BRYAN REFFNER HAD HIS 1998 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES SEASON DE-RAILED WHEN HE LOST HIS RIDE IN THE PHELON MOTORSPORTS FORD F-150 FOLLOWING THE RACE AT NASHVILLE. AT THAT TIME, THE FORMER AMERICAN SPEED ASSOCIATION CHAMPION AND WISCONSIN...
BRYAN REFFNER HAD HIS 1998 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES SEASON DE-RAILED WHEN HE LOST HIS RIDE IN THE PHELON MOTORSPORTS FORD F-150 FOLLOWING THE RACE AT NASHVILLE. AT THAT TIME, THE FORMER AMERICAN SPEED ASSOCIATION CHAMPION AND WISCONSIN RAPIDS NATIVE, WAS 12TH IN THE POINT STANDINGS WITH TWO TOP-FIVE FINISHES AND SEVEN TOP-TENS. THE 1996 NCTS CINTAS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TALKS ABOUT WHAT LIFE HAS BEEN LIKE THE LAST MONTH.
"As you might expect, when it (being let go) is unexpected, it throws you into a little bit of a turmoil. It is one of the downs in racing. But you know it when you get involved. It is something you have to deal with when it happens.
"It's been stressful. I'm not here to say it hasn't. There is nothing solid in my future. We're working real hard to find something. I've gone race by race. We're having a hard time putting something together for more than a two-race stretch. That makes it real difficult. I'm keeping my face out there, and doing whatever I can to land for next year.
"It's been going well so far. Mike Mittler (owner of the Auto Trim Design Ford F-150) has been supportive and a help. He's done everything he can.
"Now the Porter-Cable team has had an opening, and has given me a shot at Gateway. If we have a good showing during the race maybe we can get to Martinsville. (Reffner finished 10th at Gateway, but Randy Tolsma will be in the No. 84 Porter-Cable truck in Martinsville.)
"It's a real steep roller coaster. It's straight up and straight down. It's hard on a person. It's hard on everybody around me. You don't want to show that presence to people at the track. You want to keep that to yourself."
WHAT IS IT LIKE WORKING WITH A NEW TEAM EACH RACE? "I guess, luckily, so far I've been able to get along with everybody I've dealt with. Mike Mittler was a great guy to drive for. He just doesn't have the funding to do what he wants to do. And I understood that, and we worked through it.
"Tim Stephens with Liberty Racing has been very understanding. Doug George is the crew chief there, and we raced together for the Rookie of the Year award in the truck series. So we've got a long friendship there. I know a lot of guys on that team, and they have respect for me and what I'm trying to do so that has gone well. I just hope it will keep going that way."
WILL YOU CONTINUE TO LOOK IN THE TRUCK SERIES THROUGH THE END OF THE SEASON? "When we go to the west coast will be the tough part. The teams have a lot of expenses involved in getting people out there, and staying out there. It's going to be tough. I'm trying to find some money that I can take to somebody to make that happen. So far that hasn't gone real well, but I'm working on trying to make that happen because I do want to keep the points rolling. I just have to take it day by day right now."
DO YOU PLAN TO STAY IN THE TRUCK SERIES? "To me, I want to have some success before I leave. But if an opportunity shows somewhere else, I'm going to take it just because I want to go somewhere where the whole thing can gel together and work. It it's in the truck series, that will be great for me because I don't want to walk away from this. I haven't won a race here yet. I've been so close, and yet so far. But the future is the future, and I can't say I'm not going to take that ride because I haven't won a race over here. I just want to land somewhere on my feet standing upright."