Brian Deegan is relishing the challenge of racing at Bader Field this weekend.
The course in Atlantic City is 80% road, but despite minimal dirt, a surface on which he traditionally excels, Deegan expects to be challenging for victory.
“I came here and it’s a lot of road course-ey track and I think all of the hours I spent at the kart track kind of paid off,” he said. “The dirt section just feels natural to me, that’s where I think I’ll be able to make some of my passes and then really I think the car setup’s been good.”
Deegan’s Chip Ganassi Racing team have often been the best of the rest behind Volkswagen Andretti this season, and Deegan believes that his and team mate Steve Arpin’s top five qualifying performances at Atlantic City are down to the experienced team behind them.
“The guys from Ganassi got the car to turn really well, it’s really what it comes down to: how well your car turns,” he explained. “My car’s been turning really good, we’ll see. It’s going to be a good battle, I want the beat Scott [Speed] on his own game, this is his style, pavement racing, I’d like to be able to beat him.”
Although Scott Speed took pole by a considerable margin, the rest of the top five were extremely tight throughout practice and qualifying. Deegan however doesn’t feel threatened by his rivals around him, instead insisting he’s happy the field is as close as it is.
“I think it’s good, I think it’s good when everyone is close,” he said. “Fortune comes down to the starts, and then after that it’s how aggressive you want to be and I think at this point there are three or four cars that could win and that makes for good racing.”