BUSCH: Hickory is Like Home to Pressley

Pressley returns to roots at Hickory HICKORY, N.C. (April 7, 1998) Robert Pressley cut his racing teeth on the small bullrings like Hickory Motor Speedway, so the return to the .363-mile short track for Saturday's Galaxy Foods 300 comes at a ...

Pressley returns to roots at Hickory

HICKORY, N.C. (April 7, 1998) Robert Pressley cut his racing teeth on the small bullrings like Hickory Motor Speedway, so the return to the .363-mile short track for Saturday's Galaxy Foods 300 comes at a perfect time for the driver of the Kingsford Chevrolet.

Pressley is at home when the competition is compacted into a small venue. The tougher the conditions, the better. When a driver's nerve counts for as much as horsepower and a perfect car, Pressley knows his chances are never better.

"I grew up on small race tracks like Hickory," Pressley said. "It's like going home when we race at Hickory. I like the small tracks because it's important not to forget our racing roots. Before there were great big tracks like Daytona, Charlotte and Texas, racers were running every week on places like Hickory. I'm glad we keep it on our schedule."

The race comes at a time when Pressley and his ST Motorsports teammates need a lift. They missed the starting lineup at the Texas Motor Speedway when Pressley's Chevrolet slipped in water that was seeping through the pavement during Bud Pole Qualifying. Pressley did everything he could to keep the car off the outside retaining wall, but the loss of control was enough to push him down the speed charts. His time was 37th-fastest overall, and the top-36 made the race.

"It was real slippery up there (in Turn 1)," Pressley said. "I can't believe we didn't wreck. It hurts not to make the race. Everyone on the race team worked so hard on this car, and the people at Kingsford have been real supportive. All we can do is come back with a good showing at Hickory."

Team owner Tad Geschickter called a meeting Monday night after the team arrived home from Texas. The atmosphere, however, was relaxed as he tried to pool the experience and resources from everyone who works with the car. In fact, the meeting turned into a pizza party.

"We're not going to panic," Geschickter said. "This team's too good for that. We all sat down when we got home from Texas, and everyone on the team had a chance to contribute ideas. It was very constructive. The strength of our team is our people, and together we put ourselves back on the right track."

While Pressley wasn't able to race in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race, he did compete in Sunday's Texas 500. He finished third -- his career best in NASCAR Winston Cup Seris competition -- and said he plans to take that momentum into Hickory.

"We had a good car for Saturday's Busch Series race, but we got caught up in something that wasn't our fault," Pressley said of treacherous track conditions. "We had a little more luck in Sunday's race. I learned a lot in that race -- things I'm sure I can use to get the Kingsford Chevrolet back up front where it belongs."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Robert Pressley