Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals
Medlen hoping to repeat as series moves to Seattle
That said, Medlen was as happy as anyone to learn that the track's owners had taken steps to eliminate the troublesome dip that had identified Seattle Raceways as a quarter mile track on which lane choice, especially in the early rounds, was likely to be the difference between winning and losing.
"I was glad to see it," Medlen said. "The biggest problem for us is that they did it so late, so close to the race, that it's probably going to take a little time to get rubber built back up on the track. The first couple of (qualifying) sessions, the first session for sure, you're probably going to see a lot of tire smoke (indicating a loss of traction).
"But maybe it's far enough down there that it won't make that much difference,” he speculated. “We'll just have to see. That said, we have quite a bit of confidence going into the race because of our success last year. I'm really looking forward (to defending the championship)."
Medlen is entering a stretch in the season during which he was sizzling hot last year, winning three times in a four-race stretch that began at
The native of
"We definitely need to make a move," he said. "We know we have a fast car but now we have to perform. This Western Swing (which began last week in
Although he has won four times in his career, Medlen never has won a race prior to
Despite the fact that he is 265 points down to points leader Ron Capps, Medlen is not yet ready to concede the championship.
Last year, he arrived in
Picking up just 30 points a race, Medlen could go to Indy this year within 145 points of the lead. That would at least give him a shot at the championship Tony Pedregon won in the Syntec Ford in 2003.
"I won't tell you that we didn't dig a hole for ourselves, because we did," Medlen said after his second round loss last week at Denver, Colo., "but I don't think anybody in the top seven or eight is out of it yet. If somebody gets hot, like we did last year, it'll change the whole mix.
“The Western Swing has always been huge (in deciding the points race) and I think it will be again this year.”
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