Drawdy Has Wild Night at SpeedFest; Wins Pole, Finishes Sixth Drawdy Now Focused On Pete Orr Memorial, Florida Speedweeks FT. PIERCE, FL (January 14, 2005) -- If you looked at Justin Drawdy's car at the end of Saturday night's 200-lap feature at...
Drawdy Has Wild Night at SpeedFest; Wins Pole, Finishes Sixth
Drawdy Now Focused On Pete Orr Memorial, Florida Speedweeks
FT. PIERCE, FL (January 14, 2005) -- If you looked at Justin Drawdy's car at the end of Saturday night's 200-lap feature at SpeedFest 2005, you'd think that he likely didn't finish or struggled to come home with a respectable place in the final rundown. What you wouldn't have seen is Drawdy's inner-determination. In a car that was banged up, battered and bruised, Drawdy finished a respectable sixth. Not bad considering he was up against what many were calling the best gathering of Super Late Model drivers in the last decade.
Drawdy's mindset and his crewmembers efforts kept his Just-N-Uff Motorsports team in the hunt all night long.
"The race started out great with winning the pole," said Drawdy, who also won the pole for Friday night's 100-lap event that was canceled due to rain. "We just settled in there and were running second behind Mike Fritts. Then, around lap 40, under the caution, we ran over something and I thought the drive shaft had come out or something. I think it was a brake duct, but it was slamming against the inside of the car. So we had to come in and check it out and we were playing behind the eight-ball all night long after that."
That early pit stop resulted in Drawdy having to use his car up while fighting his way back towards the front of the field. In fact, that fight got downright interesting at times for the Florida native.
"We were just playing catch up. I had to rough a couple people up, but I wanted to finish up there no matter what. I knew we had the car to be up there, so I was just working my way on up. I still think we had a good racecar there at the end. It just didn't look real hot."
At the end of the night, Drawdy's car came back to the hauler with enough body damage and duct tape to fool most casual observers.
"We got into it with (Dwayne) Dempsey early there," added Drawdy. "I got to him going into three, got to his door and he came down on me. That knocked the toe-out. Then, [Jeff] Choquette and I had a fender bender on the front stretch and that caused the nose to drag the ground quite a bit. The thing was dragging the nose so bad, I was just trying to get the best finish we could at the end. I still think we had a car that was good enough to win even after all that.
"I guess we got the bad luck off our back, but I wanted to win the thing bad. We had a lot of bad luck at the end of last year and did not finish a lot of races, but now we've got that out of the way. That was our main focus; finishing the race.
"Hopefully, it will get us back on track and get us going toward next week. We need to get a win under our belt before Speedweeks."
Up next, Drawdy and the team will head to New Smyrna Speedway for the annual Pete Orr Memorial on February 5th. The team will then head back to New Smyrna Speedway for the 39th running of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, which includes nine-straight nights of action during Florida Speedweeks.
"I'm really excited about all of the races. I'm ready to run the Pete Orr race since he was my old crew chief. I'm really going to gun hard and try to win that race."