It was a great feeling headed back to the Texas Motor Speedway! This past weekend was my first race of the year for me and I enjoyed every bit of it! I was driving the #13 Dodge representing Braille Battery and GRAFOID.
The weekend started off really well. We clocked in our fastest lap of practice on our 4th lap on the track, so I knew we were going to have a racecar that we could work with and fine tune as we got closer to the race. That was exactly what we did the rest of day 1 was fine tune the car and made small gains going into day two of qualifying and the race.
On day two we prepared the car for qualifying trim. We had focused completely on race trim in practice to save a set of tires for the long 300 mile race. We decided to run 1 lap of qualifying and call in quits to save the tires, motor, and car for the race. That 1 lap of qualifying had us rolling off in the 32nd starting position in the race.
Having raced many of races here in both the Xfinity Series and the Sprint Cup Series, I knew exactly how to attack this race. From the drop of the green flag we picked up 4-5 spots running just outside the top 25. Knowing that Texas was really abrasive on tires, we fell in line and ran a conservative pace where I knew I would pick up even more spots when the other drivers burned threw their tires. This strategy worked really well but problems struck us at the half way portion of the race.
The car began to lose power and we quickly figured out we had a fuel pickup issue. Unfortunately this was a costly problem because we would have to pull behind the wall to fix the issue. We eventually got the issues all fixed and brought our #13 Dodge back to the racing surface to finish the race. However the time behind the wall cost us a solid finish and instead we finished 35th.
The finish doesn’t reflect our performance on track but it was a great feeling being racing my first race of the year. A lot of people helped out to make this weekend possible and I want to give a huge thanks to Carl Long, Derek White, Braille Battery, and GRAFOID. I am excited to announce that we will try to redeem ourselves at the next couple races. I will be driving the #13 car at Bristol & Richmond and hopefully we can get some more scheduled as well. Stay tuned for the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 this weekend!