Dover: Brandon Whitt preview

Looking to buy a break-- seriously Brandon Whitt and the ...

Looking to buy a break-- seriously

Brandon Whitt and the #38 McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota Tundra team head to the one-mile Dover (Del.) International Raceway this week for Friday's MBNA 200; the eighth race in the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

The second-year driver from El Cajon, CA, Whitt and the #38 Toyota team have been closer than ever to breaking through in the win column, only misfortune has prevented them from scoring back-to-back top ten finishes. First at Mansfield three weeks ago, Whitt was running in second place before a right front tire shredded just 20 laps from the finish. Two weeks ago in Charlotte, Whitt was running sixth with five laps remaining when a right rear tire erupted and sent Whitt hard into the third turn wall, again spoiling his efforts.

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 Dover:

"Thankfully, we're starting to get into the meat of the schedule where we are racing every week. For the next six weeks we'll be racing every week in the truck series and I can't wait - especially having gone through what we've been through the past couple of races. We've gotten so close at the end I can almost smell the checkered flag when something happens... here lately it's been the tire.

"But, the good thing about racing each weekend is you don't have time to reflect on the past. Good or bad, you're constantly staying focused on what is ahead and the next track you're going to race at-- and probably, that's the only way to be. We've had some terrible luck this season, but at the same time, we've been more competitive than ever. We're constantly running inside the top 10, top 15, but for whatever reason, we haven't had the finishes to prove it.

"Some people have said, 'Hey, at least you're running up front,' but that doesn't mean a whole lot if we can't finish up there. Our goal every race is to win, but if we can't do that, at least finish in the top 10. We've come very close to having two top 10s, maybe top fives, back to back, but it just wasn't meant to be. You can feel the confidence in this McMillin Homes/CAN Toyota team, and that just makes you want to get back out on the track even faster.

"Personally, I think Dover is a pretty neat place. It's fast, real fast, high banked; a lot of good racing. We always see good racing in the truck series, so Dover should be no different.

"Unfortunately last year we got wrecked pretty early on, but we learned a lot in practice and through qualifying and the little bit of the race we did get to run. We'll probably end up applying what we learned last year to this year and that will give us a good starting point anyway.

"Dover's a real quick track. The high banks, the concrete racing surface make it feel even quicker. The concrete plays a huge role at Dover. It's a little different set-up wise, especially in regards to tire wear. The track seems to be a little more heat sensitive. You have to prepare a little differently when you go to a concrete track. Dover, as always, should produce a great race, and we'll see what happens.

"Dover's also a great track to run side-by-side. From the little we ran last year I think we saw some good side-by-side racing. But, with the impound procedure this year for the truck series, it really doesn't matter where you start, because a lot of the good trucks, that run well in the race, start in the back. So, you've been seeing a lot of good trucks come through the field. Qualifying isn't really that big of an issue with the impound procedure in effect.

"Hopefully our luck will turn around a little bit this weekend and we'll be able to close out a race up or near the front. We're perfectly capable of doing so; it's only a matter of getting something, anything, to fall our way. So, if you know anyone selling 'breaks,' we're willing to buy one."

-cw-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brandon Whitt