Charlotte: Brandon Whitt preview

Tough to beat sleeping in your own bed Brandon Whitt and the ...

Tough to beat sleeping in your own bed

Brandon Whitt and the #38 McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota Tundra team head to the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Friday's Charlotte 200; the seventh race in the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

The Cure Autism Now Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and funding autism research and accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward effective treatments and a cure. The organization is the largest private funder of biological research in autism, providing more than $20 million in grants since its inception in 1995.

The thoughts of McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota Tundra driver Brandon Whitt heading into Charlotte:

"From what my Toyota teammates told me who tested at the 'new' Charlotte, we can expect a much faster race track. That seems to be what everyone is saying about the new surface, which makes sense-- as the saying goes in racing 'smooth is fast.'

"I've only raced at Charlotte once, that was last year, and everyone warned me about how rough and bumpy the track was, but I never had a clue until we went out there and raced. Having yet to run a single lap on the new surface, it's still comforting to know that the track is much smoother. I had heard a lot about the 'Humpy Bump,' but it was hard to pick it out because there were so many of them. I guess that has changed now.

"We're looking forward to Charlotte for a number of reasons. Obviously the travel, or lack there of; I don't care who you are, everyone likes sleeping in their own bed. There's something about a home game that gets the adrenaline pumping. Then add a newly resurfaced or freshly-ground track under the lights -- it should make for one heck of a show.

"The history surrounding Charlotte is great. There are several tracks on the circuit that just give you such a sense of history and Charlotte's one of them. You start thinking about all the historical moments and the drivers that have won here and raced here, it's pretty amazing. It's always been a 'crown jewel' type race track, and I couldn't think of a better place for this team to earn its first top 10-- well, maybe Fontana, since it is the closest one to where I grew up.

"There was a time last season when, and I don't want to say we dreaded, but let's say we didn't necessarily look forward to these high-banked superspeedways. But, those days are long gone. With this Toyota power underneath the hood and the way Jamie (Jones, Crew Chief) and the guys have set these Tundras up, we've been absolutely flying around these tracks, especially in qualifying. We had a career-best qualifying effort in California earlier this year, and another solid effort at Atlanta back in March.

"Our performance at Atlanta really has this team jacked up about this weekend at Charlotte. No, they aren't identical, but they're both fast, high-banked, 1.5-mile ovals. We had our best run of the year at Atlanta and even raced our way into the top-three at one point during that race. Hopefully we can do the same at Charlotte, and even improve on the finish we had that day in Atlanta (15th).

"This McMillin Homes/CAN team is really looking for some momentum and we believe Charlotte is a great place for us to turn things around. I believe we'll be able to run well all night at Charlotte. It seems the faster the race track is the better we've been so far this season. Hopefully that continues to hold true this weekend as well."

-cw-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brandon Whitt