Because of the nature of racing, this weeks blog post is a little behind, but stay tuned as another one is on its way!
Good afternoon from a very steamy Darlington, S.C. It feels like summer has already hit the South this weekend, with temperatures climbing well into the 90’s! Thank goodness we race here at night. It was pretty hot last weekend in Richmond, too. But at least it didn’t rain!
We had a pretty good weekend in Richmond. The Dollar General Toyota was fastest in practice and we qualified on the outside pole. Unfortunately, when the sun went down, we lost some of our handling. The guys did a good job trying to adjust all night and find me some more grip. The car stayed pretty tight and definitely liked the short-runs better than the long runs. We stayed in or around the top-five most of the night. But when the caution came out at the end, we had a green-white-checkered finish. We came in and put four tires on the car. I just couldn’t get it back up to the front and we finished eighth. Not a bad finish, but disappointing when you know the car is better than eighth.
It was a busy Friday at Richmond. Trent and I ran between both garages again. We qualified the Cup car in the 34th spot for Saturday’s race. This team is working really hard and gets better each time we are at the track. I’ll be back in the Nationwide car next weekend in Dover.
This weekend, Vickers is driving the Dollar General Toyota in the Nationwide Series race. Darlington is also my crew chief, Trent Owens’, home track. I know he’s excited to be home and would really like to get a win here. Trent will have another full day here, too because I’m also driving the Braun Racing Cup car this weekend. This will be Trent’s first race here as a Cup crew chief. As we continue to develop this program, it is neat to be a part of something that is growing. I’m proud of the ground we’ve made in just a few short months!
On a non-racing note, I just want to mention that our thoughts and prayers are going out to the flood victims in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. The damage has been devastating and a lot of it has been in Nashville, which is close to our team since Dollar General is based in nearby Goodlettsville. The pictures of the Grand Ole Opry would shocking! To see the stage underwater and think that I was standing right there just a month ago. Dollar General has made donations through the American Red Cross and the Second Harvest Food Bank. Anyone who wants to join the recovery effort can donate to the American Red Cross through www.redcross.org and at the check-out registers at Dollar General stores in Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Have a great weekend everyone!