Michigan: Brandon Whitt preview

Brandon Whitt 'We aren't like the other series' Brandon Whitt and the ...

Brandon Whitt
'We aren't like the other series'

Brandon Whitt and the #38 McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota Tundra team head to the two-mile Michigan Speedway, located in Brooklyn, Mich. for Saturday's Michigan 200; the 10th race in the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

Whitt, 22, is a native of El Cajon, Calif., driving his second full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. 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 his 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 Cure Autism Now Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and funding autism research and accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward effective treatments and a cure. The organization is the largest private funder of biological research in autism, providing more than $20 million in grants since its inception in 1995.

The thoughts of McMillin Homes/Cure Autism Now Toyota Tundra driver Brandon Whitt heading into Michigan:

"Once you watch a truck race at either one of the two-mile tracks, Michigan or California, you can really see that we aren't like the other series. There are a few things that jump out at you. First off, the race is half the difference and fuel mileage doesn't become as big of a factor. Another big difference is drafting. Drafting is a much bigger deal for the trucks at these two tracks. We obviously punch a bigger hole in the air, so you can really suck up to one another, a lot more than you can in the Busch and Cup Series.

"No, it's not like Daytona, but the principle is still the same; two trucks will go faster than one, three faster than two, etc. We've been pretty fast on our own this season at the superspeedways, so we're looking forward to getting down to business on Saturday.

"The impound procedure for the truck series has been interesting this season. It seems like no matter where you qualify, the fast trucks always come to the front. The thing is, a lot of the faster trucks aren't necessarily qualifying that well, so they have to pass a lot of trucks to get up front-- but that definitely adds to the excitement of the Truck Series.

"So far this year, we've been pretty good qualifying, and even better during the race. We've just had some bad breaks that keep preventing us from finishing where we've been running. As frustrating as it's been, you just have to keep your head up. The trucks Jamie (Jones, crew chief) and the guys have been preparing are top notch, and the Toyota power under the hood has been great. We've just had some things keep us from scoring the finishes this team has been deserving of. But, there's no denying we've been fast."

"A 200-mile event seems to have less fuel strategy involved than the Cup race. Of course, I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact we run half the distance. There's nothing conservative about how the trucks will run here. All of our races are sprints, not marathons, and that's fine with me. You have to really stand on the gas when the green flag falls, especially at Michigan, which is a fast track to begin with.

"These days, we're looking forward to each race weekend. We've got a lot of positive things happening around the team these days, and we're running fast. Each time out, we're one of the trucks to watch, and that feels good. As soon as getting some finishes that represent how well we've been running, we're going to force some people to stand up and take notice."

-cw-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brandon Whitt
Teams Red Horse Racing