neon Series Rookie of the Year

Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 51 Tundra:
• KBM's second entry has produced top-10 results in each of its two starts this season; Denny Hamlin drove the No. 51 to victory in last week's Kroger 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Quiroga finished eighth in the fred's 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
• In 2011, the team posted four top-20 finishes over nine starts with three different drivers
• In 2011, registered a season-best finish of 13th with Josh Richards at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and a season-best qualifying effort of ninth with Richards at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.
• All three drivers to make a start for the team last season were champions in another series before making their Truck Series debut with KBM -Quiroga (Three-Time NASCAR Mexico Series champion), Kimi Räikkönen (2007 Formula One Champion) and Josh Richards (Two-Time World of Outlaws Late Model champion)
• In 2010, Tayler Malsam posted five top-20 finishes in seven starts in the KBM second entry
Quiroga Set to Treat Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc. Employees with Visit
German Quiroga will be one of several Toyota drivers that will be in San Antonio this Wednesday, Oct. 31. The drivers will visit -- and meet team members -- at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, Inc. (TMMTX). The group will tour the facility and meet team members, as well as see how production Tundras are assembled -- including theTundra CrewMax pickup that recently towed the Space Shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles. The NASCAR drivers will also take newly assembled Tundras to the TMMTX test track.

The Ren File:
KBM General Manager Rick Ren, who with 28 victories is the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, will be calling the shots for the No. 51 NET10 Wireless team this weekend in the Lone Star State. Ren's drivers have posted an average finish of 7.6 across 20 starts at Texas, including three wins, 11 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. The Illinois native guided Ron Hornaday Jr. to victories in both the spring and fall races in 2008 and also visited victory lane with Travis Kavpil in the 2001 fall race.

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