For those who may have missed the XFINITY Series race this past weekend at New Hampshire, you missed a good one from our small team. The #13 Dodge prepared by MBM Motorsports full time in the XFINITY Series is a team that competes to their full ability plus more with the small amount of resources they have. It’s very tough to compete with a smaller budgeted team because of the lack of tires, engineering, pull down rigs, wind tunnel, etc. This solely means that we have to go above and beyond the capability the car should have to beat our competition.
This weekend we unloaded with a great driving car. During practice we had to be smart with our time on track because we knew we were in a position where we didn’t have the funds to purchase more tires, and we were going to start qualifying/race on these very same tires. Luckily the team did their homework and we didn’t need much practice at all as we sat 27th in practice. Qualifying rolled around the next day and we were in a box on how well we would do because we were on our used up tires from practice. Even with the disadvantage, we still put down a pretty respectable time in qualifying that put us 34th on the starting grid.
Typically if you start around 35th-40th, as a driver you just know you are going to be in for a long day. For me knowing we were just a fraction off the field on those old tires, I was grinning from ear to ear to get this race started! So the green flag dropped and immediately we picked up quite a few spots. We were able to move from 34th to 27th in the first 5 laps of the race… now that was some fun! This seemed to be the theme all day as each lap went by. Slowly as the laps were completed, the #13 Taiga Coolers Dodge moved up the running order inside the top 25.
Now to be running top 25 in the XFINITY Series with a team on a very minimum budget is a great feeling for everyone. The guys at the shop work so many extra hours because they are under staffed and to see their hard work paying off in the race makes it all feel worth it. As we worked our way to the finish and the laps were winding down, we found ourselves in 20th-22nd looking at a shot to even break into the top 20. With the way the car was driving, I had no doubt we could do it. Unfortunately for us a couple late race cautions allowed our competition to come to pit road and slap some brand new sticker tires on while we were left on our older tires. We pushed as hard as we could to the checkered flag but just came up shy for our top 20 finish and wound up 22nd.
Even though we were disappointed that we couldn’t make that final push to crack into the top 20, I cant thank the hard working guys on the MBM Motorsports team enough! They gave me a car where I could go out to race and have a great time all day. This was the team’s best finish so far this year but with the progress that I see, I think there is much more to come. I think what makes this finish so special is all the challenges that I have had to face lately and the challenges the team has as well with the limited resources they have. Seeing hard work pay off makes everything feel worth it.