Andy Houston Daytona Notes

DAYTONA, FL (Feb. 18, 2000) -- So close and yet so far. That's how you could sum up Andy Houston's finish in the Daytona 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event as the driver of the ...

DAYTONA, FL (Feb. 18, 2000) -- So close and yet so far. That's how you could sum up Andy Houston's finish in the Daytona 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event as the driver of the #60 Cat Rental Stores Chevy had to settle for a third-place effort after leading on the final lap. "It definitely feels good to run in the top-3 but when you come that close it's really heartbreaking," Houston said. "It was pretty tough. The trucks didn't have a restrictor plate so you could get two or three stacked up and they would lay back and they could really get a run on you." Houston started sixth and wasted little time getting to the front taking the lead on Lap 5. Just eight circuits later, Houston's bid for victory appeared to take a serious blow when he had to pit a second time under caution for a cut rear tire. The extra pit stop put Houston well back in the field and seemingly out of contention for the win. Houston charged back through the field in short order, a significant factor later on in the race as he was ahead of a grinding mid-pack, 10-truck wreck that red flagged the event on Lap 56. Back under green, Houston reassumed his position in the lead draft and waited to make his move on the final lap. "I cleared Mike (Wallace) and got out front by about 100 yards, but that was probably the wrong thing to do," Houston stated. "I didn't really come that close to losing it. The truck jumped a little sideways coming off Turn 4, but it was not anything that scared me. I was just concentrating on getting back to the start/finish line and trying to keep the lead, but that broke my momentum ever so slightly. It would've been real close at the line. I don't know. I didn't have a whole lot of help from behind." The third-place effort netted the Addington Racing team $39,382 in prize money and gave the team a solid start to the 2000 season. For his part, however, Houston was still trying to drive the last lap at Daytona. "They got side by side behind me and got a run on me," said Houston. "Going through three and four I chose to stay on the bottom and I felt like it was the right choice. Then, I felt it get a little loose in four and that killed a little momentum and Mike drove around me. It's hard to be disappointed running third but I'm disappointed." Houston won't have long to think about Daytona as the NCTS caravan heads for Homestead Miami Speedway this weekend and the Florida Dodge Dealers 400. Last year, Houston started 19th at Homestead and wheeled the Cat Rental Stores Chevy to a solid fifth-place finish. "We had a great run a Homestead last year," said Houston. "We didn't qualify as well as we would have liked to, but we sure raced great. There's something about flat, one-mile tracks that suits my style. I won on a flat track at New Hampshire and seem to race well at similar places like Homestead and Milwaukee. I sure would have liked to win at Daytona, but a victory at Homestead will soothe that and probably give us the points lead. That's what we're shooting for now."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Andy Houston