The second installment of Dylan Smith’s Summer Shootout diary looks at what it is going to take to make things better. He also talks about potential rides, helping Rev Racing any way he can and working with the Green family. With two weeks in the books Smith is sitting 23rd in points after a 23rd-place finish in round two of the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout.
Mike Neff, Frontstretch: What do you think you need to do to end up a little bit closer to the top of the points standings?
Dylan Smith: For one, finish the race (laughs). We had some bad luck in our heat and the feature last week. We cut a right front and no caution came out. Out here, if you get to the point that you need to come in and no caution comes out, there is no point in going back out because you’re not going to get the lap back.
You’ll just tear up your car. To win it you have to finish so this week we’re going to work on missing everything and I’m going to work on keeping my nose clean. I owe these guys something they can get better with for next year.
Neff: Where did you end up in your heat race tonight (June 26)?
Smith: I think we ended up eighth. We’re still trying to find the right tire pressure combination. It was just too loose at the beginning. By the time it got good they were too far ahead. We’re struggling a little bit in the heat but we’re going to figure it out here before too long. We’ll be a lot better for the features because we’ll be qualifying up front so I’m looking forward to that.
Neff: The Big Money 100 is coming up next week, will you be running in those races too?
Smith: Hopefully we’ll make the race, it is a lot of pressure. It is really hard to make that race with so many competitors coming from all over to try and make that race. I think we have a good shot at it. We’re going to practice really hard this week for it. We’re a better racecar team than a qualifying team so that is good. It doesn’t pay anything for qualifying. Hopefully we’ll get it figured out and go race for that big money.
Neff: You told us last week that you work in the shop for Rev Racing, what do you do over there besides working on your own car?
Smith: I work on my own car after hours. During work hours I do whatever is asked of me to the best of my ability. Whether that is dismounting tires or making side skirts for cars or cleaning them or parts running. All of the little things so the guys at the shop can handle getting the cars set up and put back together. Doing all of the big things. If I can help with the little things it makes their jobs a lot easier.
Neff: Did you have a decent celebration at the shop after having three of the four Rev Racing cars finish in the top 10 in the K&N East race at Langley?
Smith: Yeah, it was a good building weekend. Everybody did what they had to do. We had one car get into a little trouble and cut down a left-rear tire. He’s had a lot of bad luck all season. The team itself is moving forward. Everything is getting better so hopefully we can roll off some more of those top-10 finishes and I can do my part and get some top 10 and top-five finishes. The main goal all of the time is to win so that is what we’re shooting for.
Neff: You have some plans to run some other stuff. When is your next race outside of a Legends car going to be?
Smith: I’m not really sure. At the end of July we have a little break at the shop. I may go home for that week and run Thunder Road or Saratoga or Devil’s Bowl. There are some options and everyone has always been very open to let me run their racecars which is just an honor because I can’t really afford to fix it if I tear it up so, for them to trust me with their equipment is a blessing. If we get something going on I’ll definitely be outside of a Legends car and run something else.
Neff: You have one of the Green brothers over here helping you out. Is he helping you out with this deal?
Smith: Yeah, we have Mark Green over there with Tymark Motorsports. They helped me put this thing together this winter. Mark works at the shop, he’s one of the crew chiefs for one of our drivers. It is good for me because he has a ton of experience in all types of cars.
He’s a very well-known Nationwide racer, so I just pick his brain a little bit about how to drive it. We were just talking a little bit ago about how it is hot out here and that you have to let the car roll a little bit more and wait on it. Just learning as much as I can from those guys.
Neff: Tyler Green is pretty competitive in the Pro division, does he help you out with driving too?
Smith: Yes, I ask Tyler a lot of questions. He’s the reason we got going in this deal. I was struggling the first week and we came back the second week and were even worse so I went over to him and asked “Do you like park it in the corner?” In his own words he said “I drive it like I feel like I’m wrecking every time going into the corner.”
So I said OK and the next time we went out, bing, and we were up a couple of tenths. That helped a lot, Tyler is a hell of a driver so to pick his brain, as well as his dad, is really good for me and will hopefully help me get to the next level.
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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