Texas

Hello Everyone –

The last two weeks have been really hard on the NAPA Racing team. I hope all this bad luck and getting involved in wrecks are over for us. Dave Moody from Sirius XM Satellite Radio told me I was doing a really good job auditioning for the role of a NASCAR piñata. Like Martinsville, it was just one of those racing deals. The 2 car of Brad Keselowski was sideways and I was a little loose. We were all trying to get going on the restart. I’m not totally sure what was happening with the No. 2 car, but I had to slow up just a little bit. Kevin Harvick got into the left-rear corner of me. The contact shot me up the track and I couldn’t hang onto it. Harvick said he felt like a dummy and he was sorry. It was just one of those deals. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time again.

The hardest part of all of this is the collateral damage. Someone spun me out and Mark Martin got collected in it. He had absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s a tough deal to be an innocent victim. We all fight so hard and work so hard. We were running top 15 and working hard to get every additional spot we could. It’s a shame to drive your butt off all night long and someone crashes you. I finished 35th when we would have had at least 15th. We’ve had two tough weeks and it really hurt us in the points. The point standings is the most disappointing part of it all.

Next up is Talladega and to be honest, it’s not the ideal place for us to go right now. The likelihood of getting out of there on Sunday unscathed is 50-50. My overall track record hasn’t been too great, but the last two races driving the No. 56 have been OK. Our superspeedway program is strong and I had a strong run there last fall. Of course we had a really good run going earlier this year in the Daytona 500, but a crash took us out at the end. Plate racing is what it is. All you can do is hope you are ahead of the wreck when it happens.

We’re 21st right now in the standings and about 50 points out of the top 10. It’s tough to come to grips with the feelings I have. Our goal when the season started was to be consistent. We haven’t had the greatest cars the last two weeks and yet, we were competitive. I feel like we had a 10th to 15th-place car at Texas. The car continued to get better for us as the race went on. It’s a big hit going from 15 to a 40-point differential. We know what we have to do and our mindset hasn’t changed. This NAPA team goes to the track every weekend focused on doing the very best job possible. If that’s having a shot at the win, then we’re going to take a chance at it. If we find ourselves a little bit off, we’re still going to go out there and salvage what we can. We just need to be prepared for anything. As I have said before, we are zeroing in on all the little details to flush out. It’s a matter of us just getting it done and we will.

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