Greetings from an extremely hot and humid day at Kentucky Speedway! We just wrapped up our qualifying lap here. Our best lap was 30.97-seconds, which puts us in the seventh position to start tonight’s race. The car was just a tick on the free side for our qualifying laps. We were pretty good in race trim so I think we’ll be up near the front for most of the race. Hopefully we’ll get our way to the very front and finish there! It’s a lot of fun to be back here at Kentucky. I haven’t raced here since 2006 and let me tell you, the track is a lot rougher and bumpier than it was back then!
Last weekend in Nashville went well. We didn’t get the finish we wanted, but we did end up seventh and kept our fifth-place spot in the owner’s point standings. I got to spend some time with Dollar General executives, vendor guests and their families. They have been a great sponsor to work with!
On Tuesday, Casey Smith drove the Legends Car that I am co-owner of in the first race of the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Unfortunately our night ended early when we cut a tire and narrowly missed getting hit by cars in the field as they went speeding buy. It is a completely different feeling standing up on top of the trailer and watching helplessly as the car you own nearly gets destroyed. I am excited to be doing this though. I got my start in the Legends Series and it is a lot of fun to be able to be a car owner now. We’re running the Summer Shootout as well as the Million Dollar race that will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway in July. I’d love to race it myself, but I’ll be racing the Dollar General Toyota at Gateway that same night. Wouldn’t it be great to win there and climb out of the car to hear more good news?!
After the Shootout race, I ran to the airport and flew back to Nashville. It was a short night of sleep because I was awake early and heading to Fox’s Tennessee Mornings show for an interview. After that, we grabbed a quick breakfast and then it was off to Fannie Battle Day Home where I read Clifford the Big Red Dog to their pre-K and kindergarten students. They are currently doing a reading program there with a racing theme that is called Racing to Read. The kids were a lot of fun and asked some great questions! Dollar General is very involved in reading programs and literacy promotion. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has done a lot of great work, including funding programs for kids like those at Fannie Battle.
After we finished up at Fannie Battle, it was off to the Dollar General store support center in Goodlettsville, Tennessee for the Dollar General Race Day. DG’s IndyCar driver, Sarah Fisher, Eric McClure (#24 Nationwide Series driver), Brad Daugherty (ESPN), Bob Vandergriff (NHRA driver), the WWE wrestler “Edge” and I signed autographs for Dollar General employees. Associate sponsors set up booths with freebies and there were show cars and racing simulators out for everyone to play on. Unfortunately, it rained most of the morning and they had to move everything into the parking deck. But it was still a great event and it seemed like everyone had a great time!
The real excitement happened on our way home. When we got to the Nashville airport, all the power was out and they were running on back-up generators. The thunderstorm that slammed through the area hit something that wiped it out. They checked our luggage by hand and gave us hand written boarding passes. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if we’d be getting home that night, but they got the power up and running and we took off only 45 minutes later than scheduled!
Well, I’d better get some dinner quick now. We head to the driver meeting in 45 minutes and then it is racing at 8:00 pm tonight. I think we have a really good car with us, so hopefully you’ll see a lot of the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota tonight on ESPN!
Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for following me on here!