Kansas: Brian Scott preview

SCOTT SET FOR SUNFLOWER STATE SHOWDOWN ALBERTSONS DRIVER SET FOR FIRST NCTS BATTLE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY Mooresville, NC (April 21, 2008) --NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott and his No. 16 Albertsons Chevrolet...


Mooresville, NC (April 21, 2008) --NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott and his No. 16 Albertsons Chevrolet Silverado will make their first competitive trek to the American heartland this weekend for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. Scott's focus will not be on the wide variety of cultural offerings featured in the Sunflower State such as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail or the boyhood home of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Instead the 20 year-old Boise, ID native will concentrate his energies on one specific parcel of the state's 82,277 square miles, the 1.5 mile stretch of asphalt that makes up Kansas Speedway. "A lot of people relate Kansas Speedway to tracks like Kentucky and Vegas," Scott said. "Kind of a typical mile and a half, it has corners that are different; they're not identical corners. You have to really put a lot of emphasis on being able to keep your foot down and, especially with how the rules are this year with the new tapered spacer on the engine, you just sacrifice so much to get everything out of it. It is going to be very important to have stability in the truck while still having the needed speed level. You might need to sacrifice a little bit of speed qualifying or a little bit of speed when you are out there by yourself to get a stability and comfort level so that you can really go out there and race."

Kansas Speedway offers a dramatic shift from the NCTS's last venue, the diminutive .526 mile tight oval in Martinsville, VA. The Kansas City, KA speedway offers high speeds with a wide racing surface and Scott is ready to adapt to the change.

"You have to have a different mindset," Scott said. "The intermediate tracks have a lot more of an aero feel, and you have to work on the aero balance in addition to your mechanical balance, whereas a short track is not as dependent on aerodynamics. I'm not going to say that aero is not important on a short track because it's important everywhere you go. You have to keep the truck attitude right and you need to be stable enough in your own equipment that you can take a little bit of a push and shove and manipulation that the other guys are going to give you. So it's adding another element with the intermediate tracks, which further complicates things and gives you more to work on. You still have to figure it out in practice to get the best piece." Four races into the 2008 NCTS season has provided some highlights and some lowlights for the burgeoning young driver and his Xpress Motorsports team. A ninth place finish at Daytona got the year off with a solid start but getting dumped at Martinsville has left the team 18th in the NCTS points battle.

"We've had strong runs and good equipment everywhere with the exception of Atlanta," Scott states. We have really been in positions to get good finishes everywhere. Some of the problems this season have been a little bit of my doing, the speeding on pit road in California cost us there, and a little racing misfortune at Martinsville have not truly reflected the type of season we've had so far. I mean if you just take out those two, I think it would translate to where we'd be like11th or 12th in points instead of 18th. But bad days happen in racing and we're going to rebound and we're going to keep building on it. I think that if we just keep having the season going like it has been, since Daytona, just get rid of a little hiccup here and a little bit of misfortune there, we can do well. I think that it will look like our season has progressed or come a long way but really it's just going to continue to build on the solid foundation of what we have been working on since Loudon last year. I don't think we're far off and I definitely know that we're going to go out and accomplish the goals we set out."

Scott has attacked his NCTS career with a vengeance, constantly looking to improve his driving performance or establish a technological edge that will allow him and his Albertsons crew to close the competition gap for a driver who only has 11 NCTS races under his belt. The rookie is not shy about turning to others for help in the never ending quest for speed and knowledge.

"I'm trying to close a very large gap between me and the veteran drivers like Jack Sprague, Mike Bliss and Ron Hornaday," Scott says. "I have to do the best job out there at pooling my resources to best achieve that, to best accelerate this seemingly endless learning curve. If I can go out there and if I can get people to be open with me, to really share their experiences and everything that they have been doing, it's just going to help me out. I never hesitate, especially after having talked to those guys a lot and seeing that they are open and they are willing to help and that they do appreciate and they respect you even more if you go and talk to them. You just keep doing that and especially after we decided to bring Mike Bliss along to come to tests with us to kind of trade in and out of the truck, share what we're feeling to develop a dialog that is similar to each other and to where we can explain certain things the same way and translate things to my crew chief Dave Fuge. Mike Bliss might be more accustomed than I am to explaining things, so it just helps and you've got to continue doing that and you've got to always be exploring more possibilities on how to get better and how to close the competition gap."

-credit: bsr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Mike Bliss , Brian Scott