Daytona: Brian Scott race report

Scott Battles Way To Top-10 Finish In Daytona Truck Series Season Opener Mooresville, NC (February 17, 2008) -- A steady effort and a solid race strategy boosted Brian Scott to a ninth-place finish in the Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR Craftsman ...

Scott Battles Way To Top-10 Finish In Daytona Truck Series Season Opener

Mooresville, NC (February 17, 2008) -- A steady effort and a solid race strategy boosted Brian Scott to a ninth-place finish in the Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway.

The Top-10 effort - a personal best for Scott -- came in just his eighth career NCTS start and had the driver of the No. 16 Shark Energy Drink/Albertsons Supermarket Chevrolet thinking he might have been able to finish even higher save for a little luck in the final laps.

"Once we got to the end of the race, I was really looking for more than just a ninth-place finish," said Scott (right). "We were strong in the draft and the surge of the lines had us up to about fifth at one point in the last couple of laps. Where you finished pretty much depended on what line you were in at the final laps. We were happy with ninth. There's not a scratch on the truck. It's hard to be disappointed, but I honestly think we could have finished higher."

Scott rolled off 16th in the 36-truck field after posting a time of 51.698 seconds (174.088 miles per hour) in qualifying on the giant 2.5-mile Daytona superspeedway oval. While others immediately set their sights on the front of the pack at the drop of the green flag, Scott and his Xpress Motorsports team were content to ride in the back in an effort to miss the famed Daytona 'Big One.'

The strategy worked to perfection as the 20-year-old Boise, IA driver was able to steer clear of a pair of multi-truck wrecks in the first 25 laps of the event.

"We initiated and completed our game plan perfectly," Scott stated. "We wanted to run around the back and let those wrecks happen and just be there at the end of the race. Then, at the end of the race, we were racinghard trying to make it two- and three-wide doing ever thing we could to go for the win. I wish we could have finished a little higher but we'll take it."

The shuffle of trucks during a pit stop cycle after the early accidents pushed Scott into the Top 10 before he pitted for fresh rubber and fuel on Lap 37 of the 100-lap event. Still content to ride out of harm's way, Scott eventually began working his way toward the front in the latter stages of the race drafting his way through the pack with the help of veteran drivers Dennis Setzer and Stacy Compton.

"We worked together and we rode in the back with them for quite awhile," said Scott of Setzer and Compton. "We were the fastest trucks on the track when we were teamed up and started toward the front. When it got to the end of the race, we were trying to run the high side because the No. 4 (Compton) was really good up there. I think I might have had a friend or two out there tonight and that really helped us get a great finish."

With just over 25 laps remaining, Scott had pushed his red, white and blue No. 16 Shark Energy Drink/Albertsons Supermarket Chevrolet up to the 11th position. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate then raced door-to-door with his veteran rivals to the finish, rallying three spots on the final lap to roll under the checkered flag in the ninth position.

"My initial excitement came from just finishing the race," stated Scott, the second-highest finishing Chevrolet driver in the race. "We did exactly what we wanted to do and it was great to finish in the Top-10. It was exhilarating over the final laps. My feelings might be different if we had gotten tangled up in something, but we didn't and we got a great finish. I couldn't be happier how things turned out."

The solid effort not only gave Scott and his Xpress Motorsports team a great jump on the season and rookie of the year point chases, but also proved to be a big motivator for him and the team heading into the next race on the calendar this coming weekend at California Speedway.

"I wish there was a way to measure the morale of a team coming off a finish like this and how it translates over the rest of the season," said Scott. "I know the performance of the team, their excitement and how happy they were after the race, will translate into better finishes on the track. I have a great group of guys and everyone was so excited to get back to the shop and get ready for the next race at California. That counts for a lot in my book.

"It was great to get that kind of start to the season and the momentum we gained will definitely carry us into California," Scott concluded. "Hopefully, we can score another great finish there."

-credit: scr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Stacy Compton , Dennis Setzer , Brian Scott