Well, that was a frustrating afternoon for the NAPA Toyota. We left Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night with a 27th-place finish after it looked like we were going to have another top-10 finish. By now, you probably know what happened. The Edwards/Keselowski wreck bunched the field up at the end and we tried to do two green-white-checkered finishes. On the first one, I was in a great position and looked like we would get a top-10, and maybe even a top-five, but Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer made contact and that triggered a pretty big wreck. It looked like I was going to make it through, but I got hit pretty hard in the left rear. We had nothing to lose so we stayed out on the track, but when the green flag dropped on the final restart, we found out our NAPA Toyota was really damaged so all I could do was just limp the car home. We ended up being the last car on the lead lap in 27th. Needless to say, our finish was not indicative of how well our car was handling.
Despite the disappointment, we’ll take a lot of positives out of the Atlanta weekend. I had a lot of fun visiting with the NAPA people as I got to meet many of you in the NAPA suite on Saturday and Sunday. I loved seeing all the NAPA hats and shirts at the track.
On Sunday, we didn’t start the race as good as we wanted to but Pat and the guys kept working and working and got the NAPA Toyota pretty fast over the last half of the race. As I said earlier, we were in position at the end of the race to have a really good finish. We are making progress each week. The one thing we are really on top of at the moment is our pit stops. My pit crew has been lights out the last two weeks. For the second consecutive week, they won the Tissot Precision Pit Crew Award for spending the least amount of time in the pits. That’s pretty remarkable and I couldn’t be more proud of their work so far in 2010.
We get an off weekend this weekend. It’s our first off weekend since before Daytona. Everyone could use a break. We spent two weeks in Daytona, traveled across the country to California then to Las Vegas then back to Atlanta. All of us are looking forward to the break — just get away for a few days and recharge.
We’ll get back at it at Bristol. I love the place and have won there in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. If you think Sunday was fun, wait until you see Bristol.