Scott Harvey - coauthor

07/31/00 Volume Fifteen:
Race 17,
Michigan 200

It feels good to be on a bit of a roll...We've now clicked off two straight top tens, and I'd like to think we've got the monkey off our back.

The team made it to the track on Wednesday, where NASCAR had another one of their "optional" test days. What that means, is that NASCAR opens up the track for the teams to practice all day, without any restrictions. It's an entire day of practice before the regularly-scheduled practice and qualifying sessions. All in all, it gives all teams a chance to work on getting their trucks dialed in

All Chevy teams were having a tough go of it from the start. The aero packages required by NASCAR caused an excessive amount of front downforce, which slows down the trucks on the straights, and makes the back ends very loose in the corners. If there's one thing you need to be competitive here at Michigan, is speed on the straights.

By the time Thursday morning came along, we were able to make a few changes that seemed to make the truck a bit more stable. We got our practice time in, then waited for Friday. In qualifying, we made a pretty good effort. I felt comfortable in the truck, and was able to keep the pedal mashed to the floor the whole way around the track. Our time put us 12th on the grid, which was not as good as 11th, but better than 13th.

Happy hour came along, and we thought the demons were going to bring us down again. We just got out onto the track when the engine blew. Jerry (our soon-to-be-famous crew chief) and the guys did an awesome job of scrambling to get the engine out of the backup truck and into the primary truck. The new engine was the one used at Nazareth, but we weren't sure how well it was going to do at this track. I guess we had to wait and see…

Just before the race started, Jerry and I sat down and talked about how we were going to approach this race. With a question-mark under the hood, we weren't sure if our original strategy was going to work. So when the green flag fell, we just decided to ride along and take things as they came to us.

Once the race started, I felt good, and was able to move into the top ten. Fortunately, the race was completely un-eventful for us. No crashes, spins, or bad pit stops. We were able to motor along in the top ten all day, without being lower than 13th the whole race. Jerry and I were able to talk back and forth as the laps went on, discussing how to dial the truck in even more. It seemed to get a little better, and when the checkered flags flew, we were in 9th place (and VERY happy about it!)

This was a very good weekend for the team, and an even BETTER one for me. In case you haven't heard, I dropped down on one knee and asked Amy East for her hand in marriage. She's meant a lot to me this past year, and I feel like I'm the luckiest man in the world to have her by my side (when she's not doing pit analysis for ESPN). Stay tuned for future announcements on the wedding plans, and I'll make sure all of you get invitations!

Next Race: IRP

Indianapolis Raceway Park is one of those tracks where I've always ran well, but never finished well. Last year we lost our radio communications at the green flag, and ended up wrecking out of the race towards the end. This year, we're going to double-check all our radio wiring, and we're going to "rent" the Busch Grand National pit crew from Jason Leffler to help us drive to a victory. Because I now live in Indianapolis, a win here would make the drive home (short and) very sweet!



Michigan 200
Race Results

Pos Name
1 Greg Biffle
2 Kurt Busch
3 Mike Wallace
4 Andy Houston
5 Dennis Setzer
6 Jamie McMurray
7 Rick Crawford
8 Marty Houston
9 Terry Cook
10 Randy Tolsma
11 Scott Riggs
12 Jimmy Hensley
13 Jack Sprague
14 Joe Ruttman
15 Bryan Reffner
16 Steve Grissom
17 Lance Norick
18 Rob Morgan
19 Donny Morelock
20 Carlos Contreras
21 Ryan McGlynn
22 Patrick Lawler
23 Rich Woodland
24 Stevie Reeves
25 Stan Boyd
26 Rick Ware
27 Randy MacDonald
28 Lance Hooper
29 David Starr
30 J.D. Gibbs
31 Rick Carelli
32 B.A. Wilson
33 Wayne Edwards
34 Phil Bonifield

Michigan 200 Race Stats
Time of race:
Average Speed: 138.408 mph (Record)
Margin of Victory:
1.324 secs.
Lead Changes:
14 lead changes among 6 drivers
4 caution flags for 14 laps

Mich. 200 Contingency Awards
Bud Pole Award: ($1,100):
Jamie McMurray, No. 41 Farris Concrete Dodge
Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award: ($650):
Jerry Carcone, No. 50 Grainger Ford
Gatorade Front Runner Award ($2,000):
Greg Biffle, No. 50
Raybestos Brakes Award ($800):
Kurt Busch, No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford, 2nd
Ventvisor Super Deflector Award ($500):

Diary Segments
Terry Cook's Biography
Volume I - Road to Daytona
Volume II - Daytona 250
Volume III - Florida Dodge Dealers 400

Volume IV - The Mini-Vacation
Volume V - Chevy Trucks 150
Volume VI - Dodge California Truck Stop 250
Volume VII - Napa 250
Volume VIII - Line-X 225K
Volume IX - Ram Tough 200
Volume X - Memphis 200
Volume XI - 200
Volume XII - Sears 200
Volume XIII - DieHard 200
Volume XIV - Silverado 200
Volume XV - Michigan 200

Volume XV Pages:
Page 1