HUFFMAN SET TO BACK UP NASHVILLE FINISH WITH A TOP 10 AT TEXAS * After collecting their second top 10 of the 2007 season last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, Shane Huffman and the JR Motorsports' Navy team are looking to repeat the ...
HUFFMAN SET TO BACK UP NASHVILLE FINISH WITH A TOP 10 AT TEXAS
* After collecting their second top 10 of the 2007 season last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, Shane Huffman and the JR Motorsports' Navy team are looking to repeat the performance this weekend in the NASCAR Busch Series O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
* The Navy team is off to a strong start on 1.5-mile tracks so far this season and they plan to continue that trend on Saturday at Texas. In the team's first two attempts at 1.5-mile tracks this year, Huffman finished ninth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That's a significant improvement over the four races Huffman ran on 1.5-mile tracks in 2006. Last season his average finish was 35th.
* Huffman has two previous starts at Texas Motor Speedway, one in the Truck Series and one in the Busch Series. Last November he finished 26th in the Truck race and 42nd in the Busch Series after suffering tire problems in both events.
* This week JR Motorsports' No. 88 Navy team will run chassis No. JRM 028. The team last ran this car at Atlanta in March. Huffman started that race from 29th position and finished 19th.
* Last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, the Navy team collected their second top-10 finish of the season. Huffman qualified 12th for the race, led on two occasions for a total of 28 laps and finished sixth. He earned the Featherlite "Most Improved Driver Award" and moved up to eight in the Busch Series point standings.
Shane Huffman, Driver, No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
What are your thoughts going heading to Texas?
"I can't wait to get back to Texas. We had a great car there last year and I was working my way to the front when a tire blew out and ended our day. Texas is the first mile-and-a-half track that I'll get to race at for the second time and I'm really looking forward to it. I've learned a lot since we ran there in the fall and I'm ready to get another top 10 for this Navy team."
What has contributed to your improvement at 1.5-mile tracks?
"Seat time has definitely been a big help. It's so important to have seat time at all the tracks we go to, but with my lack of experience at bigger tracks last season, gaining experience at those mile-and-a-half tracks has been key. Wes (Ward, crew chief) has also been preaching patience to me this year. The Busch races aren't short 75-lap features like I used to run at Hickory. I have to concentrate on the bigger picture. It's great to be fast at the start of a race, but it's more important to be strong at the end. You can't burn your stuff up. Focusing on that has been a big improvement this year."
The fleet honoree for Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway is the Naval Air Station (NAS), Joint Reserve Base (JRB), located in New Orleans. NAS JRB was recognized as the Navy's most outstanding military shore installation for 2002, and received the Conway Trophy for Base Installation Excellence. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the central Gulf Coast area, NAS JRB became the center of the Department of Defense rescue and recovery efforts. During the first 10 days following the storm, more than 10,000 military personnel and relief workers were airlifted in NAS JRB along with in excess of 18 million pounds of relief supplies. NAS JRB, with the only operating runways in New Orleans, became the primary search and rescue airfield for flights that saved more than 41,000 lives in the New Orleans area.