Mesa Marin: Andy Houston preview

Houston, Vokal Ford hope to be in position to win at Mesa Marin. MOORESVILLE, NC (March 19, 2003) - Andy Houston and his VOKAL Clothing sponsored Ford race team hope to be in the right place at the right time Sunday at Mesa Marin Raceway in ...

Houston, Vokal Ford hope to be in position to win at Mesa Marin.

MOORESVILLE, NC (March 19, 2003) - Andy Houston and his VOKAL Clothing sponsored Ford race team hope to be in the right place at the right time Sunday at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield CA for the running of the Lucas Oil 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. Houston assures everyone within earshot that the place to be is as close to the front as possible.

"The biggest key to winning at Bakersfield is track position," Houston said. "Poor track position has cost me in the past. Even if you are on older tires, if you have track position it is hard for the competition to make up any ground on you -- especially with double file restarts and the lap traffic. In the past there have been a lot of cautions at Mesa Marin and it is just really hard to challenge people for positions."

Short track racing provides loads of excitement for the fans and for NASCAR's growing television audience. Mesa Marin offers close proximity racing that provides a unique challenge for drivers and teams alike. Houston feels like he and his Billy Ballew Motorsports teammates have a secret weapon in grizzled veteran crew chief Gary Showalter.

"Gary has had a lot of success with Randy Tolsma and Terry Cook on tracks like Evergreen and Flemington," Houston states. "He has a knack for those short bullring type racetracks and he is really pretty sharp at those places. I think his set up knowledge is really going to help my short track program. Bakersfield is a lot like some of the places that I grew up running. It is real slick like Hickory and tire management plays a big part. It also reminds me of the old Nashville fairgrounds track."

Houston readily admits that the recent acquisition of sponsorship from the VOKAL Clothing Line has been a huge plus for his team. He looks forward to spending time with VOKAL's owner, Grammy award winning performer Nelly.

"I am extremely excited to have VOKAL aboard," Houston said. "NASCAR has done so much over the past couple of years to bring in a mainstream audience and to raise its popularity. This sponsorship brings excitement to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and to this team. I understand that Nelly is a huge race fan and I can't wait to sit down and talk racing with him. Maybe he can learn a little about racing from me and I can learn a little about the entertainment industry from him. I still don't think he will want me to sing though."

The Lucas Oil 250 at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA is slated for Sunday, March 23. The event will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio at 5 pm EST.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Andy Houston , Terry Cook , Randy Tolsma