Charlotte: Andy Houston preview

Houston Looks For Luck at Lowe's Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Driver Hoping For Momentum Change MOORESVILLE, NC (May 18, 2004) -Andy Houston knows his time will come, he is just wondering when. Lady Luck has not been a co-pilot for Houston and his...

Houston Looks For Luck at Lowe's
Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Driver Hoping For Momentum Change

MOORESVILLE, NC (May 18, 2004) -Andy Houston knows his time will come, he is just wondering when. Lady Luck has not been a co-pilot for Houston and his Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge crew for the beginning of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Houston has suffered through crashes not of his design, ill timed caution flags and mysterious suspension woes, but his attitude is undaunted. This week the NCTS competitors invade Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The Charlotte area track represents a challenge that Houston readily accepts.

"Any time that you can run at a racetrack that's got a lot of history like Charlotte, then it's a little special, and it makes winning that much more special," Houston said. "That's what we're going to try to do, go there and win a race. Being close to home, I'll have a lot of friends and family that are going to be there, and I think it will be a good night for us. The crowd there last year was awesome, and I think it will probably be even better this year. I really just can't wait to get there, and hopefully we can establish some momentum for this Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge crew."

Houston embraces the fact that Lowe's is similar in design to its sister venue, Texas Motor Speedway. Houston captured the pole at Texas last fall and has high hopes for the truck series' annual stop at Lowe's. The Ultra Motorsports teams tested at Texas earlier this spring and Houston was pleased with the results. He is counting on that translating into success this weekend.

"We'll take the truck that we ran at the Texas test," Houston stated. "It was really good - it drove really good, it was fast and very comfortable to drive. You know this team sat on the outside pole last year at Charlotte and ran very well in the race. They had problems late in the race but they ran really good with Jason Leffler in the truck. I'm fortunate to be going to this race and sitting in equipment as competitive as this truck will be, plus our crew chief Dennis Connor has had a lot of experience at Charlotte as well. I know we're going to be competitive, and I know we're going to be fast. I'm just really excited about it. Charlotte is very similar to Texas, other than the grip is not as good and it's a little rougher, but I like it and I like this type of racetrack."

Lowe's Motor Speedway is famous for the series of bumps that lurk deep within the asphalt exiting turn four of the 1.5 mile double dogleg layout. The undulations can cause unsuspecting drivers to lose control and are affectionately nicknamed for famed Charlotte promoter and longtime Lowe's Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler.

"It isn't just the "Humpy Bump," it's the "Humpy Bumps" - it sure feels like there's more than one over there," Houston claimed. "When you come through there, you're bouncing around pretty good, so it's kind of hard to get adjusted and get your truck hooked up for that. But you're running so fast, you're not on the bumps for more than a few seconds, and then you're back on the straightaway. I think it's an awesome racetrack. Once the race starts, the groove widens out, and some guys will run at the top and some will run at the bottom. It's two different lines, but drivers can make both of them work."

The Infineon 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC is slated for Friday May 21st at 8:30pm ET. The event will be broadcast live nationally on the Speed Channel, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio.

Take a lap around Lowe's Motor Speedway with Team ASE/CARQUEST Driver Andy Houston

"You come across the start-finish line, it's pretty flat, really smooth. You head off into turn one and it has quite a bit of banking. A lot of times like in qualifying, you can run that corner wide open or maybe just lift a little bit. Turn one is not too rough, it's pretty smooth. You come down the backstretch and it's pretty bumpy, especially toward the end of the backstretch getting into turn three. Turns three and four don't feel like they have quite as much banking, and they're rough, the corners are really rough. It's really easy to miss the corner getting in there and not be able to get to the bottom. You really have to make yourself try to turn the thing to get to the bottom of the race track - that's the quickest way around, especially in qualifying trim. Coming off turn four, there's a lot of bumps, it's really rough and hard to get hooked up there. As you come off turn four, it kind of narrows up, you get right out by the outside wall, and then you're back to the start-finish line and ready to do another one."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler , Andy Houston