Daytona: Brian Scott race report

SCOTT POSTS SOLID 12th PLACE FINISH AT DAYTONA; ALBERTSONS TOYOTA TEAM BATTLES ADVERSITY THROUGHOUT WEEKENDJJDAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 13, 2009) -- Brian Scott and his No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra battled a plethora of problems over the ...


Albertsons Toyota Tundra battled a plethora of problems over the course of the week at Daytona International Speedway. In the end Scott and his Xpress Motorsports teammates were able to post a solid 12th place finish in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona's famed 2.5 mile high-banked oval.

Scott's first battle with adversity came in Wednesday's second practice session when Mike Bliss bumped Ricky Carmichael's Chevrolet into Scott's Toyota at the end of the backstretch, forcing Scott's Tundra hard into the outside retaining wall. Scott's crew worked diligently to repair his Toyota in time for Thursday's practice and qualifying sessions.

"I can't really say enough about all the guys on this Xpress Motorsports team," Scott said after the race. "You really learn the character of people, you learn the most about people when you're in the trenches and you have to overcome adversity. With all that these guys did, they never looked down, they never for one second doubted we could come back. We had a lot of problems and I never once heard anybody complain. They just kept digging, and we20were able to at least come out of Daytona alive. It's not the finish that any of us wanted or we could have had but we survived with a decent finish."

Scott started the race in the 12th spot but trouble was lurking on lap 5 when he was pinched by the trucks driven by T.J. Bell and Brent Raymer going into turn two. Scott spun directly into the path of Mike Bliss and suffered extensive damage to the driver's side door area of his Albertsons Toyota. His crew once again came to the rescue under difficult circumstances and made a series of pit stops to fix his truck. Once the race restarted Scott made a mad dash to the front charging from 23rd to 6th in just 12 laps and then moving into the top five just two laps later. By lap 28 Scott had climbed into the top three and was making a bid for the lead when the caution flag fell on lap 31. When Scott came down pit road his pit crew added fuel only under NASCAR's new pit road requirements. When the race restarted Scott was the leader followed by J. R. Fitzpatrick, Johnny Benson, Colin Braun and Ron Hornaday, Jr. The combination of old tires and a full load of fuel was not to the liking of Scott's Toyota and after battling with the front pack for awhile, Scott's crew chief Jeff Hensley ordered the 21 year-old Idaho native to drop back in the pack. The advice was timely because a few laps later a huge crash at the front of the pack took out several top contenders. Over20the next several caution periods Scott made several stops for fuel, tires and chassis adjustments to help tighten up his Toyota Tundra. By lap 80 his team had gotten the truck to Scott's liking and he was running 6th and poised to post a top ten finish when an untimely caution came out on lap 91. On the ensuing restart Scott attempted a pass on the fifth place truck and did not get the drafting help he desperately needed. As a result he was shuffled out of the top ten over the last few laps and ended up with the 12th place finish.

"It's very hard if you don't have any pushers with how clunky these trucks are," Scott said. "They're punching such a huge hole, and the air is hitting them in so many different spots, without any help it's like pulling a parachute when people go by you. With the incident we got in on lap 6 with the left side damage and some of the things we encountered early in the race and even before the race started, we were not aerodynamically the best. That made it even more important to have help. I think all of our guys should be really satisfied though because even with a little bit of adversity and a body not so good, we were still able to get to the front, lead, and be there at the end with 10 laps to go. Not exactly the results we were shooting for but an acceptable finish for this team."

"Brian drove his tail off," Scott's crew chief Jeff Hensley said after the event. "He drove an excellent race. The Albertsons Toyota Tundra was not as good as it was when we unloaded it down here due to all the incidents we went through. I can't say enough about our effort. The crew did as good a job as anybody with NASCAR's new pit road rules and better than most crews. All in all this is about as good as we can ask for considering all the circumstances."

-credit: xm

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Drivers Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Colin Braun , T.J. Bell , Ricky Carmichael , Mike Bliss , Brian Scott , Brent Raymer