SES: Houston: Chris Davidson preview

Pearland, TX (May 6, 2004) -- They say everything is bigger in Texas. Well, in the case of NASCAR Southeast Series Rookie Chris Davidson that is true. All you need to do is look at his travel itineraries to prove it. The two words that...

Pearland, TX (May 6, 2004) -- They say everything is bigger in Texas. Well, in the case of NASCAR Southeast Series Rookie Chris Davidson that is true. All you need to do is look at his travel itineraries to prove it.

The two words that emphasize our point are Southeast, as in NASCAR's Southeast Series, and Texas, as in the state Davidson and his team are based out of. Normally you wouldn't think the two jive, but Davidson is proving all doubters wrong this year by competing full-time with the series. The rookie gets a well-deserved break this weekend as the Southeast Series ends its four-week stretch of scheduled races, ironically, in Texas.

"Every race that we go to is at least 1,000 miles from home except for this weekend," said Davidson, who will compete at Houston Motorsports Park on Saturday. "So we'll get to be close to home and everyone can come and see us race rather than read the race recap. We also feel like we need to step things up because we know the track and that should help us. Of all the races on the schedule, I've only seen Houston and Nashville before and I only raced at Nashville once; so this is our home track."

Davidson has been a "Texas terror" the past four seasons by dominating the Texas-based ROMCO Super Late Model series. In that span, he has nine victories and a championship.

Now the driver of the #41 Davidson Electric car is adapting to testing his wares against the top Super Late Model drivers in the entire south.

"We're rookies, but our team has been racing together a long time," Davidson explained. "We want to win races, but we know that it's tough. (Jason) Hogan and (Jeff) Fultz are fast week in and week out and everyone knows that the #5 car (of J.R. Norris) is hard to beat. You've got to finish well every week to do well in the series points. There are only 12 races all year and that leaves little room to have a bad race or two."

One advantage that Davidson has over his competition is a relationship with his crew chief that borders on telepathic.

"Chris Soathoff has been my crew chief from when I raced Street Stocks," he said. "We know each other so well and that's help that you can't buy. We'll know what changes to make to the car without even talking to each other. I can come in during practice, he'll start to make changes and it will turn out that we both came up with the exact same ideas. The other crew members laugh at us and think that we have ESP or something, but there is never, ever miscommunication between the two of us."

The other crew members on Davidson's Texas-based team are also valued and especially committed to the team's performance.

"Our shop is two hours away from where I am and two hours from San Antonio," Davidson said. "All of the guys have to drive a few hours every night that we work on the cars and that makes for a late night. Even if it's an early night and we finish working at Midnight or 1am, we still don't get home until 2 or 3 o'clock. But nobody ever complains because we have a great car owner, Steve Turner. If it wasn't for Steve, we wouldn't be racing in the Southeast Series, so everyone knows that it is worth it."

Between Southeast Tour races, Davidson and his crew hope to run a few other events when their schedule permits. He finished second in last month's ROMCO feature at the Texas Motor Speedway and also plans to run December's Snowball Derby at the Five Flags Speedway (FL). Other than that, his schedule is somewhat open.

"We have to make sure that the Southeast Tour team is together and properly prepared," he said. "But we would like to pick and choose some other races to run here and there."

The Houston race will take place on Saturday evening with an approximate start time of 8:30pm CT. Davidson enters the event ninth in series points after two events and will be competing full-time with the NASCAR Southeast Series in 2004.

-51ss-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers J.R. Norris