Martinsville II: Brian Scott preview



MOORESVILLE, NC (October 13, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the year candidate Brian Scott has been making a strong move on several fronts over the past six events. With two top-10 finishes in his last three starts and five top-15 finishes=2 0in his last 6 starts, Scott has climbed up to the 17th spot in the NCTS point standings, just a scant 50 points out of the top 15. Scott has also made a charge in the NCTS Raybestos Rookie of the Year chase moving into the third spot, just 7 points out of second with five races remaining in the 2008 campaign. In the span of races from Charlotte to Indianapolis, Scott was floundering with an average finishing position of 22.6. Since that time Scott has posted an average finishing of 12.6 and has also improved his average points total per race from a paltry 84.3 per event to a healthy 127 per event. That is quite a dramatic turnaround for the 20-year-old from Boise, ID. Scott and his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra hope to keep the ball rolling in this Saturday's Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA.

"The momentum of this race team has definitely been on the upswing since we made some critical changes just after the Kentucky race," Scott said from his team's Mooresville, NC headquarters. "Everything has been re ally rolling along well and each week we come back with more and more confidence. Each week we have better and better finishes and better overall performance. That has allowed us to gain momentum and really boosted morale on this team. All our guys are more excited to go to the race and I think Martinsville will be no exception especially coming off the run we had at Talladega. Our short track program has been very good all year. We have qualified and run well at short tracks all year long. So we are excited to go back to Martinsville."

Scott's new crew chief Jeff Hensley has worked just two races as Scott's counterpart but sees significant progress in a short period of time. The duo recorded a solid top 15 at Las Vegas and then backed that up with Scott's career best finish, a 7th place finish at Talladega.

"I am really impressed with Brian Scott especially when you consider how young he is," Hensley says. "He is smart and he has a lot of ability, a lot of talent and a ton of potential. He is a pleasure to work with. The first two races have been avery positive experience for me and the entire race team. Brian's been really good about listening to experienced drivers and listening to me. If I feel like I have something to add he has been real attentivein that respect. If he is as disciplined at Martinsville as he was at Talladega he will do a fine job. One of the challenges that you have with a young driver at Martinsville is making sure that he takes care of his brakes, making sure he doesn't drive it in way to deep. Even veteran drivers have a hard time with that at Martinsville. It is important to back up the corner and be able to make up your time from the center of the corner off instead of making it up getting in. I have been around Martinsville my whole life and I know what it takes to win there. I look forward to going there with him."

Scott has an equal amount of respect for Hensley. He admires his crew chief's ability to translate experience into speed and he knows that Hensley has demonstrated the capability to win races, win poles and be a force in the NCTS championship hunt. Having Hensley join the Xpress Motorsports effort has been a huge plus for the No. 16.

"Jeff Hensley has been a great addition to our team," Scott said. "He is a very talented and smart individual. He knows his way around these NASCAR Craftsman Trucks, he knows his way through a race. He calls a great race. He knows how to stay on top of adjustments. Everything he has done has been spot on. Jeff has had great success at Martinsville and obviously has great desire to win there=2 0because it is his home track. So I am really looking forward to going back there with him as our crew chief. Maybe we can surprise some people."

Hensley has a special knack for Martinsville and if proximity provides any extraordinary knowledge then Hensley should have a definite advantage. He was raised in the lovely hamlet of Horsepasture, VA just a short stallion ride from the .526 mile oval tucked into the rolling hills of Martinsville.

"When I was growing up, Martinsville was like our Daytona 500," Hensley recalls. "When we won the spring race at Martinsville last spring with the No. 5 truck it was like winning the Dayto na 500. I lived about five miles from the track and I used to sneak in, crawl under the fence and the gate guards would run me out and I would crawl back under. It was huge for me to win both races there. Hopefully I can instill in Brian what it means to win there. It is tough to win there. Martinsville and Bristol are two of the toughest places to win. He definitely has the talent to do it we just have to get the truck good enough and be disciplined enough to make it happen. Martinsville is like Talladega only smaller obviously. Same as in the respect that you can be wrapped up in somebody else's mistake and unfortunately if something happens in front of you there are not enough places to go. Track position is so important. You have to figure out when you can make itwith fuel. With the length of the race the way it is they force you into that type of strategy, and when you can make it all the way on fuel you stop. Good or bad you don't come back down pit road. I have seen trucks win there that weren't the best trucks but they had track position. We were fortunate enough to win both races there last year with the No. 5 truck."

The Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA is slated for Saturday October 18th at 3pm ET, and it will be telecast live on SPEED starting with pre-race coverage at 2:30pm ET. It will also be broadcast live via radio worldwide on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and on SIRIUS Satellite Radio NASCAR channel 128.

-credit: xm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brian Scott