* EVERYTHING YOU LEARN MAKES YOU STRONGER: The No. 20 GameStop team has been busy in the past few weeks testing at a number of different tracks in preparation for this weekend's Dollar General 300 at Charlotte and the final Nationwide Series...
* EVERYTHING YOU LEARN MAKES YOU STRONGER: The No. 20 GameStop team has been busy in the past few weeks testing at a number of different tracks in preparation for this weekend's Dollar General 300 at Charlotte and the final Nationwide Series "new car" event. The team tested at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA several weeks ago and then tested at the one-mile Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina late last week. Each time, the team tested several different setup packages under the new car to get a better idea of what makes the new cars faster. While the team didn't test the exact chassis that they are taking to Charlotte (#20107, which also ran in Michigan), crew chief Kevin Kidd says the team learned a lot and has a better baseline to start.
* GET WELL "WAHOO": It's been a tough ride for recent Joe Gibbs Racing hire Charles "Wahoo" Sampson. Sampson, who took over for the No. 20 GameStop team as truck driver in Dover, worked for just a couple of weeks before being admitted to the hospital and having surgery this past weekend while the rest of the team traveled to California. Sampson is recovering at home and will be back at the shop and with the team as soon as possible. So the entire GameStop team wishes "Wahoo" a speedy recovery.
"Charlotte is always a different weekend all around. First, you are right here at home, so there are always a lot of friends and family that come out to the track. Also, this is just Charlotte and a place everyone wants to win. Charlotte is a tough place to race. The track seems like it would be just like so many other of the 1.5-milers that we run, but this place has a lot of different characteristics that you don't see anywhere else and is really sensitive to the weather, so that makes Charlotte a challenging but fun place.
"I'm really anxious to run the new car here. Not only have we been testing the car and making grounds on what we need to do to make them faster, but Charlotte has been one of my better tracks in the Sprint Cup Series and since we're running the new Nationwide car here, hopefully some of the experience will come over here. Charlotte is one of the few tracks I'd say my Sprint Cup finishes have been regularly better than my Nationwide finishes. So, I think we have a lot to gain this weekend and I've got a lot of confidence in my team.
"We've got Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock this weekend on the car and that is really cool. I'm a huge music fan. I listen to pretty much anything from rock to pop to country to classic rock. So having Guitar Hero on the car is really cool. I've looked at some of the songs that are on the new game and there is some really good music on there. And that game is for people like me; those who wanna have some fun, but aren't very gifted when it comes to playing instruments."
"We are coming into Charlotte with a lot of great expectations because we've had some successful tests with the new Nationwide Series car the last couple of weeks. We didn't light the world on fire, but sometimes, that isn't what you want in tests. You want to learn what works and what doesn't work. Sometimes, it's just as good to learn some ideas that don't work, because you don't have to worry about going down that direction on race weekend. So, our tests were real successful, and I think we've got a better idea on what it is going to take to make our new Nationwide Series cars be as good or maybe better than our old-style cars.
"Charlotte is a very important race for us as an organization, as it is for everyone, because it is hometown for the team. Everyone wants to run good in Charlotte because you normally have a lot of extra people there that visit since the shop is just 20 minutes away. So we are going to do what we can to go out there and get this No. 20 GameStop Toyota back in Victory Lane. We want to win one of these new car races this year as an organization, and I think the No. 20 guys have a shot this weekend."