SCOTT CHARGES TO TOP TEN AT ATLANTA; NCTS ROOKIE POSTS THIRD TOP 10 IN LAST FIVE RACES Hampton, GA (October 25, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott made a steady charge in his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota...
SCOTT CHARGES TO TOP TEN AT ATLANTA; NCTS ROOKIE POSTS THIRD TOP 10 IN LAST FIVE RACES
Hampton, GA (October 25, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott made a steady charge in his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra from his 23rd starting spot to a top ten finish in Saturday's E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Scott's 10th place finish marked his third top ten finish in his last five NCTS starts and his fourth top-10 of the 2008 campaign. Scott's previous top 10's came at Daytona, Talladega and New Hampshire.
Inclement weather on Friday forced postponement of qualifying for the E-Z-GO 200 and Scott started in the 23rd position based on NCTS owners' points. Over the first 20 laps Scott made steady progress slicing his way through the field and climbing up to the 12th spot when a competition caution flag fell on lap 25. Scott then came down pit road for four Goodyear tires and a full load of Sunoco fuel. His crew made a chassis adjustment and an air pressure adjustment designed to alleviate the loose condition of his Toyota Tundra. He reentered the fray in the 15th position. Over the course of the next green flag run, Scott held his own despite "wicked, wicked loose," track conditions. Scott came down pit road again under caution on lap 59 for tires and fuel, and his Xpress Motorsports crew performed a flawless pit stop, which moved him up a spot in the running order to 11th place. Scott moved into the top ten on lap 72. He came down pit road for his last stop on lap 91 and again his crew did an outstanding job as he came in 9th and exited in the 8th spot. Over the last green flag run Scott was pinned down in traffic but fought hard for his 10th place finish.
"It was a good race for us," Scott said in the garage area after the race. "The guys in the pits did a great job, worked their tails off and busted off a couple of really good stops that gained us some positions on pit road. We were just real steady all day and chipped away at it and climbed up through the pack. It was just a really good effort by everybody on this Albertsons Toyota Tundra. Jeff Hensley made really good calls in the pits, and we made a lot of adjustments to get the truck dialed in and maximize grip on this track with the way conditions were. It was hot and slick and they did an awesome job on the truck today. Right now our spirits are up and our momentum is headed in the right direction and that will carry on to Texas. I know we learned a lot in Atlanta that will help us in Texas as well. We will just keep chipping away and hopefully get a top five at Texas. We just need to keep getting better each week. We are headed in the right direction right now."
Scott's crew chief Jeff Hensley is no stranger to top 10 finishes and can see the steady improvement in his rookie driver's development. He was pleased with the team's efforts at Atlanta.
"Brian did a great job on the racetrack today," Hensley said after the race. "He raced his way into the top ten -- he did not have anything given to him, he earned it. He raced hard against some pretty talented guys like Johnny Benson, Travis Kvapil and Rick Crawford, guys who have done this for a lifetime, and he did an excellent job. I just wish the truck had been a little bit better but any time you can get a top ten it has to be pretty good. It was a good run for us. We thought we were decent in practice but we really didn't know until we got out there in long runs. Our truck was better on long runs compared to short runs because it would come back to us. Unfortunately it is only a 200 mile race so you really have to get going quickly. The guys on pit road did an awesome job this weekend. Got him in and got him out and we gained some spots. We will just go back and get ready for Texas."