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Таb Boyd. Ночная гонка в Бристоле

The night race at Bristol is my favorite race of the year. The environment at the track with everyone so close, packed into a huge stadium with a lightning fast, high banked half-mile race track in the middle is unbelievable. The place is packed with energy and the fans are so close it will get your attention when they cheer! With a 39th-place qualifying effort, I knew it would be a challenging night from the start.

Although our practice sessions and qualifying were terrible, we finally hit on something in the final practice before the race. The car had been terribly loose entering the corner and that is not a good thing when the radius is so tight around the corner. Starting so far back, you were basically half a lap down at the start. When the lap times are below 16 seconds a lap…you do not have much time to play around! It was a constant battle from lap one to lap 500. I don’t think there was one lap that I did not say something. After a new surface to the track last year, it is 10 times more difficult to pass or be passed here.

The night race at Bristol is my favorite race of the year. The environment at the track with everyone so close, packed into a huge stadium with a lightning fast, high banked half-mile race track in the middle is unbelievable. The place is packed with energy and the fans are so close it will get your attention when they cheer! With a 39th-place qualifying effort, I knew it would be a challenging night from the start.

Although our practice sessions and qualifying were terrible, we finally hit on something in the final practice before the race. The car had been terribly loose entering the corner and that is not a good thing when the radius is so tight around the corner. Starting so far back, you were basically half a lap down at the start. When the lap times are below 16 seconds a lap…you do not have much time to play around! It was a constant battle from lap one to lap 500. I don’t think there was one lap that I did not say something. After a new surface to the track last year, it is 10 times more difficult to pass or be passed here. Everyone whether they are high or low can get good grip and get a good run off the corner making passing very difficult. Juan drove a good race and stayed very busy all night. There were times that we had to race the leader really hard to stay on the lead lap, but that is what you had to do! Even when guys that were running in the top 10 would get around you, you could not be courteous and let them go. I know some people got angry but I guess that is why they call it racing right?

We got a lap down early and Juan did a good job hustling the car to stay there. The pit crew did a really good job getting the car back out of the pits during the stops under caution. That was very important because it put us in a good position to be further toward the front on the restarts and stay only one lap down. Later in the race we got an additional lap down during a long green run. When the race concluded we finished in the 19th position after starting 39th. I was rather pleased with that. There were many long green-flag runs in this race and it is very difficult not to go quite a few laps down like that. I had a really good time during this race. Like I said it is my favorite of the year and I liked watching Juan drive his butt off! We had the yellow car this week and I could sometimes see Juan’s yellow sleeves inside the car “sawing” on the wheel…that was pretty cool! He had his elbows up getting with it.

After a long motorcycle ride back home through the mountains, it was time to be back to the shop to prepare for the race this weekend in California. Hope everyone has a good week and I will talk to you next week!

-Tab

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