Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ricky Carmichael heading to X Games

Ricky Carmichael has one more NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race before heading to Los Angeles for X Games 15. Carmichael will be in the Truck Series race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis this weekend. The following weekend, starting on July 30, he will be competing in two events, the best whip and step-up in the X Games. He won the gold medal in best whip at last year’s X Games.
Carmichael is coming off his best finish in the Truck Series. He was seventh in the race at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night.
O’Reilly Raceway Park marks a stretch of short tracks on the Truck Series schedule. Three of the next five Truck Series races are on tracks that are less than a mile.
“I like short-track racing. To be honest I like racing everywhere,” said Carmichael, who drives for Kevin Harvick Inc. “Anytime I have the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet I get excited. I think that short-track racing is a little more challenging than some of the 1.5-mile tracks because you really have to keep your eyes open as to what is happening around you and it is tougher to pass.”
Because he is competing in the X Games, he will miss the Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee.
The race at O’Reilly Raceway Park coincides with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When Carmichael was racing motocross, he made regular visits to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. It is where he first met Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne and the two have developed a friendship over the years.
“I think that for Ricky, the opportunity to work with Kevin Harvick is a huge benefit,” said Kahne, who drives the No. 9 Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports. “You can tell that he really cares about his team and the input he gives really helps the drivers in that organization. Ricky and I are friends and I have always been a huge fan of his from the motorcycle days. I went with Ricky to a Late Model test at Hickory [Motor Speedway in North Carolina] and watched as he made some laps.”
Carmichael, who seems to have adapted to stock car racing rather quickly, was asked if he ever had any desire to race open-wheel cars. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the Indianapolis 500.
“I have no desire to get into one of those cars,” Carmichael said. “I would much rather be enclosed in a stock car. If I am in danger of hitting the wall head on, I’d like to have a cage around me. I spent the better part of my life out in the open, I think for the next chapter I will stay in something.”

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