We had a lot to be happy about at Dover. My Foundation raised close to $200,000 and my brother Ryan won his second-straight K&N Pro Series East Championship. I was hoping to top everything off with a win and I felt like we had a shot at it. If the race was 200 laps we would have been in good shape, but it wasn’t meant to be. It’s just the way it goes and we’ll go back and try again. It is unfortunate that the rear axle broke. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often and for me, it was the first time an axle broke on one of my cars. What happened was we had a loose wheel under green. We pitted and put tires on it. It was just a combination of events where everything had to go perfectly wrong for it to happen. It ended our chances for a good finish. The good news is we were very competitive. We qualified third. We had good practices on Saturday. I felt really good going into the race. Pat did an awesome job tuning on the car Saturday and Sunday for us to start out of the box as strong as we did. The NAPA Toyota was really, really good. I wish we would have gotten to the end because we would have been racing for the win. It’s fun to go to the racetrack when you run like that.
This weekend I hope to have another good run to be excited about because our NAPA Toyota has a splash of pink on it to promote a very important program. NAPA is once again teaming up with Susan G. Komen All Out for the Cure® to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer. It’s the first time I have taken part in the program and I must say, I’m not one to wear pink, but for the Susan G. Komen All Out for the Cure, I will be happy to sport the color. The NAPA team is kicking everything off this weekend. We’ve got blue and pink hats available for race fans to purchase at their local NAPA AUTO PARTS store or AutoCare Center. They are just $3.99 and proceeds go towards the cause. Fans can also get the name of a loved one who’s been affected by breast cancer on our NAPA Signature Toyota by making a minimum donation of $5.60 by visiting www.napaonline.com or www.facebook.com/napaknowhow . That special paint scheme will run on Nov. 7 at Texas Motor Speedway.
It’s amazing the number of people who have come up to me now that I am helping with the program to tell me about someone they know that has been affected by breast cancer. I am proud to be associated with this program and the more people we can get involved the better. NAPA is making a generous contribution to help find a cure and I hope that by running the special paint scheme, offering up the Signature car promotion and selling hats that we can raise even more money. I also want to thank all the NASCAR fans in advance for stepping up and helping with this cause. I saw a guy last week at our NAPA Race Day Experience in Dover who had already purchased his All Out for the Cure hat. That’s awesome and I think it’s great that all of us — sponsors, teams and fans work together for a good cause.
Here is a photo of me checking out my NAPA All Out for the Cure Toyota. I look forward to driving it and hope to have a good run for all those people.