Charlotte: Brian Scott preview

SCOTT FOCUSED ON KEEPING MOMENTUM AT LOWE'S Mooresville, NC (May 12, 2008) --NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott hopes to keep his learning curve dialed in the right direction when he tackles the treacherous...


Mooresville, NC (May 12, 2008) --NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott hopes to keep his learning curve dialed in the right direction when he tackles the treacherous 1.5 mile Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Scott, coming off a top fifteen finish in his last event at Kansas in the No. 16 Albertsons Chevrolet, knows all about the steeped tradition surrounding the historic Charlotte landmark.

"Charlotte definitely has a lot of history," Scott said. "It has a reputation as the beast of the southeast for a good reason. It will jump up and bite you. It can be very unforgiving. Everybody's game gets stepped up a notch when they race here just because everyone wants to claim success on their home turf. As a driver you know that everyone is watching and that there is a lot of intense focus on this weekend with both the All-Star event and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. This is really one of our two biggest events, maybe second only to Daytona. You know you have to step it up, be really focused and be hitting on all cylinders at Lowe's Motor Speedway."

Scott's Xpress Motorsports crew chief, veteran Dave Fuge, has tackled Lowe's Motor Speedway with a variety of talented drivers behind the wheel. He posted a 4th place finish with Travis Kvapil in 2003 and finished in the sixth spot last year with Mike Bliss.

"Charlotte has always had it own personality," Fuge said. "It has a lot of bumps where most of the new race tracks don't have the bumps to deal with. In some ways with the setups we run, the bumps can either provide an advantage or a disadvantage. It really depends on how you set up the chassis and how you utilize the bumps. You can use the bumps to help your ride heights. If you don't have your stuff worked out right the bumps can be a big problem and make it hard for you to get through the corner. Charlotte is special because of its character and the fact that they can't seem to duplicate that with all these new venues. With the rich history of this track and with Charlotte being the home base for the NASCAR community, it really raises the importance of this race. Everybody wants to win here because home bragging rights are at stake."

A solid finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway always provides a strong tonic to any NCTS team. Scott realizes however that reaching a higher plateau career-wise takes more than just one big splash.

"A good showing at Charlotte would mean everything," Scott said. "Most of all it would mean a continuation of the progress we have been showing and be indicative of the good runs we have been having. It would be really nice to be there at the end with an opportunity to get a good finish and not have the late race misfortune that we have had with some races this year. A top 10 finish, or even better a top 5, would be great for our Albertsons team. That said I don't think one race is going to define a career. One race is not going to automatically propel me into a ride in the Nationwide Series or into Cup. I think over time with a series of good performances you can kind of surprise people and they might say -- hey I didn't expect that kid to do that. When you can start constantly doing that and they start expecting that type of performance is when you reach a career changing moment. Don't get me wrong, one good run at Charlotte can open some eyes but I don't think it would provide a magic potion for my career."

Scott's recent run at Kansas Speedway could speak well for things to come from the 20 year-old Idaho native. He ran in the top 10 for a good portion of the event and perhaps most importantly posted his second top 15 on an intermediate track.

"The run at Kansas was great for us because the intermediate tracks have always seemed to be our Achilles heel," Scott said. "We just haven't been as competitive as we would like to have been at the mile and a half type tracks. To have the run at Kansas where we ran in the top 10 with just a few laps to go and to know that we could make moves and pass people was really great for me. It provided a big boost for my confidence for those tracks. Now I am really excited to get back on a mile and a half track, much more so than previously."

Fuge, an experienced crew chief who has captured two NCTS championships in his storied career, knows that a confident driver is a more effective driver. He is pleased to see the team's young pilot progressing as planned.

"I hope that his confidence level is going to continue to keep going up the way it has been," Fuge said. "As a team we have been working hard all year long to try and give him good consistent equipment. It is important for us to be able to listen to what he has to say, use his feedback and show him where his feedback helps. So I think confidence is a very big thing especially for a young driver. We have been concentrating on trying to follow our schedule, get our trucks up to speed and improve the chassis and the aerodynamics. A lot of that had to come at the pace of the driver's development. So it is really twofold, we are improving the chassis and the aerodynamics so that our trucks are better, and at the same time Brian is learning and improving as well. Right now we are taking baby steps but we are going forward instead of backward. When we start to really pick up the ball we will start steam rolling the process. Once his confidence level gets even better and our development gets better we will see marked improvement each week."

-credit: xm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Bliss , Brian Scott , Travis Kvapil