Small Sscores top-20 start in NCTS season finale at Homestead.
Homestead, FL Jason Small came to Homestead-Miami Speedway looking to reverse a late-season string of bad luck, and he has turned the trick by qualifying 20th for the Ford 200, the final race of the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Small turned a fast lap of 37.853 seconds/142.657 miles per hour in the Small Motorsports/Lucas Oil Chevrolet, which was 1.146 seconds behind the pole-winning time of fellow Chevrolet driver Mike Bliss.
"I am so glad the last week of the season is here," said Small after the final practice session of the day. "We have had some real trials and tribulations this year, and it has started to take a toll on us here lately. It has been hard to stay positive and upbeat. But we always come in with a positive attitude. We'll take the qualifying run we had today because it gives us a decent spot to start the race from. We'll smile, take it, and give it our best shot tomorrow."
Small would like to bookend the season with another Raybestos Rookie of the Race Award. The award is presented to the highest finishing registered rookie competitor in each NCTS event during the season. Small won the award at Daytona, but has found it difficult to beat fellow rookie Brendan Gaughan when the checkers fell.
"Whenever we looked to pick up a little ground on Brendan, bad luck seemed to catch up with us at the last moment," Small said. "He had a great year, no question, but we think we could have given him a little better run in a couple of those races. But whenever he had a touch of bad luck, we did too. If we can keep this truck together for 134 laps tomorrow, I think we can give him a run for his money and keep him honest."
Small will take to the track with the rest of the 36-truck field at 3:15 pm ET on Friday. The Ford 200 will be telecast flag-to-flag on ESPN starting at 3:30, and can be heard on NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio and MRN Radio affiliates nationwide starting at 2:45 pm ET.