CONCORD, N.C. -- Bobby East returns to pilot the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 this weekend at O’Reilly Raceway Park. In addition to competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Saturday, East is competing in the National Silver Crown Championship race and two National Midget Championship races. East talks about the transition from each race car, and his goals for this weekend.
BOBBY EAST - No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 - WE SAW YOU LAST IN MEMPHIS; THIS IS YOUR FIRST WEEK BACK IN THE TRUCK. WHAT DID YOU DO IN YOUR TIME AWAY FROM TRUCK RACING? “I’ve just been racing my Midget and have been spending time with guys on the Zaxby’s Ford F-150 team. I’ve been looking forward to the Indy race all year.”
ORP IS YOUR HOME TRACK AND YOU’VE RACED THERE IN A VARIETY OF SERIES. IS IT A SPECIAL TRACK TO YOU? “Yeah, it is, because it is my home track. It’s a track that has a lot of history to it. Everybody loves going there because of the great racing that goes on there. In that regard, it’s pretty special. We’re taking the same truck that we raced at Memphis, so I think it will be a really good race for everybody here.”
CAN YOU CARRY MOMENTUM FROM MEMPHIS INTO ORP? “A little bit, yeah, I think so. We’ve had four races this season and earned two top-10s. Obviously, we’d like to have four top 10s and even a win. We’d obviously like to run better, but we’re fairly happy with what we’ve done. If we keep gaining on what we’ve done, we’ll get some top fives and go from there. I think we have a little bit of momentum on our side.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MIDGET RACING PROGRAM? “We’ve been pretty solid this year. We’ve had troubles and my team is good enough to overcome those troubles, which is what you’ve got to do when you’re making a championship run. I think we’re well on our way with that. Last time we raced at ORP, we won there in a Midget and we were really good. Our pavement program is just really strong this year. I’m hoping to win that race and the Silver Crown race on Thursday, and that will give me a lot of momentum for Friday night.”
YOU HAVE FOUR RACES THIS WEEK? “I’ll be in four races. I’ve got two on Thursday, the Midget and the Silver Crown car. On Friday night, I’m racing the truck at ORP and Saturday I have a 400-lap Midget race at Anderson, Indiana.”
SO HOW DO YOU TRANSITION FROM THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RACING? “You just do it. I’ve been gaining experience at all of them. It really takes experience and it takes a lot of focus to switch your mind over to what vehicle you’re getting into. You just do it and that’s what you do. I started hydrating last week because it is going to be hot and humid this week. Physically, everything will be perfectly fine there and I’ll just make sure to keep fluids in me all week. I should have plenty of energy for the whole weekend. It should be fun.”
WHAT’S MORE DIFFICULT, BEING PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY PREPARED? “Neither. One’s not tougher than the other. I use the off season and a couple of days during the week to stay physically fit and eat healthy and drink a lot of water and stuff like that. Mentally, it’s not a problem. It’s just switching your mind over from what vehicle you just came from to the vehicle that you’ll be getting into.”
ON RACING AT ORP. “It is a tough track because you’re in the corners for so long, so you’ve got to have a lot of corner speed there. It’s fun racing because the track is so flat on the bottom. It’s progressively banked all the way to the top. Sometimes it can create three lanes of racing, so that means a lot of passing. I think that’s why everybody loves racing at ORP, too, because they put on great races because you can pass quite a bit there.”
MOST OF THE TRUCK SERIES TRACKS SEEM VERY FAN-FRIENDLY AND ORP SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST FAN-FRIENDLY TRACKS. “Yeah, it’s very fan-friendly. They bring in portable grandstands and put them pretty all the way around. Then of course, they have the hill that you can sit on in turn one. Yeah, it’s a fan-friendly track.”
WHAT ARE YOU GOALS FOR THE FOUR RACES? “I’m hoping to win both races on Thursday night and have a top-five run in the Zaxby’s Ford F-150 and win that race on Saturday night, too.”
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.