CALIFORNIA CALLING FOR SCOTT TOYOTA DRIVER HOPES TO MAKE GOOD WEST COAST IMPRESSION MOORESVILLE, NC (February 16, 2009) -- With a tough race at Daytona behind him, second year NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Brian Scott is anxious to...
CALIFORNIA CALLING FOR SCOTT
TOYOTA DRIVER HOPES TO MAKE GOOD WEST COAST IMPRESSION
MOORESVILLE, NC (February 16, 2009) -- With a tough race at Daytona behind him, second year NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Brian Scott is anxious to head west for better fortunes. His No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra did not fare badly at Daytona as the Xpress Motorsports team posted a solid 12th place finish. But the team has high hopes for the 2009 NCWTS season after closing the 2008 campaign with an average finish of 8.5 in the circuit's final eight events. Scott recorded five top-10s capped by a fourth place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and a second-place run in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That 2008 late-season optimism has not diminished heading into Saturday's San Bernadino County 200 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.
"I'm just really excited to start going to racetracks where you can control your own destiny a little bit," Scott said after returning from Daytona. "California is one that is definitely a driver and an equipment track. You have to be able to be really good in a long green flag run because history shows that you always have long runs at California. It always gets strung out and you normally have to2 0do a green flag stop. So I'm really excited -- I know we're going to have a good truck there, I know our crew chief Jeff Hensley has a good history there, and I'm really confident in our ability on the mile-and-a-halfs, the two-miles, and the short tracks. I know it's a track where we can do well and I'm looking forward to racing at Auto Club Speedway for the second time in my career.
As Scott points out, his crew chief Jeff Hensley has had some success at the two-mile, low-banked, D-shaped oval superspeedway. The 46 year-old Horsepasture, VA native has a knack for unlocking the mysteries of NASCAR's intermediate speedways.
"I have always been fortunate enough to be pretty decent at California," Hensley said at the team's shop in Mooresville as they prepared for the long haul to Southern California. "We won at Auto Club Speedway in 2007 while I was at Bill Davis Racing and finished sixth there last year but we ran really good. We started on the outside pole and had a plug wire come off on the first lap. We went to the back of the field and charged back to third. On a green flag stop we slid through the pits, we came in second and went out 15th and raced our way back to 6th so it was a pretty good truck. They say California is like Michigan but it is really not because it's a whole lot flatter. You have to have a truck that has the right balance of drag and downforce. Yo20u can't have a lot of drag but you need the downforce because the corners are so flat. Now that it's a day race the track loses grip, gets hot and greasy. We are opting for the downforce because it is an afternoon race. You have to be able to stay on the bottom of the racetrack but run the second or third lane up if you need to. The beauty of California is that there are three of four grooves and whatever your truck is doing you got a little racetrack to work with."
One reason for Scott's continued optimism is not just his crew chief's past history at California but the progress he has seen in his Xpress Motorsports team since they reformed on January 5th of this year. The organization has come a long way in a short period of time.
"We put this deal together at the beginning of January," Scott added. "I'd say we are just as prepared as teams that have had all off-season to prepare for Daytona. These guys have definitely put in the hours. I'm sure they're looking forward to getting California out of the way and maybe having a weekend off to regroup when they're not thrashing and working late hours, although there's still work to be done. They're starting to get over a hump, they're reaching a point where we hopefully can see some fruits of their labor. I can't say enough about them and the job these guys at Xpress have done on these N o. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundras."
Chassis for California: Brian Scott will be driving Xpress Motorsports chassis number 52 at Auto Club Speedway. This Toyota Tundra Triad Racing Technologies chassis finished second at Homestead at the end of 2008 with Scott behind the wheel.