Race Weekend Central

Lawless Alan Finishes 11th, Continues to Show Improvement

FORT WORTH, Texas ā€” For Lawless Alan, much of his career in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been a struggle.

In 60 career starts, Alan has one top 10 finish, a 10th at Talladega Superspeedway last year. He has also failed to finish 20% of his starts and has an average finish of 24.3.

For this year, Alan made the move over to Reaume Brothers Racing along with sponsors Auto Park-It and Auto Charge-It. So far, there have been handling problems, but progress has been made.

At Texas Motor Speedway Friday night (April 12), Alan scored an 11th-place finish after running most of the final 30 laps in the top 10. It is his best-ever finish on an unrestricted oval.

See also
Kyle Busch Hangs On for Truck Series Win at Texas

“[We were] pretty solid tonight, certainly the best we’ve been on an intermediate [track],” Alan told Frontstretch. “We’re a long ways from perfect, but we got very lucky with when [the caution for Layne Riggs‘ crash] came out.

“We were sitting in the Lucky Dog [free pass] spot, and there was no way that we could come in while sitting in the Lucky Dog spot until we absolutely have to. We got lucky there, but we’ve been unlucky plenty of times before.

Alan feels that the finish is a true reflection of their pace for much of the evening. While strategy and luck got him up toward the front, he didn’t fall away from the leaders in a hurry.

With 26 laps to go after Riggs’ crash, Alan restarted in seventh. He held onto his position during the short run before the crash involving Kris Wright and Stewart Friesen brought out a yellow. He dropped a couple of positions on the next short run before Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger and Dean Thompson crashed in turn 3.

On the final restart with 10 laps to go, Alan was ninth and hung with the leaders, even moving up a spot and doing battle with Zane Smith and Daniel Dye, who ended up finishing fifth and sixth. However, quicker drivers such as Ty Majeski ran him down in the final laps, dropping him to 11th.

Alan was fairly inexperienced before moving up. He has made only five starts in what is now ARCA Menards Series West (one of which was a conjunction race with the ARCA Menards Series) and one in ARCA Menards Series East before moving into the Trucks.

More recently, Alan has received some assistance. Starting at The Milwaukee Mile last August when he was still at Niece Motorsports, 1995 Truck Series champion Mike Skinner came on to serve as Alan’s driver coach. It has been a learning experience for Alan.

“[Skinner] has helped me tremendously,” Alan said. “[He] takes a lot of the things that it might take me a few more races here at Texas to figure out and helps me with it since he’s been here a bunch.

“He’s always chirping me on the radio, telling me what I need to do to be better. It helps me know specifically where I need to improve. He’s been really helpful.”

Last year, the coaching from Skinner was a more remote thing. They would meet together and discuss what Skinner was seeing from Alan and how he could fix things. This year, Skinner is at the track a lot more.

Alan describes RBR as having more in the way of growing pains as compared to Niece Motorsports, but that everyone is “pulling in the same direction.”

It is a long road to improve in the Truck Series, but everyone at the team seems to really want it bad. A result such as Friday night’s is visible progress.

“It feels good to see the progress,” Alan said. “Last year, [the team failed to] qualify in a bunch of races, to this year, every race where we haven’t had an issue, we’ve finished in the top 15.

See also
Through the Gears: Texas Best Bets

Alan also sees something else that the team can build on for the future.

“We finally got the truck loose,” Alan said. “That’s a big thing for me. We’ve been tight everywhere. We still have that intrinsically tight problem, but tonight was the first time where I went, ‘Alright, boys, I’m getting a little free here.’

“We have a baseline now of where we should start and the things that we need to show up with.”

With a baseline setup that the team can bring to intermediate tracks with the limited 20-minute practice sessions, perhaps Friday night will not go down as just a one-off for Alan and Reaume Brothers Racing. It could be the beginning of something more.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via