Since we last talked, we’ve gotten three races in. Martinsville went well; we ran great all day long. I felt like we should’ve gotten the win there, but all in all, it was a good points day and we led a bunch of laps. Then we went to Rockingham and got another pole—that was good. In the race, we had a pretty good finish—not as good as I wanted it to be but another good points day. And then we went to Kansas and I thought we had a shot to win that race and led a bunch of laps again. But there towards then end, the truck got too loose and I spun it out. I kept it off of the wall, but I messed up my splitter coming back on the race track. That hurt the truck and we finished 15th. But other than that, it’s been a good start to the year. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing. It was a little frustrating to run that well and finish where we did.
Rookie Jeb Burton scored back-to-back poles at Martinsville and Darlington earlier this year.
My qualifying efforts have been really good. We’ve started first, first and third in the last three races. I wish that was what our finishes were, but these trucks are good and I think when we move on to Charlotte, I should be able to qualify in the top 5. Like I said, we’ve gotta keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll be there at the end of the year.
Next up we’re headed off to Charlotte for a Friday night race. Charlotte is a fun race track. It’s got a whole lot of grip. It’s more of a driver race track. Kansas is more like a Daytona where we don’t lift all day since we don’t have as much horsepower in the trucks. But at Charlotte you lift and use the brake and it’s more in the drivers’ hands. The truck still needs to handle well though. I finished eighth there last year, so I’m excited to get back there. Last year, we started 21st and we just took our time all day and were there at the end of the day. If we qualify up front, we’ll be able to just ride and take care of our truck and our equipment and be there on the last pit stop. Mike Hillman and the guys do a great job for me. We just need to remember our goals and take care of our equipment every week and finish every race.
Moving off of the truck series a bit, Penske Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing were handed penalties in the last couple of weeks. I don’t really have a whole lot of comment on it since it wasn’t involving me. But what I will say is these race teams are doing all they can do to win races and be competitive. That’s what you’ve gotta do working on these race cars—you’ve gotta do all you can do. If NASCAR doesn’t like what they’re doing, that’s fine, but those guys are trying to go fast. And when you do that, sooner or later, you’re going to have some hiccups along the way. They’re both really good organizations and they do a good job.
But let’s get away from racing a little bit. I had a really good turkey hunting season this year. I went a couple times and shot a couple birds. I’m a big outdoorsman and like going into the woods. It’s my relaxation time to be in the woods—that and the race tracks is mainly what I’ve been doing. We did do a little bit of late model testing at South Boston recently, but leaving out of the gate was probably the most exciting thing with that. I didn’t run worth a crap. I haven’t really been spending my time doing much anything else except getting ready for Charlotte. We’re excited about it and looking forward to getting there.
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