Atlanta: Chase Montgomery preview

Consistency Counts for Chase Montgomery "For a driver Atlanta Motor Speedway can be a lot of fun, but it can be a miserable night if you don't have a good-handling truck. It is a very fast multiple-groove race track that gives us a lot of room...

Consistency Counts for Chase Montgomery

"For a driver Atlanta Motor Speedway can be a lot of fun, but it can be a miserable night if you don't have a good-handling truck. It is a very fast multiple-groove race track that gives us a lot of room to pass and race side-by-side. That is what I love the most about Atlanta. In fact, one of the most exciting finishes of last year happened when Bobby (Hamilton) went to the outside of Mike Skinner on the last lap to win the race. You cannot do that at every track we go to. I feel like I have been taken to school by the best in the business in Atlanta. Two years ago I had the opportunity to follow Greg Biffle around there in a Busch car. I learned so much about running the high groove by following him. Last year I was able to follow Bobby and understand Atlanta even more. I am expecting to have a solid run there this year. Obviously, our goal is to finish the race in one piece and avoid the bad luck that has plagued us this season. I know my truck will be fast. Joey Arrington will give us a good motor; they are the best in the business. We just have to do our job getting the truck dialed in. I have a feeling this is going to be our breakout race."

Dodge Dominance: "It's awesome that Dodge has finished first and second in the races so far this season. They picked up where they left off last year. It is easy for everyone to say Dodge is dominant, but I disagree. NASCAR has tried so hard to make the competition even with the common template. I believe they have succeeded. What makes Dodge strong is its teams are the best in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It's showing in victory lane every weekend. Bobby Hamilton Racing won the championship last year and has rolled that experience on into this season by winning Daytona. Orleans Racing has been improving every weekend and that showed in California when Steve Park won. Ultra Motorsports ended last season on a high note with winning back-to-back races and they will go to victory lane several times this year. I think that is what gives Dodge the look of dominance."

Consistency Counts: "You cannot win a race on the first lap, but you can sure lose it. When the green flag drops it's instinct to want to go straight to the front, but it's the last lap that counts. That is one thing I have been learning so far this year. There is a time to go and a time to be patient. I know people have been critical of Bobby (Hamilton) this season because it seems he only shows up at the end. I don't understand why that is such a big deal to everyone. Bobby is smart and he knows the last lap pays a lot more than the first. Matt Kenseth won his championship in 2003 by being consistent. He did not win a lot of races, but he finished them all and that is what counts. Last year Matt Crafton did not win a race, but he finished higher in points than a lot of guys did who won. Every week he continued to knock off solid top fives and top tens. Consistency is a huge part of the equation in racing. You can win several races, but if you don't finish the other ones then wins are nothing. The No. 18 team's goal is to finish each race in the top ten. If you are solid every week the wins will come."

Notes:

* Montgomery is racing Scarface this weekend at Atlanta. This chassis finished in the top-10 in last year's race at Atlanta.

* Montgomery will be making his third career start at Atlanta on Friday. He competed in last year's NCTS event and finished 23rd. He started the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series race there and finished 31st due to engine failure.

Lovin Racin: "I am a racer at heart and would race every weekend if I had the chance. It seems like it takes so much time to get our season rolling. I hate sitting at home watching the Busch and Cup guys race. I think if they are racing then we should be doing it also, but I know our schedule is what makes our series unique. I know from a crewmember's standpoint it is pretty nice. It gives them the opportunity to get all their ducks in a row at the shop and fine tune the set ups for the next race. The schedule was a lifesaver for us after California because we were able to rebuild the chassis we wrecked there to run at Atlanta this weekend. Ultimately, I hate having weekends off. It gives you too much time to sit around and think. I analyze situations too much already, so weekends off are not to my advantage. But for everyone else involved it is a good thing. I am just ready to race."

-BHR

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Steve Park , Greg Biffle , Chase Montgomery , Matt Crafton