Right Sides Only: Notes from the Toyota Owners 400 Winning Crew Chief, Cole Pearn

by Stacey Owens

When you've led almost 600 laps over the previous six races but have come up short of winning in all of them, you start to think that maybe Lady Luck isn't riding shotgun with you. Other times, you realize she's buckled in and steering you all the way to Victory Lane. Such was the cast Saturday night in Richmond for the No. 19 team.

Crew chief Cole Pearn talked about his team's luck after the race.

"I was waiting to get passed because I didn't think we were very good. Yeah, usually when you're running away from it, you're worried about the bad luck coming in. But tonight it was just a matter of grinding it out, and Martin was able to do that. 

"Yeah, I mean, I know when the 22 got clear and got to our bumper, it was like, oh, man, here we go, but we managed to make it through and had a lot better result than the last time that happened," Pearn said. 
This season's first race under the lights was also Truex's first short-track win. It seems odd that the 2017 series champion had never previously won on a short track, but both driver and crew chief were thrilled to mark the win off their bucket list. Pearn talked about the other times that the team was close to a short-track victory as well as finally getting the win.

"Yeah, I think there's a lot of other races that we've been way better than we were tonight and had something happen and go wrong. But at the end of the day, tonight we just executed well. We didn't really have the best car, but we had good restarts and good pit stops and managed traffic well and kept our nose up there all day, and ultimately that was enough. I know a lot of other times we've had a lot better cars and didn't have it work out. 

"To get it over the hump and not have to be something we have to talk about anymore is a good feeling, and just getting a win is a great thing," Pearn explained.

Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs

Pearn also talked a bit about the importance of track position during the race. 

"Yeah, I mean, track position definitely was important. I know kind of we were I think fifth or so at the start, and we kind of clogged our way through there a bit through pit stops and restarts. And every time we got close to the front, it drove better for sure.

"It was definitely a race, and managing that. We did swap the lead back and forth with the 2 there.  On that one run they were better than us for a bit and got by us, and then we were able to kind of clean it up and then got back by him. So that was good feeling for sure. 

"But I know as good as Kyle was early in the race, and then him having to go to the back for speeding, it was definitely difficult for him to get back through. 

"But yeah, I mean, I think that's key everywhere, but definitely tonight it mattered for sure," Pearn said.

  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. 


Right Sides Only: Notes from the Toyota Owners 400 Winning Crew Chief, Cole Pearn Right Sides Only: Notes from the Toyota Owners 400 Winning Crew Chief, Cole Pearn Reviewed by Stacey Owens on Monday, April 15, 2019 Rating: 5