Texas II: Brian Scott race report

SCOTT SCORES TOP 10 AT TEXAS; FOURTH TOP 10 IN LAST 6 RACES FOR NCTS ROOKIE Fort Worth, TX (October 31, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie Brian Scott expertly dodged a multiple truck pile up on lap two and made a mad dash from the...

SCOTT SCORES TOP 10 AT TEXAS; FOURTH TOP 10 IN LAST 6 RACES FOR NCTS ROOKIE

Fort Worth, TX (October 31, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie Brian Scott expertly dodged a multiple truck pile up on lap two and made a mad dash from the back of the field in his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra to secure a top ten finish in Friday night's Chevy Silverado 350K NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Scott's 9th place finish marked his fourth top 10 finish in his last 6 NCTS starts.

Scott qualified in the 25th position but started the race at the back of the pack due to an unapproved carburetor change on his Toyota Tundra.

"Our qualifying lap was not what we were looking for but I couldn't have asked for anything more," Scott said after Thursday night's qualifying session. "The truck handled awesome. Everything was there except for the speed. It's not about qualifying, it's all about where you take the checkered flag."

When the green flag fell, Scott wasted no time in moving to the front although he had some close calls along the way. Coming off turn four on the first lap Scott was clipped by Jack Sprague's Toyota and forced into the wall. Just a few seconds later, pole sitter Rick Crawford, Cal Gale and Travis Kvapil made it three wide going into turn one and touched off a massive melee involving numerous drivers. Scott was able to avoid significant damage, and by the time the smoke had cleared Scott had gained 15 positions in just a lap and a half of racing. The caution flag fell again on lap 15 and Scott's crew chief Jeff Hensley rolled the dice and called his driver down pit road for a fuel only pit stop.

"We took a gamble there early tonight to get gas and try to see if we could outlast them and we were about three or four laps from having a lap on the field," Hensley said after the race. "I think our truck was good enough that if it had worked we would have had a shot to win tonight. You have to take chances like that right now because we have nothing to lose."

"We came in at lap 15 and got fuel, took a gamble and tried to catch everybody else a lap down on a long green flag run, and it just about worked for us," Scott added. "That's what is fun and what it's all about, taking gambles here at the last bit trying to do something a little bit out of the box and gain positions or see if you can make something work. It hurt us a little bit track position-wise, but we overcame it."

Scott restarted the race in the 26th spot and had moved up to 15th by the time the next caution came out on lap 57. Once again he came down pit road to the attention of his Xpress Motorsports crew taking on four fresh Goodyear tires and a full load of Sunoco fuel. Scott moved into the top 10 by lap 90 and made his last pit stop under caution on lap 94, once again taking on four tires and fuel. Over the last green flag run Scott climbed as high as 7th but battled a tight condition and came home in the 9th position. It was Scott's second consecutive top 10 finish and the fourth top 10 in his last 6 NCTS starts.

"We had a really good truck," Scott said in the garage area after the event. "It was a lot better at the beginning of a run than at the end, a little bit because I was over using it and over saturating those front tires. I don't think we started a run loose enough. We started so close to being about right that we were able to jump on positions but then as laps wore on we started getting tighter and tighter and unfortunately there at the end gave up the last two spots. I hate it for my crew, hate it for guys. I was trying as hard as I could to hang on to those spots. Everyone on our Albertson's Toyota Tundra crew did a great job. Jeff Hensley made a lot of good calls. It is another top 10 and I think everybody is happy with it. Just looking forward to the next two and hopefully we can finish the year here with two top-fives. It definitely helps that we were able to get more practice in here than Atlanta. When it doesn't rain it really helps the inexperienced guys, the rookies -- having a little more time to try to dial things in and giving you more track time to try to figure out what it does on older tires. I think that was probably the biggest contributing factor, just running laps and being able to do a little racing."

"That is pretty cool," Hensley mused after the event. "It is a lot of fun working with Brian. He has a lot of enthusiasm and he is good, he is really good. I feel so fortunate to be here doing this. He used his head tonight. It was an excellent race for us. Probably the worst we were was that last run. The last set of tires we put on went really tight for the last 20 laps. We looked like we were going to get a top five and we fell from 7th to 9th. It is a learning experience though for Brian to be battling with these guys like Mike Skinner late in a race and for him to learn what it takes for his truck to be good over a long run. With no more experience than Brian has and with no more time together than the two of us have had, he has done an outstanding job. We have three top 10's in four races together and you really can't ask for much more than that. This is a lot fun and I am having a great time at it."

Ron Hornaday Jr. captured the win in Friday night's Chevy Silverado 350K NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch, Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine and Colin Braun rounded out the top five. With just two races to go in the NCTS season, Benson now leads Hornaday Jr. by a scant 6 points.

-credit: em/xm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Colin Braun , Jack Sprague , Rick Crawford , Brian Scott , Travis Kvapil