Scott Battles Way To 23rd-Place Finish In California Truck Series Clash

Mooresville, NC (February 24, 2008) -- Wet California weather and a less than satisfying finish in the San Bernardino 200 left Brian Scott felling a little blue after Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

"I think we could still have had a Top-15 finish, but then I messed up on a green-flag pit stop late in the race," Scott stated after driving his No. 16 Shark Energy Drink/Albertsons Supermarkets Chevrolet to a 23rd-place finish in the event. "I got caught for speeding on pit road. That was really unfortunate because our team had worked really hard and rebounded from everything we had gone through. I'm disappointed that happened and that we weren't able to make the best of the situation we were presented with. We needed to capitalize and we didn't."

The less than expected result capped a gray weekend for Scott and his Xpress Motorsports crew as they battled both the elements and the ultra-fast California Speedway two-mile oval.

Scott was in the Top-20 in practice for the 200-mile race turning in a lap of 170.973 miles per hour early Friday before heavy rains washed out qualifying later in the day. That set the field for Saturday's race by 2007 NASCAR owner's points putting Scott 25th at the start. "We had a good practice," said Scott. "Our truck was handling really well and we were looking forward to qualifying and the race. Then the rain came and qualifying got rained out. That was really unfortunate because I think we could have qualified a lot better than 25th." Scott was right charging to 15th by the completion of Lap 10. He was comfortably in the Top-20 when the handling on his Chevrolet Silverado began to go away. A pit stop at Lap 45 determined the problem was one that couldn't be fixed by a tire or chassis change.

"We looked at some photos after practice to determine the attitude of our truck," said Scott afterward. "We were tight all weekend and we wanted to fix that as best we could, so we decided to drop the left-side tire pressures. We may have gone too far because we wound up grinding off the bottom of the splitter early in the race. Once that happened, it was pretty much impossible to get the truck to turn the way we wanted to. It just kept pushing up the racetrack and when we got behind somebody in the draft, it just exacerbated the problem. It was tough, I had my hands full."

Despite his truck's handling issues, Scott was still in line for a good finish running 18th with less than 20 laps to go when the pit road infraction dropped him to 26th when back at speed. Over the final laps, the Boise, ID driver battled his way back to 23rd, a result that was less than satisfying but still a positive for the team according to Scott.

"When the race is first over, it's disappointing, but you have to put it in the right context and get past it," Scott stated. "You have to look at the positives of the race and start concentrating on the next one. We didn't have the results we were looking for at California, but we did take over the lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle. We'll take that -- and some of the other things we did this weekend -- and build on them as we look forward to the next race in Atlanta."

-credit: xm