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All the way out to Michigan, I felt myself thinking as much about the upcoming weeks and Daytona as I was thinking about Michigan.

 

You see, after we get back from Michigan, we have a short amount of time before the Cup hauler needs to leave for Sonoma - Tuesday to be exact.  With the hauler leaving Michigan on Sunday night, there is not alot of time to turn it around.  Then I'll be in Sonoma for the race weekend, and Kevin will man the Nationwide ship at Road America.

 

Then when we reunite at the shop the next week, we only have a short amount of time to turn around both haulers for Daytona.  We are planning on running both Kevin and I, so we'll hopefully be able to work together in the draft.

 

After that comes Kentucky and Loudon, then Cup gets a week off and we catch our breath.

 

Sprinkled in with this, we'll continue to work on cars and meet with potential sponsors, and mixed in I'll try to get time to spend at the track with John Hunter (who has been doing well as of late).

 

But I still love my job!

 

 
More Tickets and Fan Club Party

Thanks to all the fans that sent emails about the All-Star race tickets. We got more emails than we expected, and I went through all of them and picked 2 earlier this week to send tickets to: Justin Rector for Infield / Cold Pass, and Kristen Lowery for Grandstand. Thanks, and congrats!

 

We had fun with this, and want to do it again for Infield / Cold Passes that we have for the Charlotte 600.  Same as last time, just send an email with your address & phone number to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and I'll go through all of these next Monday.

 

The Fan Club party is getting closer, and all of us at the shop are getting excited to host the Fan Club members!  I'll get a chance to meet members, and we've got a lot in store for all who will be there. Pit stop demonstrations, raffles, and giveaways, food and fun. All the crew, plus Kevin Conway, will be there to meet you. It is on Friday, May 27th, from 4-7pm. You have to be a Fan Club member, we've made it easier to join if you are not already a member (click here) or you can join at the party. If you can make it, RSVP now to Marti to let her know you'll be there. Click here for more info.

 

Off to practice!

 

 
All-Star Race Tickets

We love our loyal fans, and want to do everything that we can to show our appreciation.  That's why we have the Fan Club party (coming up on May 27th, click here for info) and we are making it easier to join the Fan Club through the website if you are not already a member.  We're also working harder on our website, and spending more time on Facebook and Twitter to better stay in touch with our fans.

 

And here is another thing we're doing.  We've got 2 tickets to the All-Star race and 2 tickets to the infield with cold pit passes for the All-Star race that we want to give away to our fans.  If you are interested, email your name / address / phone number along with the reason why you should go to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I'll pick from these emails on Monday.

 

 
Fan Club Party - May 27th

On Friday, May 27th, from 4-7pm, we'll be having our Fan Club Party at the shop. I'll be there with the crew, and there will be food, fun, prizes, trivia, giveaways. This is exclusively for Fan Club members, so if you are not a member, now is a great time to join! Click here to join now. Or, you can join at the door on the night of the Fan Club Party.

 

We need to know if you will be there. RSVP to Marti by May 20th. Any other info you need can be found here.

 

 
Just Like the Good Ol' Days

Saturday's Nationwide race in Talladega felt like the Good Ol' Days - running up front, contending for the win - the way it's supposed to be.

 

The race didn't start out that great, as we went a lap down early as we tried to find the best drafting partner. We kept working at it, got the lucky dog, and partnered with Mike Wallace. Our cars seemed to work pretty well together, but only if I was pushing. We worked that for a while, and found ourselves moving up through the field.

 

As the race progressed, Mike and I were working pretty well together, although I wish I could have been pumping oil from the cooler onto my front bumper so that it slid across Mike's bumper better. We had to anticipate each other's movements, and anytime we were off by just a bit, Mike would go almost sideways and would have to do a great job to save it. I had to peek out and get air once in a while, and sometimes that would mess Mike up. But he did a great job hanging onto that thing.

 

As the race went on, we kept moving towards the front, and I started thinking "we might win this thing!" So Mike and I started talking about our last lap strategies. But then as the cautions came out, our plans to work together were spoiled, as on two restarts we were on the front row next to each other - one time I had the inside, the other time Mike had the inside. We tried to work together, but it was too much to try to pair up with the whole field coming, but I was fortunate enough to have Brad Keselowski behind us on two restarts.  Brad and I worked together pretty well; he had a strong car, and said that he'd just keep pushing us to the front.  That he did.

 

When we took the white flag, I thought we were in pretty good shape. I knew someone would get a run on us, but that we had a good shot of getting back if we were passed early enough. As Kyle and Joey came up to us, I could feel our cars getting a bit upset, and they were able to pass us pretty quickly. That worked out well, as we were able to get a bit of a side draft off of them and had a good run on them going down the backstretch. We were gaining on them coming into turn three, and I was looking forward to what would happen down the frontstretch.

 

The 3rd place finish was great and a great boost for the team, but I wish that Mike didn't end up on his lid. We've gotten a great amount of coverage both during the race and afterward. This includes a trip to the Media Center after the race with a whole bunch of questions, and an appearance on NASCAR Now this week. And we received 2 contingency awards for the race: Featherlite Most Improved Driver and Mobil 1 Oil Driver of the Race.

 

I am just thankful that as an underfunded team, we were able to put a run like this together. My guys have been working really hard on these cars, and even though we can't afford to do testing or even simulations, we've had fast cars. The car we used was actually the first Nationwide car that we built, and the same one that Kevin Conway raced in Fontana a couple of weeks ago, and the same one that I raced in Daytona. The Toyota power plant in it is very strong, and I was jealous of Kevin when he got to race it in Fontana. We tore up the nose piece a bit this week, but we'll be able to fix that and use that car again.

 

I'm just proud of my team, everyone at the shop and behind the scenes to keep all of this going on the limited budget that we have.  And our fans are the best, always supportive and sending me messages showing their support. We just know that with a sponsor in place, we can step things up and be able to compete like this every week. It felt good to be running up front and battling for the win, and we want to continue that with a new sponsor on board.

 

 
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