Jacques Villeneuve Back For More

This was my first time going to the Nationwide race at the historic Road America racetrack in beautiful Elkhart Lake, WI. Many consider the track the greatest road course in North America and why not? This is coming from most if not all of the drivers that love to come here. Not only is it the greatest track, but is run by the nicest people and has the best food at any track across the U.S. Add to it the Grand Am Series being added to the schedule, the fans were treated to a very special weekend.

The weather did not start off to good with Thursday as Grand Am practice was washed out with the rain that came down all day. One team did test their defoggers but the Continental Series cars did brave the conditions. Friday the rain cleared out and Nationwide cars were on the track. Although most of the clouds remained, the temps came up during the day for a splendid day. This event last year had the best attendance for Nationwide and looks like this years was going to be the same. Some claimed that RA would have a three-day attendance of 100K, however I think it’ll be closer to 70K, still a nice weekend for the Wisconsin track.

This also was going to be Jacques Villeneuve’s return to Nationwide racing after all he almost won the race last year driving for Braun Racing.
The Formula One Champion and Indy 500 Winner was going to give it another shot. Jacques had a press conference on Friday was very happy to be back in a Nationwide car and driving for Roger Penske. This track has been good to him winning his first and last Indy car (CART) race here and he always loves to come here. His father won here in the 1970’s and Uncle Jacques won a CART race in 1986. Jacques was asked how the Penske deal came together.”I’m sure running good last year helps. Anytime you run well, it opens the door a little bit. I’ve been working on NASCAR for quite a few years now. It’s slow progress, but it’s always a little progress. You never give up and keep going. Also, I think there’s been some good respect toward one another since the IndyCar days. I raced against Roger’s (Penske) organization in ’94 and ’95 in IndyCar. All these things helped. And yes, fighting for the win last year and being aggressive, but I think what has helped me is the fact Brad is not racing here. Jacques has shown he is a front runner in Nationwide and still has what it takes, I some of what he has to do is not drive so hard find a happy medium so at the end of the race he has something for them I think when he got black flagged it triggered some thing to drive the wheels off before that he was there. I think Road America is a great place for a Nascar race, with attendance dropping off Nascar needs to look at new venues and Road America would be a great track. The Nationwide race both years has been one of their best races, the track really suits them with the high speed corners and turn 5 has made for some exciting racing.”

Next will be Montreal for Jacques and I think getting this race behind him (finishing third) with Team Penske he will be a contender. Penske put him in that car because they think can win there is no other reason why, I guess we will see at Montreal.

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