Hey HotLap.com! Last time I wrote I was previewing our race at Talladega, this time it’ll be a review of the weekend, so here goes…
We unloaded at Talladega on Thursday and immediately got practicing. Our ABF Chevy was good right off the truck. At a superspeedway like Talladega it’s more about how your car is in the draft and who you can work with, rather than about its handling. We ran one single car run and established we were pretty good and from there we began working on drafting. Since this was my first experience with the new two-car drafting packs, I worked with my teammates a lot trying to get experience in what to feel for. I worked a lot with Justin [Allgaier], but also took time to try drafting with Reed [Sorenson] and Jason [Leffler].
After practice on Thursday we got in qualifying on Friday morning before the weather took over and shut down the track. Qualifying actually worked out really well for the four Turner Motorsports cars. We qualified ninth, 13th, 15th and 17th, which meant we all started close enough to hook-up at the drop of the green flag.
With the drawn out schedule, we had a chance to meet with Mr. Turner, with all the crew chiefs and all drivers on Friday afternoon. We talked a lot about drafting and working together as a team, and we planned out best case scenario strategy. The best part about having a four car team is always knowing you are going to have someone to work with on the track. After the team meeting I had some down time and was able to relax before the race on Saturday.
Saturday morning I made an appearance with Reed at the Nationwide Insurance display at the track and then had a meet and greet with some of our awesome ABF guests. After that it felt like a blink of an eye before I was strapping into the car and making pace laps.
As soon as the green flag waved, things got wild on the track. As everyone expected we raced in two-car packs all day. It was tough finding partners on the track, but fortunately Justin and I hooked-up right away and were able to stay together a majority of the afternoon. The racing on the track was WILD! It felt like people we constantly hitting the wall, or each other! Around lap 88 ‘the big one’ happened, and Justin and I were right in the middle. I have no idea how, but I made it through with no damage at all. Justin made slight contact, but was more than ready to continue the race. That was the closest I have ever been to cars wrecking and not been involved in my life. It definitely got my adrenaline pumping.
As the race progressed, we continually tried to make it to the front. On lap 116, as the race was coming to a close, I made contact with one of my teammates and went for a spin. The damage to my ABF Chevy was enough that I had to get out and go to the infield care center. The wreck left us with a 23rd-place finish, not exactly the day we were hoping for. All in all, though, it was a pretty good day. We raced well, and I got much needed restrictor place racing experience in the ‘new’ Nationwide Series car.
I’ll be back in the No. 30 car at Richmond, so come back and read my blog then. You can check me out racing this weekend in the No. 31 Wolfpack Rentals Silverado in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Nashville Superspeedway.