Kentucky: Charlie Bradberry preview

Charlie Bradberry Back in the Saddle Again Kentucky Will Be Charlie's Third Truck Race of the Season CHELSEA, AL (July 7, 2004) -- As teams prepare for this weekend's NASCAR Truck Series event at Kentucky Speedway, most crews will be loading ...

Charlie Bradberry Back in the Saddle Again
Kentucky Will Be Charlie's Third Truck Race of the Season

CHELSEA, AL (July 7, 2004) -- As teams prepare for this weekend's NASCAR Truck Series event at Kentucky Speedway, most crews will be loading up their rigs in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area. That is, of course, the epicenter of stock car racing and where nearly all of the top NASCAR operations are based.

A few states away in Alabama, Charlie Bradberry is getting his team ready to go to the same event. His team has moved up to a partial Truck Series schedule after winning the 2003 NASCAR Southeast Series championship. The step up the racing ladder was steep enough without the challenge of doing it from far away, but Bradberry's bunch keeps making the best of their circumstances.

"It takes us awhile to work on the trucks being down here," Bradberry said. "We have to send a truck up to Charlotte to have a body put on or wait for parts to be shipped to us. But it has its good points too. There are a lot of fans out here that want to see us do well. The newspapers have been calling us and the local support is great. It helps us a lot."

Making the jump to the Truck Series has also cut back Bradberry's racing schedule. He has cherry-picked some Late Model events this season in addition to the two Truck Series starts that he has made so far in 2004, but it is a lot less racing than the 22-year-old is used to.

"I've been racing just about every week for every year since I was 12-years-old," said Bradberry. "It's really different for me not to be behind the wheel as much. I could race more, but I'm trying to concentrate on the bigger picture by only running the big Late Model shows and going to some of the Truck Series and Busch Series races to meet and greet people. That's where I want to be and I need to keep that in mind."

That means that when Bradberry does get behind the wheel, he puts more pressure on himself to make it count.

"I don't really have anything to lose this weekend at Kentucky," Bradberry said. "I can go out there and let it all hang out. If the truck is there, I'll go for it. We don't have to worry about points; we just need to get the best finishes that we can. Finishing in the top fifteen of a Truck race is like winning five Late Model races. The trucks are more challenging, and to have a decent finish is very rewarding for us."

Beating some of the high-dollar teams in the series is an accomplishment for Bradberry's #78 team.

"We are a low-budget team out of Alabama," Bradberry said. "We race in a series where there are 20 to 25 really good trucks. The whole field is strong from front to back. What I'm after is to qualify well and send some of these million-dollar teams home early."

Bradberry will get that chance on Friday night when qualifying takes place at Kentucky Speedway. He will race in the "Built Ford Tough 225" one evening later. The race will be televised live on Speed channel starting at 8:00pm on Saturday, July 10th.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Charlie Bradberry