Martinsville

Hi Everyone –

It was another tough weekend for the NAPA AUTO PARTS team. We had NAPA Adaptive One Brakes on the car and they sure came in handy on Sunday. We saw quite a few teams lose tires and we were the first team to experience the problem. I think what we saw was typical contact at Martinsville that caused the tire issues. In my situation, I just got hit in the left rear. It flattened my tire. I was trying to get back to the pits to keep from spinning out. I just got in a little hurry and around went my NAPA Adaptive One Brakes Toyota. I appreciated having the NAPA brand on my car. You could see on the replay that my car came to a smooth stop. It also was a blessing in disguise. It I hadn’t spun out to cause the caution, we may have lost two laps versus just one. Regardless, we got behind and we could never really rally back because our car just did not handle well. It was so disappointing.

I want to give a shout out to Jimmy Spencer. If you watched Monday night’s This Week in NASCAR show, Jimmie was kind enough to stop by one of our stores. He gave NAPA a nice plug after having to pick up a brand new set of rotors and a set of Adaptive One Brakes. He said our parts are worth the money! I appreciate those kind words!

It was Denny Hamlin’s day on Sunday. The Virginia native was able to win another race in his backyard. It was his seventh-straight finish of sixth or better at Martinsville. Jimmie Johnson scored his 15th straight top-10 finish. They ended Sunday’s race first and second. That’s pretty impressive.

The one thing I noticed about Denny’s car was it had a tremendous amount of front grip. Denny’s car looked even better than Jimmie Johnson’s car. I was amazed at the way that thing would come up off the turn. When I came off the corner and he passed us, I would follow him. I could see how his car was hooked up. I only wished I could have had that same feeling. I couldn’t help but be envious.

There was definitely some tension out on the track. Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya were not happy with each other. The same could be said about Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. What I saw was nothing that was out of bounds. It was just competitors who were on the edge and were racing with their emotions. Emotions are a part of the equation. I thought everyone did a decent job of holding it together.

At the end of the race, we saw John Andretti spin with just a lap to go at the start-finish line. NASCAR did not immediately throw the yellow flag. I think what NASCAR did was fine since they threw the caution flag with the checkered flag when Denny crossed the line. That meant everybody’s position after that point was frozen. There was no sense in coming back to the line two or three wide. The drivers and the spotters know that where we were scored at that very point is where we finished. John Andretti was not put in any additional danger in my opinion. John Andretti and his race team did a good job on Sunday. They are a part-time team. They had a solid lead-lap run for most of the day. They lost some spots in the end, but they did a good job. They are doing what they need to do to keep their car in the top 35. They are racing Scott Speed for that 35th spot and it’s been a good battle to watch.

This weekend is Talladega. I can’t wait to race there. It is probably my best chance to win a race with what’s left of my career. I am going to be on it!

Bye for Now,

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