Ryan Blaney: “We’ve run on the sim a couple times… it’s narrow, bumpy, and I expect all that from a street course. It’s hard to tell what it’s going to be like until we get out there in person and kind of get racing around guys or even out there on the track to see how rough it is, what the corners are like. I would have liked to see run-offs, personally. But, I guess they couldn’t rent that space. That’s the only thing that worries me about it. Everything else is fine. You kind of need run-off on a street course with 90-degree corners after long straightaways, but we’ll deal with it.
It’s a cool opportunity, cool event. I really hope that we don’t go and make fools of ourselves if we go there and just wad everything up. I think to avoid some of that stuff, a lot of the corners are kind of blind and you can’t see around them if there’s something. Hopefully they bring in some really good corner marshals to kind of let you know what’s going on around each corner. That would really help that. It’s just hard to know. I think everyone’s going to be fine. You get in the race, and you never know how people are going to run. That’s everything. It’ll be fun. Whatever happens, happens. We’re going. It’s rapidly approaching, so I’m looking forward to it no matter what. It’ll be unique.
The roughest part on the sim is getting into Turn 4 – the long straightaway, I think you’re by the lake and you kind of veer right, and there are massive bumps while you’re braking. Then you have the really tight Turn 5, too. I think you’ll see guys try to out-brake people there, but I don’t know if that’s going to be the best idea. But, I think into six is a good one because it’s a long straightaway into a tight corner. I don’t think at seven you’ll be able to (pass), because you’re going over the bridge and it’s kind of a downhill into a really tight one. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. End of the last corner into Turn 1 I could see trying to out-brake somebody. It’s hard to tell when you’re running by yourself on the sim. Until you get laps there, maybe you’re around cars and think, ‘Ok, maybe I can kind of out-brake someone here or get a run off here.’ It’s kind of hard to tell when you’re running on the sim by yourself.
I don’t think anyone is going to be comfortable going in qualifying after 50 minutes. I mean, you’re going to have your fast cars and cars that aren’t as fast. But, no one is going to be comfortable after 50 minutes at that place. There are still things you’re going to want to learn, and you’re not going to get as many laps as you’d like to get on it before qualifying rolls around. The beauty of it: We’re all running the same racetrack. You just try to learn it faster than everyone else. Hopefully you hit the setups right, prioritize what you need to prioritize. It’s going to be a tough weekend – really tough to learn the track quickly. I think all but maybe two or three (drivers) have ever done a street race before. I think it’s going to be a big learning curve for everybody. It’s going to be tough, but that’s why we do this. I like things that are challenging, and that’s what separates really good guys from the rest of the field.”