ATLANTA (March 15, 2005) -- In only a month's time, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports assembled a new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team for Robert Huffman. After a strong showing at Daytona International Speedway and a top-10 finish at California ...
ATLANTA (March 15, 2005) -- In only a month's time, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports assembled a new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team for Robert Huffman. After a strong showing at Daytona International Speedway and a top-10 finish at California Speedway, Huffman is eager to race his No. 12 Toyota Tundra at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Friday evening.
"I'm really impressed with how Darrell Waltrip Motorsports was able to add a second full-time competitive team," said Huffman, who is currently 11th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "The whole thing didn't come together until over the Christmas holidays and everybody was off until after the first of the year. Bobby Kennedy (team manager) has done an amazing job putting the guys together. He brought over some guys from the 17 group instead of bringing in all new guys. From nothing, we're sitting here with four trucks that are race ready. It would have been real easy to put trucks together just to make the race, but they've put a lot of hard work into this team. To qualify in the top-five at both Daytona and California and run competitive both weeks means a lot to me."
Last season, Huffman started second and was running around the top-five when an accident halted his efforts.
"I think we were running fifth or sixth near the end of the race and we got tied up in a wreck," said Huffman, who was relegated to a 29th-place finish. "It was nice to go there and start on the outside pole. We ran in the top-10 most of the race. It's exciting to go back with Darrell Waltrip Motorsports because they had success with David Reutimann at Atlanta last year. I think it will be a good place for us to race especially after how we ran at California."J
Factoring in a recent test at Atlanta, bet on Huffman campaigning strong for a victory at the 1.54-mile quad-oval.
"Our Atlanta test went well because I feel like we were the most consistent truck there," said Huffman. "It was a good learning experience. I learned some things that will help us in qualifying and during the race. Glenn Funderburk (crew chief) and I have worked well together and I've been impressed on how he has handled things at the couple of tests we've been too. Those guys are learning me and I'm learning them. Glenn made a great call in California that I could've questioned at the time, but that's why he's in the position he's in and I'm in the position I'm in. Calls like he made at California will give us shots at finishing in the top-five and help us be in the position to win some races."
Leading the No. 12 Toyota Tundra team, Funderburk talks about his expectations at Atlanta and learning from his experiences in the last two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events.
"I've learned that there's a whole lot to this," said Funderburk. "In my first two races as crew chief, I learned how to get more information from the driver, how to pay more attention to the race and all the different things that are going on around me, so that I can call a better race. Atlanta will be a good race for us. We were pleased with our test at Atlanta because we were consistent on 20 lap runs. We expect nothing less than a top-10 finish and think we have a solid shot at a top-five finish."
Race coverage for the World Financial Group 200 on Friday March 18th begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern live on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event.