Curran Makes NASCAR Debut
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LAKEVILLE, CT. - (Aug. 13, 2008)

By Eric Curran

After racing more than 20 different race cars over the years at Lime Rock Park, which I consider to be my home track because I get there from home in an hour and a half, I finally have the opportunity to not only do my first NASCAR race, but do it at the track I know the best.

That'll happen this Saturday when I race the #31 Whelen-Debt Cures Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Camping World East series - the 9th of 15 races this season. Yes friends, it is televised - HD NET live and on a tape delay by SPEED TV.

I tested the car there two weeks ago. It didn't take too long to get down into the 53-second lap times, which was last year's pole time. I feel I can go even faster in the car. My adrenaline rush for finally getting to do my first NASCAR race ought to be worth three-quarters of a second.

All this is happening because of the cooperation of, and enthusiasm by, a lot of good people I've known for years. First, I need to thank Teddy Marsh of Marsh Racing and Whelen Engineering, partners in the Chevrolet Corvettes that Sonny Whelen and I race in the SCCA World Challenge GT series under the Whelen Motorsports banner. We have a new partner, too - Debt Cures - a company owned by Nick Esayian, who I know from being one of his teammates on Peter Cunningham's RealTime Acura race team. Racing, you see, is a friendly spider web of people. And, we cannot forget Coca-Cola as a prime sponsor on the Chevy.

Driving a 3300-pound car around Lime Rock isn't like hustling an Acura or a Chevy Cobalt or even my Whelen Corvette around the track.

Momentum is an important word to remember. You have to focus on carrying as much speed as possible through the turns, but yet not accelerating so hard that you burn the rear tires of off the car - not to mention the front tires from too much understeer. And you also have to hit your marks, the points you establish on the outside and inside edges of the track where you start your turn-in, were you go from trailing throttle to power, and the farthest you let the car slide in a turn.

I'm excited, can't you tell? Do I expect to turn in a performance that makes Richard Childress get on the phone and return all my calls to him? No, but a win that is well executed by every member of the team will be great.
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