Monday, August 20, 2018

Right Sides Only: Notes from the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Winning Crew Chief, Billy Scott

by Stacey Owens

If you've ever been to a race and listened to drivers and crew chiefs talk to each other on their headsets, you know that they speak a language unlike any other. Often, those conversations don't go as planned. On Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, however, Kurt Busch and his crew chief, Billy Scott, understood each other better than ever before.

"It takes time to learn that communication, what somebody means. But I think now when he says something pretty simple and short on the radio, we get what he's talking about," Scott said.

More specifically, Busch was able to tell Scott what direction he needed to go with pit stops.

"Yeah, much to that point, Kurt has a lot of experience and knowledge to know what it takes to get the job done, how to keep perfecting the car as the race goes. We did make a conscious effort to keep -- started out the year having a lot of good runs in the first part of the races, running up front.  It's a lot to capitalize on it, adjusting in the right direction at the right time. That's something that is tough here of all places. Tonight had good feedback back and forth on what direction to go, what we need to keep getting better towards the end of the race," Scott explained.

Scott has worked alongside several other drivers. What's his opinion of Busch's teambuilding skills when it comes to rallying the team?

"I've been fortunate to be involved in some good teams along the way. That's carried over into my mentality, too. We've had just in the last month numerous events, going to the rock quarry, his birthday party, even we went testing in Texas this week. The guys that were there, we all hung out at the basketball court at the hotel shooting hoops, joking around, making fun of each other.
 "You can tell, he genuinely loves everybody on the team, believes in them. All that does make a huge difference. It's special to get a lot of them their first win. As a group to win, it will be cherished and appreciated," Scott explained.
Credit: 357392Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
When a champion has driven in several races without a win, he may start to get a little anxious. Scott talked about Busch's ending his winless streak.
"First off, he obviously knows what it takes... But he's never lost the confidence. I don't think it's ever been a question of if the next one will come, it's when. There's been a lot of opportunity there. It's just putting it all together.
"These things are no doubt everybody knows it's hard to win. Everything has to go right. You have to be in the right position at the right time, have the car right, not have damage, everything else that goes into it.
"I think it's been clear to him, he's had plenty of opportunity to do so. It just hasn't all come together.  I don't know how it was before, he can elaborate on that part, but just having that confidence carry over to us, we could feel it. He didn't ever question whether it was a possibility to win, it was always we're going to win, we just need to put it all together. Yeah, tonight is a good example," Scott said.
The question that remains is, "Can they put it all together at the right time, especially as the playoffs come into the picture next month?"
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  Stacey Owens lives just outside Music City USA. She's always wanted to be a NASCAR writer, so working as a columnist and support editor for Skirts and Scuffs allows her to live that dream every single weekend.
   The sole NASCAR enthusiast in her home, she's hopeful that one of her three daughters might also harbor an appreciation for NASCAR, but it isn't looking good so far. 
   This self-admitted grammar nerd also loves country music, though she can't carry a tune; Kentucky basketball, even though at 6' tall, she's never played a day in her life; and her husband who's supportive of her NASCAR obsession... as long as she allows him to obsess over college football every fall.


 



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