JR Norris Grabs Another Victory, Extends Southeast Points Lead 24-Year-Old On A Roll after Second-Straight Win, Fourth of His Career HUEYTOWN, AL (August 15, 2005) -- When you sit back and look at how JR Norris started his 2005 campaign in...
JR Norris Grabs Another Victory, Extends Southeast Points Lead
24-Year-Old On A Roll after Second-Straight Win, Fourth of His Career
HUEYTOWN, AL (August 15, 2005) -- When you sit back and look at how JR Norris started his 2005 campaign in the NASCAR Southeast Series, you would have never guessed that he would have a shot at winning the championship. But after reeling off two wins and a string of top-five finishes, Norris has put himself back in the title fight.
In fact, after two-straight victories, including Saturday night's triumph at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina (his third win of the year), he leads the series standings. In fact, it looks like Norris is suddenly the man to beat and he's mighty fine with that.
"Concentration has been the big difference from the beginning of the year until now," said Norris of his season's drastic turnaround after finishes of 20th and 18th to start out the year. "You just have to get focused on what you are doing. You have to get everyone working together as a team and that is what we are doing. We just had some bad luck at the beginning of the year. It wasn't my fault; it wasn't anyone else's fault. We sat down, pulled everyone back together and it started coming back for us. Hopefully, it just keeps getting better and we can get a couple more wins by the end of the year."
Saturday, Norris and the #5 RW Motorsports / Victor Ford team returned to Greenville, a track Norris had finished 20th at in his last two visits. One of the toughest tracks on the circuit, Norris and his team were determined to change their luck on Saturday.
"We worked on this thing and tried to make it better all day," said Norris. "We tried this and tried that. We felt like we had a pretty good car. Right at the last minute, before we qualified, we changed a couple more things and the car came alive."
Norris qualified second and had to start ninth after a 10-car inversion. He worked his way to the front by following defending series champion and five-time Greenville winner Jeff Fultz. After a round of pit stops, Norris found himself working back toward the front and into the lead on lap 57. He would never relinquish it from there on out.
"I just can't believe I won here," said Norris after Saturday night's dominating win at Greenville. "I can't even put into words what this means to me. I really can't describe it. This is a place I've struggled so much at. I can honestly say I never expected to win at a legendary track like Greenville-Pickens. Now if I can just go win at Nashville (Music City Motorplex), it will make up for everything.
"I can't believe this thing was as awesome as it was tonight. My hats off to all my guys. It was the best the car has ever qualified and the best the car has ever felt. In the race, I just tried to bide my time. Fultzy got down in front of me and I just decided to follow him. I knew he was going to the front. Then he had a flat tire, I got up front and we just cruised from there."
What has made JR struggle at Greenville? Even he doesn't know.
"They say if you can get around Birmingham, you can get around anywhere. For a long time I believed it, until I came here. This place was wicked. I had never in my life seen something like this. We did it tonight; I finally found my rhythm here."
The Southeast Series will now take a couple of weeks off before returning to action at Myrtle Beach Speedway on September 4. However, JR and his team will take their #5 to The Milwaukee Mile on August 21st and compete in the 200-lap Midwest Series event at the track.
Norris is competing for the NASCAR Southeast Series championship in 2005 with car owner Richie Wauters.