Hi Everyone, After the Richmond race, I boarded a plane with Ryan Newman to go bow hunting in New Mexico. Our excursion is going to be on an upcoming show that will air on the Outdoor Channel. It’s from the Driven to Hunt team, but they are revamping the show and NASCAR is getting involved. I really enjoy working with those guys and I like having the camera with us. It’s nice to go back and look at all the footage. Normally if you are all by yourself, all you have are memories. I like to be able to recount everything by looking at the footage. Fortunately for me, every hunting show I have done, I haven’t missed so my good streak continues. When I know the details of the airdate, I will let everyone know. Ryan and I stayed up all night on the plane. We got to Albuquerque, New Mexico around 3 a.m. We went to sleep and then got up in the morning and drove out to the camp which was about three hours away. Our plan was to spot and stalk in the morning. We got up in a tree stand and it wasn’t long until we heard them bugling. The guides were a big help. They made cow sounds to call the elk to us. We didn’t see as many as we heard. We were ready to hunt in the evening and the first night we chose to be by a watering hole. The watering holes were popular because it was so hot during the day that the elk needed to come in to drink. We basically sat back and waited for them. One thing I did not expect to see was a black bear and her two cubs. I have never seen a black bear before so it was pretty darn cool. They were about 20 yards from me. I also saw a coyote come in which I really didn’t care for because they scare all the deer and animals away. I saw a bull elk but he was too small to shoot. But Newman on the other hand, he killed a monster elk. It was his first one ever! It was 6×7 and 363 inches. For the place where we hunted, it was one of the largest they had on site. Congrats to Newman! Tuesday was my big day. We were back at a watering hole and it wasn’t long for my elk to charge in. He was chasing cows. He was bugling and screaming. He was putting on a real show that’s for sure. I think it will be great footage for the television show and it won’t be long for the coolers to start showing up at my house. My elk was 6×6 and 310 inches. He wasn’t the biggest elk I’ve ever gotten, but I was still proud of him. The way he came in was really cool. I have included a picture.
Before I go, New Hampshire was a decent weekend for us. The NAPA Know How guys did a good job of adjusting on the car and we made up a lot of ground through the middle part of the race. On the last restart with about 70 laps to go, some of the guys stayed out. We chose to pit. We ended up getting shuffled back a bit and were in some major traffic. We also had a couple of bad restarts where I found myself three wide and on the outside. The outside was the absolute worst place for my car. Up until that point, we made a lot of good progress and were running 11th. I felt pretty confident that we could race into the top 10 and have a good day. It just didn’t work out for us. It was a big improvement with our flat-track program. I am really encouraged because we were so much better in comparison to Richmond. This weekend will be a big time for my family. My brother Ryan will be going for his second-straight K&N Pro Series East championship on Friday. I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished so far. When it comes to the actual Dover track, it’s a great place for me. I made my first Nationwide Series start driving for my dad. I won two Nationwide races. I got my first Cup win and then earlier this year, the NAPA team scored our first pole together. I am hoping we can back it all up with my first Cup win for NAPA.