Talladega: Brandon McReynolds race report

McReynolds Learns "Lifetime's Worth" of Knowledge at Talladega Youngster Will Next Compete in Denny Hamlin Foundation Charity Race This Week MOORESVILLE, NC (April 27, 2010) -- He wasn't involved in the "big one." He didn't end up in Victory...

McReynolds Learns "Lifetime's Worth" of Knowledge at Talladega

Youngster Will Next Compete in Denny Hamlin Foundation Charity Race This Week

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 27, 2010) -- He wasn't involved in the "big one." He didn't end up in Victory Lane. He didn't ride around in the back all day. What Brandon McReynolds did do at Talladega Superspeedway this past Friday in the ARCA Racing Series Talladega ARCA 250 was come away with a "lifetime's worth" of knowledge that he hopes to use for the rest of his racing career.

McReynolds officially finished 23rd in Friday's event, but stayed competitive until the very end, crossing the line third of all of the cars in the draft after the final 15-lap green-flag run.

"I had a blast out there and I learned a lifetime's worth of stuff," said McReynolds. "We didn't have the finish that we wanted, but we had a competitive car for sure. If we were on the lead lap, we would have finished third when the checkers fell. Unfortunately, we had to come in under green early in the event and that put us behind a bunch of laps. We decided as a team though that we weren't going to just ride it out. If you are here at Talladega, you might as well go out there and race competitively and mix it up. I didn't want to affect the outcome of the race, but I wanted to run like we were still going for the win and that is what we did."

McReynolds qualified his #6 Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame at the Davey Allison Memorial Park/Eddie Sharp Racing Toyota 18th for the event, but didn't stay mid pack long. Using the high line around the 2.66-mile superspeedway, McReynolds raced his way into the top-10 and avoided a lot of beating and banging as the early portions of the race played out.

Just before the halfway point though, McReynolds radioed to his Eddie Sharp Racing team that the water temperature was really getting hot. Finally, McReynolds decided to bring the car to pit road under green to avoid blowing the engine. After spending nine laps on pit road, McReynolds came back out and started mixing it up with the rest of the field.

"We were able to race and go two-wide, three-wide and even four-wide at times," added McReynolds. "Those are only the types of things that you can learn in race situations. Our car was very fast and was a race-winning car, but we just weren't in position to go for the win. But I wanted to stay out there and race with these guys and see what I could do. I think I proved that I could race on superspeedways today and I can't wait to do it again. One of the biggest learning experiences this weekend was working with my spotter for the race, Mike Calinoff, who spots for Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup Series.

"Owner Eddie Sharp, Crew Chief Wayne Carroll and the entire team gave me a great car. It is just too bad that we ran into the overheating problems, because I would have loved to have come out of there with at least a top-five finish. All-in-all, I think our first Talladega experience was great."

McReynolds will have a short week to prepare for his next event. Brandon will return to his short-track roots and take his family-owned Late Model Stock Car to Southside Speedway in Midlothian, VA for Denny Hamlin's "Short Track Showdown" charity event. McReynolds will join NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler, Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose just to name a few, along with several local drivers at the event.

"I'm really excited about running in Denny's event and thank him so much for inviting me to be a part of it this year," added McReynolds. "I watched the race last year and thought about how cool it would be to be a part of it. So when Denny asked me to come race this year, I wasn't going to turn it down. I'm so excited about it that we even took our car up to Southside a couple of weeks ago and shook it down. So I'll be ready and I hope to put it to some of these Sprint Cup guys and show them that Late Model Stock Cars are still my game."

As soon as the race is over Thursday night, the team will head back to the shop to reload for a test session at Rockingham Speedway in preparation for the UARA Series race at the track on Saturday, May 15.

Team McReynolds, along with Eddie Sharp Racing, hopes to run several more ARCA Racing Series events in 2010 and possibly a few NASCAR K&N Pro Series races, along with continuing to run a handful of UARA events. In addition to the upcoming Late Model races, hopes would be to compete in the seven remaining ARCA events that are scheduled to be aired on SPEED, four of which are held as companion events to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

-source: brandon mcreynolds PR

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Series ARCA
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Marcos Ambrose , Elliott Sadler , Denny Hamlin , Aric Almirola , Joey Logano , Brandon McReynolds , Kyle Busch