This weekend was a very busy weekend for myself and Premium Motorsports. At the Chicagoland Speedway I piloted the #94 Truck along with the #62 Sprint Cup Series car. I have been apart of both the teams and Premium Motorsports but this was the first weekend I had the chance to drive both in the same weekend. Being able to do this helps in so many ways. To drive the truck prior to the cup race allows me to learn so much about the track and that gives me an advantage over the guys who have less laps on the track.
Let’s take a step back to the start of our weekend. Heading to Chicago, we were not guaranteed that we would race on Sunday. It’s tough to be in a situation where we have to beat a lot of good cars to make the race. What that does for us as a team is makes us extremely motivated to prove people wrong and compete with the large & highly funded race teams. Friday when we unloaded the Cup car we had had some struggles with the car being too low and dragging the track. We worked on it all through our only practice of the day and got the car to a point where we had a shot going into qualifying.
All of a sudden there was a different element that would come into play. Rain. Just before qualifying was suppose to begin, the rain fell. For us this was a HUGE sigh of relief. For those who don’t know why, NASCAR rewards the teams the participate the most so because the #62 Cup team has attempted enough races it will would be guaranteed to race. As a competitor I want to qualify my way into a race based on speed but hey its great to finally have a little luck on our side for a change because we for sure have had our fair share of bad luck.
The next day we would gear up for the truck race. I felt good about our truck for Chicago even before we turned our first lap. These guys work so hard and prepare a great truck every time I hop in it. As I took the first lap we steadily started to move forward. We put together a great race for much of the day making great pit calls and smart decisions on the track. At the end of the race we found ourselves inside the top 20. On the last run to the checkered flag we found ourselves super close on whether we could make it to the end on the fuel. We decided to go for it and take the chance at a top 15 finish. Unfortunately we were just a touch short on gas and we ran out with 2 laps to go but still ended up finishing close to where we were anyways with an 18th place finish. I am really proud of the effort from the guys on the truck team. Out of the 6 races I have run with them we have 5 top 20 finishes and that is a testament to their hard work.
Finally we get to the big show on Sunday! I never take for granted being able to race in the top level of racing & being able to race at Chicago with a determined group of guys like I have is everything. Our goal was to make steps at building this team s our main goal was to get to the checkered flag and have something to build on. We started the race off very well. We took the green and passed 5 cars right off the get go. We settled in line and logged laps most of the day. Wayne Carroll my crew chief made great calls all day to make improvements on our car. We would end up finishing 41st in the MYAFIBRISK.COM 400. Everyone on this team is a competitor and wants to do better and with the drive that everyone has, I know we will in the next race. We overcame a lot in the past few weeks and to run all the laps at Chicago was a win in itself.
I want to thank everyone at Premium Motorsports again for their continued hard work. I was able to have fun running 2 great races this weekend and I cant wait to head to New Hampshire and do the same! It was great to have ChampionMachinery.com on the car again this week and I appreciate the continued support from everyone! I cant wait to tell you all how next week goes!
After a couple weeks of heartbreaks and bad luck, I could not wait to head to Bristol to have a good race. Now going into Bristol I know that just about anything can happen. I’ve had races running inside the top 20 with everything going perfect and I’ve had races where… well I’d like to forget the bad ones.
On Friday we had our only two sessions of practice along with qualifying to wrap the day up. In the first session we practiced race trim and we accomplished everything we wanted to learn in that session. The final practice session we transferred the car to qualifying trim in hopes to have good track position to start our race. Our goal for qualifying was to be top 36 on the speed sheets. We prepared a great car for qualifying but we came up just short. We were only a tenth of a second from our goal in result we started 41st.
As we prepared the car for the next day we had something very special happen. While the Premium Motorsports team was pushing through tech the lovely folks at Big Daddy RV had offered to help our race team get through the weekend! I can’t thank everyone involved with Big Daddy RV enough for their support because its so tough to compete against these high dollar race teams so any extra support for our race teams goes a very long ways.
With all the support from Premium Motorsports and Big Daddy RV, I was pumped to put on a great show for them! The green flag waved and we were underway. To start the race we were doing a great job. I was able to get by a couple cars quick and fall in line. The car drove very good to start the race but as the temps dropped and the rubber built up the track started to free up. Zach our crew chief on top the boxes made some great changes to try to tune our car to what we needed to race with the pack. All race long we kept our car clean through some close calls and finished the race 39th.
There was a lot of things we could take away from the night. We all are striving to do better and with the hard work and dedication that the Premium Motorsports guys are putting in, speed and better finishes are soon to come. I want to thank Big Daddy RVs for coming aboard and helping us this week. This is a small team but I am very happy with the direction and potential that we have moving forward. Can’t wait to get to Darlington!