'Plenty of distraction, but business as usual' Brandon Whitt and the ...
'Plenty of distraction, but business as usual'
Brandon Whitt and the #38 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra team head to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week for Saturday's Las Vegas 350; the 20th race of the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
The sophomore driver from El Cajon, Calif., Whitt scored his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory at Memphis Motorsports Park in July, becoming the first to do so from the Rookie Class of 2004. Known for his penchant of being fast and loving speed, Whitt is considered one of the top up-and-coming young drivers in stock car racing. His truck is owned by Red Horse Racing, which consists of general manager Marty Gaunt, a winning veteran leader of motorsports teams; Jeff Hammond, a NASCAR Nextel Cup championship crew chief now serving as an analyst for FOX Sports; and Tom DeLoach, a former Mobil Corp. executive who, with Hammond, owns and operates PIT Instruction and Training LLC, the number one pit crew training center in the world.
The thoughts of Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra driver Brandon Whitt heading into Las Vegas:
"I love going to Vegas for numerous reasons-- none of which are necessarily casino-related. First off, it's close to home. Well, relatively speaking it's close to home. Being from the South West it's not too often that my friends and family get to drive out to see me race. Las Vegas is about a five-hour drive from my home town (El Cajon, Calif.) and that's one of the shortest drives of the year for anyone who wants to see me race out there.
"Las Vegas is a city of distraction if you're trying to go out there and work, and that's what we're out there to do. We're going to try to run as good as we can and if all things go accordingly, pick up our second win of the season. But, with all of the normal distraction that's out there, then with my family and friends coming up, it's tough to keep focused.
"That is until you get strapped in behind the wheel, then it's all business. It's that way for us each weekend. Some are worse than others, but there's always some degree of distraction going on around the racetrack. It just so happens that Las Vegas will have a little more than usual for me. But, like I said before, once you get inside the truck its business as usual.
"Speaking of business, we've been on quite a tear in qualifying. If we can just go out there and back it up once the race begins, we would really be hitting on all cylinders. It's not that we're necessarily running badly, but we've had some problems finishing races here recently. But, we've been fast almost everywhere we go and that's promising.
"The other reason I love coming to Las Vegas is the track. It's one of the best mile-and-a-half tracks we go to. It's flat for a superspeedway, not quite as flat as New Hampshire, but pretty flat. But, Las Vegas is the fastest, flat-track that you'll see. It allows for a couple of different grooves and really puts a premium on handling, especially if we ever get a long green-flag run.
"If we can stay out of trouble there's no reason we can't give this Red Horse Racing Tundra a great finish at Las Vegas. I know for me personally, nothing could be better than going out to Vegas, in front of a lot of my family and friends, and being there at the end, and have a chance to compete for the win. It's within reach, if we can stay out of trouble and have good pit stops; I know we can get the job done."