Pressing the Restart Button in 2013
After a tough second half of last season for both Turn One Racing and myself, 2013 was set up as a year of fresh starts. Losing sponsorship at the beginning of the year in 2012, Turn One Racing left NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition, and after July 2012, I was watching from home as well and looking for better opportunities. Fortunately, I think we’ve both found it this year and I’m really pleased with our plans to run the entire NCWTS season with the No. 60 WinField Chevrolet Silverado.
In the offseason I signed a multi-year contract with Richard Childress Racing, and we decided to partner up with Turn One Racing to run the entire NCWTS season. With WinField backing us, it was going to be the perfect chance for the team and myself to rebuild with a solid, consistent year of competition. I’ll get some extra experience too in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, running five races for RCR. I’ve already run two of those, at Auto Club Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, and both races I thought we had great cars, just didn’t have the luck at the end to produce a finish that showed it.
In case you didn’t know, former driver and veteran of the sport, Stacy Compton, is part owner in Turn One Racing and has been a huge help to me so far this season. He’s been acting not only as an owner, but as a driving coach too, helping me learn quicker at tracks that I haven’t been to before or with anything that’s been a challenge. His knowledge of the sport and driving skills have really helped me improve and I’m looking forward to leaning on him as the season goes forward.
My crew chief at Turn One, Gere Kennon, has also been around for a long time in the racing world and has given me some great trucks in the first six races of the season. Our relationship with RCR is really helpful too, because they’re basically like extended teammates. We have engineering help and ECR engines that have really stepped up my level of competition. It’s really been a great relationship so far, and I think our goals of running consistent each week and steadily improving our finishes is easily attainable.
Looking forward I think there will be a lot of curve balls thrown at us this year. There are still a few tracks that I haven’t been to before since I haven’t run a full season yet, so it’s going to be up to me to get up to speed quickly so we don’t have to spend all weekend learning. I think there’s a lot of hype around the dirt race at Eldora, so it’s going to be interesting to see how that race plays out and we’ll definitely need to make sure we’re up in the point standings before getting there. I really enjoy road course racing so I’m looking forward to going to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; I’ve already run some races on the simulator though and I know it’s going to be super challenging for everyone.
For Texas this weekend, I’m really hoping we can put last weekend’s struggle at Dover behind us and gain back the points we lost. I know Texas Motor Speedway has aged some over the past few years but I remember how fast it was and how great the racing is. I know the trucks will put on an exciting show, so I’m ready to get racing under the lights on Friday night and hope the No. 60 WinField Chevy will be up front mixing it up for the win.
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Cooper Standard Ford F-Series, came out to do a little testing and ran our GoPro camera for the day to give you guys an inside look. Pumped to have these guys back next week for the Winstar World Casino 400!