Norris Gets Nashville Win, Now He Wants Southeast Championship As NASCAR Southeast Series Comes To a Close, Final Title Is Up For Grabs CONCORD, NC (August 3, 2006) -- There are a few things that have been on JR Norris' NASCAR Southeast...
Norris Gets Nashville Win, Now He Wants Southeast Championship As NASCAR Southeast Series Comes To a Close, Final Title Is Up For Grabs
CONCORD, NC (August 3, 2006) -- There are a few things that have been on JR Norris' NASCAR Southeast Series checklist. He's never won at Nashville's historic Fairgrounds track, the Music City Motorplex, despite years of dominating at the track, earning poles and leading tons of laps. He's also still looking for his first Southeast Series championship, something Norris has been close to every year since joining the series full-time in 2004.
Now, following Wednesday night, Norris can mark one of those tasks off his check list. And he's one step closer to the other.
Norris won Wednesday night's Music City 100 at Nashville, dominating the event after taking the lead on lap 22. Norris' #5 Richie Wauters-owned Chevrolet dominated from there on out, winning by nearly two seconds. It was a nice break from Norris' normal bad luck he's had over the past years when he has dominated races at the track, but not found Victory Lane.
"I was talking to the car, it just wasn't talking back," said Norris. "I kept telling the car to make it 25 more laps, then 20 more laps. I was counting down every lap with about 25 to go. I did the best I could not to look at the scoreboard (which sits just outside turn three, easily in view of the drivers as they drive down the backstretch) until about 25 to go. Then, I started looking at it every lap and every lap. I couldn't' help it either. Every time I'd come off of two, that is the first thing I saw and looked at. This time though, she stayed with me and got me to the finish."
Losing races has happened so many times at the track, JR was expecting it to happen again Wednesday night.
"I was scared to death when they had that wreck on the front straight late in the race," Norris said of a lap 74 accident involving several lapped cars. "I knew I was going to get a flat tire. I knew I was. That is just my luck. But I didn't. I guess everything was in line tonight.
"(Car owner) Richie (Wauters) works so hard on this car himself to make it the very best for me week in and week out. I wouldn't be able to win races if it wasn't for him doing that. This whole thing is a good feeling. It's sad that we're not going to come back here any more. As hard as I've tired to win races here over the last five years, it is sad that I finally win it and that I'm not going to get to come back here anymore. I love this track. It is my favorite track. It is a place that you love to hate because anything can happen."
Now, Norris leads his good friend Jason Hogan by 15 points in the championship standings heading into the Southeast Series finale at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina this Saturday.
"Jason has been trying to win this championship for a long time," added Norris. "I know he is hungry for it. To be honest, to say one of us is more hungry than the other is irrelevant, because both of us will do whatever it takes to win a championship.
"The respect between Jason and myself is ungodly. I'm the same way. If I can't win it, I want to see him win it. Anything can happen when we go to Greenville. He ran real good there last time and I ran real good there last time. Anything could happen. Now I can relax and go concentrate on Greenville though."
The NASCAR Southeast Series finale at Greenville-Pickens Speedway is set for Saturday, August 12th.