Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back Seat Driver: And there will come soft Texas Motor Speedway

Ty Dillon discusses his plans for his visit to Texas
 Credit: LJ Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs
In case you didn't already know, NASCAR Camping World Truck qualifying fell victim to a swirl of low pressure in the North Texas-South Oklahoma area, possibly exacerbated by the OKC Thunder's performance. (For the non-NBA followers, the team beat the San Antonio Spurs to advance to the NBA Finals.) NASCAR hopes to get practice in today. Though I'm sitting at the track, I don't dare speculate on whether that will actually happen or not.

Meanwhile, several of the drivers visited the media center as is customary on race weekends. Justin Lofton and Todd Bodine shared how confident they are in Red Horse Racing's future, especially with Bodine's win last weekend. Evidently Bodines wife's, Janet, has been in talks with some major companies and a couple of them wish they'd been on board last weekend. The Onion's truck runs unsponsored again this weekend but Bodine believes that his hood won't be bare for long. Lofton's Toyota Tundra represents on behalf of Eddie Sharp Racing.

Bodine also acknowledged the passing of Cotton Owens, saying that the NASCAR great would be missed, but noted that, "Time marches on."

Ron Hornaday Jr. and David Starr spoke about how much they enjoy running at Texas, and when prodded, Hornaday allowed that last fall's race was bittersweet. He thinks it's a bit much to blame Kyle Busch for him losing the championship since the race was still in the early stages...anything could have happened. He didn't have much to say about Kurt Busch's suspension, but David Starr said that evidently Busch hadn't grown up where he did or Busch would have been handled right then and there. A Houston native, Starr said, "Jimmy Spencer taught him a lesson a few years ago and nobody has since then." Starr appeared to relish the thought of administering such a lesson - or maybe that was just the lighting from the media center set.

Ty Dillon's been to the Justin Boot outlet already and has plans to visit Charlie 1 Horse hatmakers tomorrow. Dillon also allows that last night's race at Eldora was probably the most fun he's ever had racing on dirt. Sliding around with Sprint Cup champion and dirt track expert Tony Stewart gave him the confidence to race all out and trust that the other driver wouldn't do anything stupid. He said his older brother, Austin Dillon, embarrassed him on that restart that he wasn't going to let Stewart by easily. Dillon agreed that a background in dirt racing gives a young driver an advantage since practice, qualifying, and heats happen in such short order that it's important to get the car right quickly.

Finally, Parker Kligerman wandered in because he'd seen the other drivers on the TV screen and didn't want to be left out. He's following in owner Brad Keselowski's footsteps by embracing social media, and said he tweeted during the red flag at Dover though it didn't garner him nearly as many new followers as Keselowski gained at Daytona.

I can hear the engines revving so I'm heading to the garage to look around. Meanwhile, here's the starting order for tomorrow's WinStar World Casino 400.  (Note: the title of this piece is a salute to Ray Bradbury, who passed this week. It seemed appropriate for the occasion.)

Pos Trk Driver
Row 1: 1 6 Justin Lofton
  2 17 Timothy Peters
Row 2: 3 3 Ty Dillon #
  4 31 James Buescher
Row 3: 5 29 Parker Kligerman
  6 2 Brendan Gaughan(i)
Row 4: 7 11 Todd Bodine
  8 30 Nelson Piquet  Jr.
Row 5: 9 9 Ron Hornaday  Jr.
  10 88 Matt Crafton
Row 6: 11 22 Joey Coulter
  12 09 John Wes Townley #
Row 7: 13 23 Jason White
  14 27 Brandon Knupp
Row 8: 15 32 Miguel Paludo
  16 33 Cale Gale #
Row 9: 17 81 David Starr
  18 18 Jason Leffler
Row 10: 19 98 Dakoda Armstrong #
  20 13 Johnny Sauter
Row 11: 21 24 Max Gresham #
  22 5 Paulie Harraka #
Row 12: 23 08 Ross Chastain #
  24 99 Bryan Silas #
Row 13: 25 39 Ryan Sieg
  26 84 BJ McLeod
Row 14: 27 93 Brent Raymer
  28 07 Johnny Chapman
Row 15: 29 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb
  30 57 Norm Benning
Row 16: 31 65 Scott Stenzel
  32 73 Rick Crawford
Row 17: 33 74 Mike Harmon(i)
  34 14 Brandon Miller
Row 18: 35 0 Chris Lafferty


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