SCOTT SEEKS REDEMPTION FOR "BIG FISH THAT GOT AWAY"; FIFTH PLACE IN NCWTS POINTS RACE ON LINE IN HOMESTEAD FINALE
MOORESVILLE, NC (November 16, 2009) -- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins are hard to come by for any team. When you get the chance to put yourself in position to win one you want to make the most of your opportunities. For Brian Scott and his Xpress Motorsports teammates, last year's Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was like the big fish that got away. Scott drove a masterful race and came within one late restart of winning the season finale. Now Scott returns to Homestead with a renewed sense of determination and with his eyes firmly on the prize -- this Friday night's Ford 200.
"Homestead in 2008 was definitely the one that got away because we had a really good chance and an opportunity to win that race," Scott recalls. "There was a late restart and I ended up learning a great deal, I learned about how to keep somebody behind you on a late restart. That one slipped away because if I hadn't gotten passed on the first corner on that restart we would have probably won the race. But you learn from those kinds of things and with the experience I have now that probably wouldn't happen. It would be really cool to go there and redeem ourselves and get that win. I hope to be in that position and be able to capitalize on that at the end of this year's race."
Scott's veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley has seen a lot in his 20 plus years as a NASCAR competitor, both as a driver and a crew chief. He realized immediately after last year's Homestead event that Scott was the real deal. It took only seven races into the 2009 season before the duo got to Victory Lane at Dover.
"Homestead last year was one that did get away," Jeff Hensley says. "It got off the hook definitely. We were so good there last year and we really surprised some people. Brian did an excellent job. We are taking the same truck we took to Texas, and actually it is the same one we took to Homestead last year. It has been a good truck for us. I feel like we have always had a really good feel for Homestead, we have always been pretty competitive at that track. I know all of us want to go back and get that win for this Xpress Motorsports team. Last year it was sort of a crowning moment for us, as we came within just a few laps of winning it. It would be great to end up the season with a win."
The Homestead finale will be the finishing touch on what has been a productive season for Scott and the Xpress Motorsports team. In addition to Scott's first career win at Dover, the team has recorded seven top-five finishes and 13 top-ten finishes in 24 starts. The team stands on the precipice of the top-five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, just 13 points behind Johnny Sauter who currently resides in fifth. Both Hensley and Scott are appreciative of the performance generated by the collective efforts of the Xpress team.
"It is unbelievable what these guys have accomplished this season," Hensley adds. "If anybody had suggested at the beginning of the season that we would have won a race, led a bunch of races, posted the top-fives and the top-ten finishes that we have, they would have looked at them like they had two heads. I never had a doubt in my mind that we would be this strong. We have assembled a really talented group of people, we have really good equipment and it was just a matter of executing at the racetrack and by and large we have done that. Brian has done an excellent job behind the wheel. We would have liked to be a little more consistent but all in all it has been a really good year."
"Xpress Motorsports has proven to be a great organization," Scott states. "This team has accomplished a lot. We are always working on ways to get better and improve our performance. You can't ask for anything more than that. We have a great group of truly talented individuals on this team that have all pulled together and worked as a unit. It is going to be bittersweet going to Homestead and knowing that this is going to be the last time that this same group is going to be together. I feel like our paths will cross again, and it won't be my last race in the truck series or my last race with Jeff. It will just be tough for it all to come to an end at Homestead."
Homestead-Miami Speedway is a worthy venue for NASCAR's final championship weekend. The 1.5 mile high-speed, high-banked oval provides several racing grooves and allows the competitors to search out a line that works well for them. Based on their second place finish there both Scott and Hensley are anxious to return to South Florida.
"Homestead is a great racetrack," Scott says. "It has always treated me well. I like going there with Jeff Hensley in a Toyota and with the set ups he has for that track. We always seems to run really well. We probably won't qualify on the pole because some others will have more raw speed, but hopefully we will out-handle them in the race and ultimately that is what is going to be important."
"Homestead-Miami's track surface bakes in the South Florida sun all year long," Hensley notes. "Every year we go back it has less and less grip. It is just tougher to get a hold of it each year. The track changes a lot at night. Fortunately both our practices at Homestead are late in the day or early evening so we end up racing in almost the same conditions that we practice in. It is a real fast racetrack and you have to be secure getting into the turn and yet still be able to turn it up off and stay in the throttle. With the engine rules we have it is very important to keep your momentum up. It is not an easy track to get everything dialed in just right. If anybody ever figures it out they are probably long gone."
The Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is slated for Friday November 20that 8:00pm ET and will be telecast live nationally on SPEED. It will also be broadcast live via radio worldwide on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and on SIRIUS Satellite Radio NASCAR channel 128.
Chassis for Homestead-Miami Speedway: Xpress Motorsports will bring chassis number 52 to the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This Triad Racing Technologies chassis finished second at Homestead in the 2008 season finale with Scott at the helm and finished third at Kansas earlier this season. It competed at Kentucky Speedway where Scott qualified second and led for 29 laps before blowing a right front tire and crashing hard into the outside retaining wall. Despite the heavy damage Scott rallied to finish 6th in that event. This chassis made hard contact with the turn four wall at Chicagoland Speedway. The chassis was subject to extensive repairs before being prepared for Texas Motor Speedway where it finished 7th.
Paint Scheme honors Xpress Motorsports employees: The paint scheme for the No. 16 Toyota Tundra at the season finale in Homestead will be a fitting tribute to the employees at Xpress Motorsports. The Xpress Motorsports logo and the names of each employee are prominently displayed on the No. 16 for the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"I can't say enough about the efforts that this team has put forth this year," Xpress Motorsports President and General Manager Emmett Byrd said. "Everyone on this team has given a great effort each and every week. When we won, we won together and when we lost, we lost together. We wanted to do something that at least in a small way shows the appreciation of all the hard work this group has produced. We are just 13 points from finishing in the top-five in points, hopefully this paint scheme will bring us some well deserved good luck."