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
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
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.