Race 5 - Napa
Qualified 9th Finished 30th
A wise man once said
"The climb to the top is never going to be easy". That man must have driven
Bakersfield was a good
race for us. We overcame some adversity, and probably finished better
than we should have. With that in mind, our trip back to Indianapolis
was uneventful, and I can't tell you how good it was to finally sleep
in my own bed. After two weeks on the road, the mail had piled up on the
doorstep, and I needed a quick breather.
The NASCAR schedule
called for the trucks to go through technical inspection on Thursday,
so I flew in to Martinsville late Wednesday night. Tech inspection went
smoothly (as always) and it was time to hit the track. I know I've said
it before, but Jerry assured me we'd have a fast truck right off the hauler.
Once again, he was right.
"I can't tell
you how good it was to finally sleep in my own bed. After two weeks on
the road, the mail had piled up on the doorstep..."
After tech inspection,
NASCAR asked the truck teams to move their haulers outside of the infield
area. Martinsville is NASCAR's smallest track, and there was not enough
room for the Winston Cup and the NCTS haulers to be sharing the same infield.
So once the infield was freed up a bit, it was time for practice.
The weather was great,
and the truck was running very well. We were very consistent in practice,
and we ended up clocking the 6th fastest overall practice time. It seemed
that we hit the setup right, and I felt confident that we were in for
a good race. The only thing that seemed to worry us was the weather.
Bets started circulating
amongst team members on when the rain was going to start. My prediction
was somewhere between 1:15 and 1:30 Saturday afternoon. As luck had it,
the first drops fell at 1:30pm and fifteen seconds. All I needed was fifteen
more seconds, and I would have had it right. I seemed to have come up
a little short.
During the rain delay,
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the ESPN crew. We were asked
about our early success thus far this season, and whether or not having
your brother as a crew chief had anything to do with it. My response was
simple. My brother and I are each other's biggest cheerleaders. We think
alike, and the communication between us is excellent. Along with having
a great sponsor like PickupTruck.Com, our team is as solid as ever, and
we are looking forward to our best season yet.
The two-day rain delay
ended up being a friend. Our pit crew spent all day Sunday practicing
pit stops, vowing NOT to repeat their performance from the previous week.
Their hard work would end up being very helpful come race time. When Monday
rolled around, the weather was clear, and the track was ready. It was
time to go racing.