Martinsville: Ryan Lawler race report

Ryan Lawler Debuts 17th in First-Ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Race Ryan Lawler Finished 17th in Truck Series Debut at Martinsville for SS Green Light Racing Ryan Lawler has been racing and winning in late model stock cars for several years now....

Ryan Lawler Debuts 17th in First-Ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Race
Ryan Lawler Finished 17th in Truck Series Debut at Martinsville for SS Green Light Racing

Ryan Lawler has been racing and winning in late model stock cars for several years now. He has hopes and dreams of reaching NASCAR stardom and success. On Saturday he stepped one level closer to making his dreams a reality by competing for the first ever time in NASCAR's third highest level of racing. Lawler piloted the #07 Deals Auto Auction of Dallas Chevrolet for the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (VA) Speedway. He proved ready for the level of competition by qualifying 19th and finishing two positions better in 17th. Lawler like any determined race car driver wants to win any time he hits the race track. But like a mature veteran Lawler showed his patience and accomplished the bigger picture goal of finishing the race.

"I'm pretty happy with the finish," said Lawler. "We had a good clean run with a truck that's in one piece. This will be some good momentum to build into my next truck race."

The team struggled to find speed in Friday's practice session. Like many other teams the track conditions seemed to have changed drastically from the test session held at Martinsville a few weeks earlier. Even two time season winner Kyle Busch commented they had to make completely new changes. Lawler and the #07 SS Green Light Racing team were also trying several different setups to get the truck moving faster before qualifying.

Lawler was the 3rd truck to qualify on Saturday morning leaving him at a disadvantage with a very green racing surface. Despite not finding the best speed in practice and having an early draw for qualifying he put down a very respectable lap beating out several veteran drivers including Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson to qualify 19th. During the race he avoided being involved in any of the 16 cautions. Lawler got on and off pit road good and most of all showed the NASCAR Truck Series that he belongs at this high level of competition.

"It's certainly a higher level of racing than I have ever been in before," expressed Lawler. "But I also felt comfortable being there. I don't have anywhere near the experience of some of the drivers in this series and I know I can still learn a lot. I want to earn their respect, but I also feel that I can be competitive here and look forward to racing again soon."

Butch Miller is one of those drivers with years of experience over Lawler. He was on hand to support Lawler with coaching and advice. "Ryan did a great job," said Miller. "He showed patients and he drove smart. That's important for learning and building momentum. I think he is the real deal and in time will be a front runner."

Lawler is tentatively scheduled to race in the series again April 26th at Kansas Speedway.

-credit: ssgl

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Johnny Benson , Butch Miller , Ryan Lawler , Kyle Busch