SCOTT GOES FOR TEXAS TWO-STEP Mooresville, NC (June 3, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Brian Scott's first step regarding Texas Motor Speedway was just figuring out the layout and the nuances of an intermediate track when he made...
SCOTT GOES FOR TEXAS TWO-STEP
Mooresville, NC (June 3, 2008) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Brian Scott's first step regarding Texas Motor Speedway was just figuring out the layout and the nuances of an intermediate track when he made his first start there last fall. Now he prepares for his second step, finding success in the Sam's Town 400 this Friday night. He knows the 1.5 mile quad oval will pose a significant challenge for his No. 16 Albertsons Chevrolet.
"As far as Texas goes last year, I'd say out of the seven races I ran last year and out of the mile-and-a-half tracks, that was probably the first place where I finally started getting a little familiarity with the intermediate track," Scott says. "We qualified decently but unfortunately I had to learn a lesson there the hard way about side force and aerodynamics when I was racing Brendan Gaughan early in the race. He kind of got up on my side and sucked the side force off me and I wasn't really prepared for that. So I learned about the side force on those trucks, how important it is and how much it affects you when it goes away. This time I'll be armed with that knowledge and better prepared for it. I'm looking forward to going back to Texas because even with the spin we incurred early in that race, we still came back and had a pretty decent race. It was a good experience and I think with all the information and experience I've gotten since then, what we've learned, countless hours, people we've brought on, all the improvements we've made in the shop and the equipment. We're going to be a different monster when we go back there. I think we will have improved a lot, and I look for that to show."
Scott and his Xpress Motorsports team have faced adversity over the past few weeks. A series of spins, punts and rotten luck have placed them 21st in the NCTS drivers standings. The 20 year-old Boise, ID native knows he and his team are capable of better performances and insists it is simply a matter of time.
"I mentally look at our team and our strengths and all the people and equipment we have, and I have nothing but confidence in our Xpress Motorsports team," Scott said. "We have Chevy's support and their desire to see us run well. Our guys work in the shop day in and day out on our trucks making them better. We have a great motor program with Pro Motor Engines, and I see the desire from all these guys. Everybody around here knows we have good stuff and knows we're capable of doing it. The only thing now is not a question of confidence and if we can do it, it's just a matter of when stuff is going to stop happening and we can show what we have."
Crew Chief Dave Fuge sees the struggles for his rookie driver and knows it is just part of the game for an inexperienced competitor. As a two-time NCTS champion Fuge can see signs of improvement week by week.
"I think Brian has learned a lot," Fuge said from the team's Mooresville shop. "Probably the biggest thing is the development of the whole team. Brian has been able to learn a little bit more, which helps us with more information on changes we need to make with the truck aero-wise, and so we are coming along together on that deal. I think that's why we're seeing it -- his experience level is high enough now that he can feel the changes that we're making, and it's actually helping us go in the direction of what he needs as a driver. It's basically trying to find out what he likes, trying to get a package that is secure enough for him to drive it looser, stick his nose in there, and race harder. It's a combination of things, so we're just trying to find the aero package that works. It all goes hand in hand, so we're just working on the aero package to give him some of the side force and the down force balance that he's looking for. Plus we've been able to work on the chassis a little bit with our new squash rig and maximize our travels. I think all of that is coming together as one."
As for Texas, Fuge has seen the highs and lows at one of NASCAR fastest venues. One of his favorite NCTS moments came at TMS in 2005. "My favorite memory from Texas is when I won on my birthday," Fuge remembers fondly. "It was June 10th with Jack Sprague in 2005. It was one of those deals where it was a team effort, and we had a pretty good truck though not necessarily the best truck. But we were able to win it with pit strategy, good equipment and pit stops, and the driver did a good job too. It was just a really great team effort, and I've never won a race on my birthday before. That was pretty good. Texas is one of those racetracks that is kind of like a crown jewel. It's one of those ones you like to win like Charlotte and Daytona. It's right up there with some of the better tracks that you always want to win on, and I'd like to wear that cowboy hat again."