Milwaukee: Jason Small preview

Fresh Off Cup debut, Small heads to Milwaukee looking to gain in NTCS rookie of the year battle. WEST ALLIS, WI Jason Small started his rookie season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by missing the big bang. By avoiding trouble at the ...

Fresh Off Cup debut, Small heads to Milwaukee looking to gain in NTCS rookie of the year battle.

WEST ALLIS, WI Jason Small started his rookie season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by missing the big bang. By avoiding trouble at the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona, he earned a season-best ninth place finish and jumped out to an early lead in the 2002 NCTS Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle.

Since then, things haven't been quite as solid as Small and the Sunbelt Rentals Chevrolet team would have hoped. Learning the ropes as a rookie can often lead to frustration, but Small has remained upbeat even through the team's trials and tribulations.

"We have had a streak of bad luck lately," Small said. "But it is all just mainly rookie stuff. We have either been too conservative trying to stay out of trouble, or we get caught up in a rookie mistake somewhere. We are pushing ourselves to find how aggressive we can be on a weekly basis."

Even with the ups and downs he has experienced so far this season, he has opened some eyes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

"We ran the Michigan Cup race for Price Motorsports, and it looks like we are scheduled to run the Brickyard 400 with them as well," Small said. "We have a test scheduled at Indy after we race at Kansas. It all comes down to sponsorship. If we can find some funding, we will run a few more races with them. They have some good equipment and a good team in place. I look forward to running with them some more."

The opportunity to expand his horizons has not taken Small's focus off his day job.

"Brendan (Gaughan) has a pretty solid lead in the rookie points right now," he said. "But we haven't given up. We hope we can make up some ground before the end of the season. (Bill) Lester is coming on strong too. It will be a good battle for the rest of the season, that's for sure."

Small says he has his work cut out for him if he wants to make up any ground at The Milwaukee Mile.

"During the open test we had on Thursday, we just couldn't get the push out of the truck to where I was comfortable," he said. "If you do get the truck without that push, it is so loose that you can't drive it. I don't think they thought about it when they built this place in 1903, but it sure does make it hard on guys like us to figure out a good setup for this place. I guess I like it more than Darlington, that place they can just turn into a fish pond. But this place is definitely a challenge so far."

The GNC Live Well 200 is set for Saturday at 1:30 PM, and is scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN. It will also be carried live on MRN Radio affiliates nationwide as well as XM Satellite Radio.

-glr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Small