SCOTT POSTS CAREER BEST FINISH AT NEW HAMPSHIRE; IDAHO NATIVE CHARGES FROM BACK OF PACK TO CLAIM 8TH PLACE JLOUDON, NH (September 13, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott charged from the back of the...
SCOTT POSTS CAREER BEST FINISH AT NEW HAMPSHIRE; IDAHO NATIVE CHARGES FROM BACK OF PACK TO CLAIM 8TH PLACE
JLOUDON, NH (September 13, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott charged from the back of the pack all the way up to the 8th position to post his career best NCTS finish in Saturday's Camping World RV Rental 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Scott dodged several crashes that happened in close proximity to his No. 16 Albertsons Chevrolet and overcame a NASCAR mandated penalty for "excessive weaving during a caution period" that forced him to the back of the pack. Scott's previous best finish was a 9th place showing at this year's season opener at Daytona. "It was a team effort out there today," Scott said on pit road after the event. "Unfortunately qualifying got rained out and we had to start way back in the pack on owners points and we just made the best of it. It was truly a joint effort in the pits by the team and just getting some calls and getting everything going the right way. I am just real proud of the Albertsons Chevrolet guys. It was real important to have a good run today just to finish up good with the Chevrolet guys because of everything they've done for us. I wanted to give them a top-10 finish like that and we did. For this final stretch it's a morale boost for the guys. All the guys should be uplifted. I'm uplifted. I'm excited with that run and I'm just proud of everybody."
Inclement weather forced postponement of Saturday morning's qualifying session so when the green flag fell Scott was relegated to the 25th position based on NCTS owners points. Scott quickly moved up in the running order and had climbed up to the 18th position by lap 18. Scott brought his Chevrolet down pit road under caution on lap 50. His Xpress Motorsports crew changed four tires, added fuel, made a track bar adjustment designed to help loosen up the chassis and made an air pressure adjustment. Scott was boxed into his pit by the truck ahead of him and lost significant time attempting to extricate his Chevrolet Silverado from his pit box. To make matters significantly worse, under the same caution period Scott was slapped with a NASCAR mandated penalty for "excessive weaving during a caution period" that forced him to the absolute rear of the 36 truck field.
"I don't necessarily agree with that penalty," Scott said after the event. "I'll go sit down with Wayne Auton, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Director, and we'll talk about it and we'll see exactly why it was called and what exactly we did wrong. I understand I was weaving when they were trying to give the Lucky Dog but our spotter said he never got a warning or anything. It was just straight to the back."
The next segment of the race was marked by a long green flag run. Scott was running laps faster to or equal to the leaders but could make no real headway due to track position. He made a green flag pit stop on lap 128 for two tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He rejoined the fray just in front of the leader Travis Kvapil. Scott valiantly held off Kvapil to stay on the lead lap until the caution flag fell some 20 laps later. Scott utilized the yellow flag to come down pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and an added splash of Sunoco fuel. Over the final 45 laps Scott made a spirited charge to the front of the pack. Scott had several near misses as the race took on a more hectic and frantic pace. On lap 185 Brendan Gaughan broke loose near the front of the pack and Scott narrowly avoided the incident, which became a serious melee. On lap 193 David Starr and Todd Bodine tangled right in front of Scott. The incident between Starr and Bodine ignited a post race fracas that will most likely result in multiple NASCAR penalties.
"In three and four the lap before I could see it looked like Bodine was real loose and I knew those guys were racing real hard," Scott said in the infield media center after the race. "David Starr was inside of him and it looked like, honestly, they both had loose handling, just not right tr ucks. They went into the first corner and I saw it wiggle and I was working on diamonding it and trying to go low and get by them both. I mean, I didn't see anything that looked real intention or real like, shocking to me. It looked like one slid into the other and one got loose and they made contact. It was pretty hard to miss. I had to lock the brakes up and unfortunately I had a little too much rear brakes. I got sideways and I almost spun around myself. It was just hard to avoid out there. It's a tight track and with very flat corners it's hard to take real quick evasive action. You can't really crank the wheel left and get out of your own way in a hurry. I mean, it's hard to go either way. You need a little luck in racing and fortunately it was on our side today."
Scott survived all the craziness near the end of the race and was able to claim his career best finish. His 8th place showing also earned him t he Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors. Scott became the first Raybestos Rookie to finish in the top-10 at New Hampshire since Erik Darnell placed ninth in 2006.
"I think I've been a bridesmaid about four or five times for the Raybestos Rookie of the Race," Scott said. "It was an interesting race for us. That was the best way to describe it. We had highs, we had lows, we had penalties, we had a good truck at times and we had a bad truck at times. Luckily we were able to work through when the truck wasn't handling right and get it right and we had a good truck when it was most important there at the end. It was typical final laps I guess for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and we just kept chipping away at them. We had a good truck at the end and it just worked out in our favor today."