Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (02 June, 2010) Narain Karthikeyan continues to impress NASCAR and its fans as he adapts quickly to stock car racing. In his first ever race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Karthikeyan finished in 13th and on the lead lap, winning the ‘Rookie of the Race’ award. He logged a similarly strong performance in his third race by finishing in 17th on the lead lap despite a blown engine during morning practice which caused him to start from the back of the field. Karthikeyan is looking to improve even more this Friday, June 4, at Texas Motor Speedway where he hopes to break into the top ten.
Like Charlotte Motor Speedway where Karthikeyan raced on May 21, Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile oval with high banking in the turns. Racing back to back on such similar tracks should help Karthikeyan as he pilots the No. 60 Chevrolet Silverado for Starbeast Motorsports.
Narain Karthikeyan: “I think first of all, the banking and the layout of the circuit are similar to Charlotte (Motor Speedway) which is a good thing for us since we just raced there. Having said that and having spoken to Stacy (Compton, his spotter & NCWTS veteran driver) and Chad (Kendrick, his crew chief), they say the level of grip is a little bit less in Texas so it will be kind of interesting because obviously this is where you need to be confident with the truck, see how much you can lean on it and see how much speed you can carry through the middle of the corner to the exit. So we’ll be working on that during practice and qualifying and hopefully have it figured out for the race.”
“Racing on banked ovals is completely different for me from the road courses that I have raced in open-wheel, and of course the trucks are very different from the single-seaters as well,” Karthikeyan said. “I am getting more comfortable with it, the more I race, but to say that I have it down after three races is impossible. I’m still learning the nuances of the race-car and each track as we go. My goal for Texas is to continue to improve, run well and finish the race. I keep reminding myself that this is a learning season so seat time is the key – continue to get comfortable with the truck and push it, but don’t go crazy.”
Although Karthikeyan is adapting more quickly than most NASCAR rookie drivers, he is still learning on the job and each race provides him with more knowledge and puts him one step closer to victory.
Miguel Abaroa, Starbeast CEO and Founder: “There is a learning curve that every open wheel driver experiences to adjust to the type of racing in NASCAR, even if you raced in Formula 1. This racing is just so different. Narain is progressing according to plan. We see his talent and skill not only in driving the truck, but also in being able to feel what the truck is doing. That ability is only present in great drivers. He is a very mature, smart driver that is progressing the right way. We have no doubt that Narain will be fighting in the top positions in the next few races and are very excited about our future in NASCAR.”