Practice got off to an "okay" start, with our times coming in around 13th fastest. The tires issued by NASCAR and Goodyear were the same tires used by the Cup guys last fall, and they were very slow. Our practice times were about a second per lap off where we were last year. We got a chance to work on a truck a bit, and our guys got the truck a lot better. Late Friday practice had us up to around 9th on the speed chart, and by "Happy Hour", we were somewhere near the top five.
When qualifying came, we thought we clicked off a pretty good lap, but it turned out to be 13th best - lucky 13. We were as ready to race as we were ever going to be.
The green flag waved, and the truck felt pretty strong. Personally, I was not very comfortable, because the seat was nowhere near where I normally have it set. Too bad I can't have Chevy install their electronically-adjustable seats. Anyway, in the upcoming time off between Homestead and Phoenix, we'll spend some time at the shop getting the seat adjusted "just right".
"You have to be patient, because if you really push the truck hard, it'll actually make you slower."
After only three laps in the race, I was already up to 8th position. Racers will tell you that Homestead is a "driver's track", meaning you really have to concentrate on what you're doing. You have to be patient, because if you really push the truck hard, it'll actually make you slower. At the beginning of the race we had our tire pressure down 4 to 5 pounds lower than the recommended number given by Goodyear. We do this because as the tires heat up, the tires actually gain in pressure, making the truck handle better through the corners. This track forces you to drive deep into the corner, let off the gas, then "breath" the throttle a bit. To "breath" the throttle, you give it just a bit of gas, and actually let the throttle help you steer the truck through the corner.