JR Norris Makes It Two-In-A-Row at Nashville Superspeedway 24-Year-Old Now Back In the NASCAR Southeast Series Title Chase HUEYTOWN, AL (June 8, 2005) -- Any good racer, including JR Norris, knows that when something works you don't fix it.
JR Norris Makes It Two-In-A-Row at Nashville Superspeedway
24-Year-Old Now Back In the NASCAR Southeast Series Title Chase
HUEYTOWN, AL (June 8, 2005) -- Any good racer, including JR Norris, knows that when something works you don't fix it. And after Friday night's NASCAR Southeast Series race at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway, Norris likely won't be touching his superspeedway car anytime soon.
Norris won the "Bob Harmon Memorial Sunbelt Rentals 100" for the second-straight year on Friday night in dominating fashion. It was his second-career NASCAR Southeast Series victory and it vaulting him back into the SES championship chase after a disappointing start to the season.
"I got another guitar," said a relived Norris, who led 80 of the race's 100 laps to raise the traditional guitar trophy in victory lane once again. "I'm going to give this one to Richie Wauters (JR's car owner and crew chief). I know he's wanted one and I wanted to win him one. He's wanted it longer than I have. I can't wait to see the look on his face when I give it to him."
Norris has found a knack for getting around the 1.33-mle concrete track. He's also got the equipment that has found the knack to do so as well. The car Norris piloted to Victory Lane on Friday night has now won the last three SES events at the track, dating back to 2003 when it was driven by Charlie Bradberry. Norris purchased the car to run on the speedways last year.
"I love this racetrack. I've been going to Nashville (Fairgrounds) for years and I've never finished well there and I love that race track as much as I love this race track. That track just hasn't been as good to me. This race track just really fits my driving style.
For the speedway races, Norris uses his own speedway car, as opposed to the rest of the year when he uses all of Wauters' equipment. However, the same team follows Norris all year long and he was quick to thank them after the win.
"There were a lot of guys that were fast tonight. This is a tough race to win. It only goes to show what good teamwork, hard work and effort can do for you. I'm really ecstatic because it is two-in-a-row and not a lot of people can do that. Some people have troubles getting just one. Hopefully we can go into Kentucky next weekend and have a good run.
"I just can't say enough about my whole crew and everybody," added an appreciative Norris in Victory Lane. "This is a very special win, especially when we came up here with basically nothing. We had to borrow everything and I can't thank everyone enough; Robert Richardson for letting us use his hauler and Wesley Stevens for letting us use all of his equipment. It means a lot and it just makes it all worth it when you are sitting here in Victory Lane."
The race wasn't as easy as it sounded for Norris.
Qualifying was rained out and that meant Norris had to start from the eighth spot due to his position in the Owner's Standings. Norris had clocked in with the second-quickest time in qualifying before rain washed out the session before it was complete.
After working his way to the lead past Jason Hogan on lap 10, Norris cruised, with Cecil Chunn and Dusty Williams in tow.
Williams used the draft well and worked his way around Norris on lap 43. On lap 48, Norris got back around Williams when he got caught up behind lapped traffic. Williams regained the lead again before Norris took it back one more time, utilizing a little slip by Williams when passing the lapped car of Robert Richardson.
"It didn't take me too long to get to the lead, but it was real hard to keep it," said Norris. "I lost it to Dusty, got it back, lost it again and got it back again there at the end and was able to pull away. Dusty had a real good car. If he hadn't had to come in (to the pits) for that tire rub, I don't think I would have won. He had a really good car."
They say in racing that there is no better medicine to fix the "bad luck blues" than a dominating win. Now, Norris finds himself fifth in the point standings after a tough start to the year which saw him have two finishes of worse than 18th before finishing third at South Boston Speedway just a couple of weeks ago.
'We're climbing. We're climbing," added Norris. "We are gaining some momentum. We're going to get there. I think I got the monkey off my back and now we can focus on the big picture. I think we can still do it and hopefully we'll be standing on the podium at the end of the year.
"We worked really hard as a team over the winter even though the first two races of this season don't really reflect that. We're starting to get our act together. Hopefully at the end of the year we'll be able to go to the Southeast Series awards banquet as champions. This win is very big for this team."
Now, Norris will set his sights on the second superspeedway race of the year when the series visits Kentucky Speedway next Friday, June 17th.
Norris is competing for the NASCAR Southeast Series championship in 2005 with car owner Richie Wauters.