J.R. Norris Ready To Wrap Up Rookie Title, Southeast Season Another Win, Or Two, A Real Possibility For 24-Year-Old HUEYTOWN, AL (September 15, 2004) -- "This track owes me one." That is a common phrase muttered by race car drivers all of the ...
J.R. Norris Ready To Wrap Up Rookie Title, Southeast Season
Another Win, Or Two, A Real Possibility For 24-Year-Old
HUEYTOWN, AL (September 15, 2004) -- "This track owes me one." That is a common phrase muttered by race car drivers all of the time. Sometimes it holds validity, sometimes it does not. JR Norris says it holds some validity, especially when referring to the final two races of the 2004 NASCAR Southeast Series schedule.
Norris wraps up the season with races this weekend at Kentucky Speedway (September 18) and then the following weekend at Music City Motorplex (Nashville, TN on September 25). Both are tracks Norris has raced at with the Southeast Series this season. He finished third at Kentucky earlier this year and 13th at Nashville.
Norris can also wrap up the Southeast Series Rookie of the Year award by just taking the green flag at Kentucky Speedway.
"We are actually really confident heading into both races," said Norris. "We ran good at both of the tracks earlier this year and with the notes we have from both of them, and some of the changes that we have made to the car, I think we are going to be the car to beat at both tracks.
"I'm really looking forward to Nashville because I actually have a bone to pick with myself at that track. We were the fastest car there in the first race of the year, but I made some really stupid mistakes during the night and cost us a good finish. I have a little redemption to do there. So I'm ready for both of the races."
Norris actually picked up the Bud Pole at Nashville in the season-opener at Nashville, but had a spin on the track and a back flag from NASCAR set him back.
"I was really disappointed in my performance at Nashville, especially with as good of a car as we had there, so I'm determined to go back there and do good. The speedways are a little different deal. The way you drive the two tracks are so different, it should make for an interesting couple of weeks."
Norris grabbed his first career Southeast Series win on a speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, in June.
"I learned a lot earlier in the year about racing these cars on speedways. I learned a lot about air and how it makes the car work and drive. I now know what it does to the car when you get behind someone and when you are by yourself and when you need to get behind someone just to get a little extra air on the nose of the car.
"We had a good car in Kentucky, but it wasn't a car to win. We worked to third, but I think we can get more. I know we can. We have a good team."
Norris currently sits third in the SES points standings, 119 points out of the lead. It will take some serious misfortune by both Jeff Fultz and Erik Darnell to get Norris back in the championship hunt.
"It isn't impossible, but it is going to be tough because guys like Erik and Jeff just don't make many mistakes and they don't have too many part failures. So I'm just going out there to win races and let whatever happens in the points happen. We are focused on doing the best we can, locking up the Rookie of the Year and heading to Irwindale (Speedway, CA) with a lot of momentum."
The Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Southeast Series is one of the prizes JR Norris has his eye on in 2004, although he is also aiming for the championship in a combined effort with car owner Richie Wauters.