Late-Race Crash Spoils Solid Martinsville NASCAR Truck Series Run For Scott Mooresville, NC (March 31, 2008) -- A career-best qualifying run and a solid race-long performance had Brian Scott and his No. 16 Shark Energy Drink/Albertsons...
Late-Race Crash Spoils Solid Martinsville NASCAR Truck Series Run For Scott
Mooresville, NC (March 31, 2008) -- A career-best qualifying run and a solid race-long performance had Brian Scott and his No. 16 Shark Energy Drink/Albertsons Chevrolet in position for a Top-10 finish in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway Saturday.
Unfortunately, that's not the way things turned out for the Boise, ID driver.
"The first half of the race went a lot better for us than the second half," said Scott, who wound up finishing 30th after a crash late in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. "We had a great truck and we were trying to make the ideal Martinsville run. We were just riding and trying to stay out of trouble. Everything was really working perfectly and then the bottom kind of fell out with an unfortunate event."
That "unfortunate event" came on Lap 184 of the 250 circuit event as Scott worked his way into Turn 3 on the tight .526-mile Martinsville oval. Contact from behind by fellow rookie driver Colin Braun sent Scott's Xpress Motorsports mount spinning into the outside retaining wall where it suffered severe rear end damage in the accident. While Scott's crew was able to repair the truck and get it back on the track to finish the race, the chance of a top finish was lost.
"He just drove in too hard, way deeper than he should have," said Scott of Braun. "Anytime you try to force a move like that at Martinsville, you wind up wrecking somebody. He just got impatient."
Scott started out the weekend on a much better note establishing a career-best qualifying effort when he sped his way to a lap of 19.910 seconds (95.108 miles per hour average). The lap was good enough for the fourth starting position in the 35-truck field.
"We had two great hours of practice where we just kept on getting better and better," said Scott. "By the end of practice, we had really found the handle on our truck and that really showed up in qualifying."
The 20-year-old Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate backed up the qualifying run at the drop of the green flag keeping his truck in the top five throughout the first 35 laps of the race. A pit stop on Lap 65 for fuel and chassis adjustments dropped Scott all the way back to 29th in the running order before he again worked his way back to the top 10 by Lap 160. Poised to score his second top 10 finish of the season, Scott saw it all go away in a flash just a handful of laps later.
"It took us a couple of laps to get things repaired and get back on the track," stated Scott. "After that, it was just survival mode. The good run that we had was ruined. That's unfortunate because our truck was solid, our pit strategy was good and we had been in the spot we wanted to be. It looked like we should have had no problem walking away from that race with a top-10 finish. It just all went away in the blink of an eye."
Scott's 30th-place effort left him 18th in the Truck Series championship standings after four events. His 417-point total is just 82 markers out of the top 10.
"Our program has been on the upswing since we started this deal last fall," said Scott, who now has 11 career Truck Series starts since making his division debut at New Hampshire last September. "We've improved our equipment and I've been getting a lot of experience. I feel like we've improved our competitive level in all areas. We should have had a lot better result this weekend, but we'll just have to regroup and move on to the next race at Kansas."