Homestead: Brian Scott preview

SCOTT HOPES TO CLOSE OUT SEASON STRONG IN HOMESTEAD; IDAHO NATIVE ON NCTS HOT STREAK MOORESVILLE, NC (November 11, 2008) -- Brian Scott is without a doubt one of the hottest drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The 20-year-old Boise, ID...


MOORESVILLE, NC (November 11, 2008) -- Brian Scott is without a doubt one of the hottest drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The 20-year-old Boise, ID native has posted four top ten finishes and one top-five finish in his last 7 races and is coming off his career best finish, a fourth place showing at Phoenix International Raceway this past weekend.

Scott is currently second in the NCTS rookie standings trailing only Colin Braun. He and his Xpress Motorsports team have heated up at the right time, closing out the 2008 campaign in style. Over that same 7 race stretch Scott has outpaced both of his closest rookie competitors. Scott's average finish since the race at Loudon has been 9.4 compared to Colin Braun's 17.6 and Donny Lia's 18.0 average finishes.

Scott's average finish in that time frame compares favorably to the top five in the NCTS points chase. Leader Johnny Benson has averaged an 11.0 finish, Erik Darnell rounds out at 9.7, Mike Skinner come in at 10.8. Only Ron Hornaday Jr. at 9.2 and Todd Bodine who has posted five straight top five finishes and stands at 6.4 can claim a better average finish over the last third of the season. If Scott had maintained this pace throughout the year he would currently sit fourth in points. Which begs the question, do you really want the season to end for the No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra with the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night?

"I don't," Scott says with a big smile. "You know, our season is really starting to come on very good. This hot streak we have been on has been the result of a lot of hard work on everybody's part. We have all pulled together to make this thing work and it has really turned around because we had people who believed. It's just the team. I mean the team is coming together. Jeff Hensley at the helm has done a fabulous job. I owe it to these guys on this Xpress Motorsports team. I get to drive the equipment that they put under me. I'm the lucky one and they do all the hard work and they've done a great job. I'm really looking forward to Homestead and I don't want the season end."

Scott's crew chief Jeff Hensley has been paired with the rookie since Las Vegas. He has seen first hand the transformation of Brian Scott and knows there is a ton of potential yet to be unlocked.

"The change from Las Vegas to now in Brian's performance is unbelievable," Hensley said after Phoenix. "Now I'm upset for finishing 4th because I think if we hadn't gotten him too free at the end at Phoenix he could have finished 2nd. But you know we can win with this kid, and I'm so thankful to be in this position. Things happen for a reason, and circumstances put us together, and I'm going to make the best of it because this kid's the real deal. He did an excellent job in Phoenix, and he's done an excellent job since I've worked with him. I just wish we had four or five more races left this year. I hate to see Homestead come up, being the last one, but we'll go down there and get us another top-five and we'll have something to build on over the winter.

"With the banking they have at Homestead now it is really fast. It has turned into a multi-groove track where you can run the top, middle or bottom groove. The progressive banking promotes that. You have to be able to turn in the middle. With the plates we have on now you can run close to wide open all the way around there. We have to be tight enough getting in so he can stay on the gas yet free enough to turn in the throttle and off to make real good time. It is tough but having the multiple grooves will make our job a little easier. Brian can search around on the racetrack and if things aren't quite right he can help us out a lot until we have time to work on it and make it better." Scott has run one previous race at Homestead. He finished 15th there last year in his 7th NCTS start. It is a track that he appreciates and one he hopes to continue his hot streak on.

"I like Homestead a lot," Scott said. "It has a lot of grooves and you can run high or low. I ran the high groove there a lot last year. In a sense it is a real typical track, just being an oval with two fairly similar corners but also it is unique because there is not another mile and a half track like it that we run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Most of the other intermediates have doglegs on them. Homestead is good in that you can really get a good run coming off the corner. It makes it easier to be good on both ends -- on a lot of the dogleg tracks you tend to be good on one end rather than the other. It makes it exciting. It was a great track for us last year."

-credit: eb/xm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Colin Braun , Erik Darnell , Brian Scott , Donny Lia