Martinsville has always been a tough track for me for some reason. In the past I have done well on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday, it becomes a difficult half-mile track to get a hold of. And if you asked my crew chief Pat Tryson, Martinsville isn’t one of his favorites either. Our opinions may be changing …
On Friday, it was a typical good day. It was the first time our group was there as a team. It was really our first short, flat track race of the year. We unloaded with a set up that really didn’t work. We made good changes throughout practice and they allowed us to make a lot of gains on it. We did some qualifying runs and felt pretty good heading into qualifying. We were 12th quickest and opted to make a few more improvements for qualifying. We ended up getting rained out. I think we would have had a shot at a top-10 qualifying start, but I don’t think it was a big deal for us. We were 20th in points and that was our starting spot. I believe we would have bettered that in qualifying, but 20th isn’t really that bad. I ended up not being too worried about it.
Saturday was a good day too. We started off pretty much the way we ended Friday’s practice. We knew we needed to work on the car to get it better. Again, throughout practice, we made some good changes. We hit on some positive stuff during the Happy Hour practice. I felt really good about our chances towards the end of practice. I wish we could have had a little more time to try a few more things that were working for us. But overall, I had a good feeling heading into the race on Sunday which turned out to be Monday because of the rain.
When the race finally was run on Monday, we ended up having a good race. We had a very solid day overall as a team. We ran in the top 10 most of the day and my pit crew knocked off an 11.9-second stop. We made good adjustments that kept making the car better throughout the event. The key for us was the fact that we kept ourselves in position all day – we stayed consistent. We stayed out of trouble. We put ourselves in position at the end to have a great run.
Pat Tryson made a great call by putting on four fresh tires during the last caution and we were able to take advantage of it. It was great that we were able to come home with a top-five finish. I am very pleased with how our day ended. I can’t believe we ended up on the right end of the deal for a change!
Tomorrow I am going up to Syracuse for a NAPA appearance. I am looking forward to it as it’s at the Syracuse Crunch hockey game. If you are in the area, please stop by.
This weekend we are off. I have no firm plans, really. I think I am going to hang out and take care of some stuff at home. I am debating on going up to South Boston to watch my little brother race on Saturday. But all in all, it will be a quiet weekend.
Have a Happy Easter and don’t forget – vote for me in the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote!