Aiming for a win at Martinsville
I first want to wish Denny Hamlin a speedy recovery. None of us -- including Joey Logano -- want to see any of our fellow competitors get hurt, especially to the extent that they have to miss races. His injury is a stark reminder of what can happen in a race car.
One of the biggest differences between motorsports and any other sport is that everyone plays each other, every weekend. You don't have players sitting out or taking rest days like in the stick and ball sports. That puts injury prevention in a bigger role because we need to keep the best race car drivers in the world competing against each other at every race.
In all honesty, we couldn't have asked for a better start to the season. We've had five different race winners. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leading the points. We've had very respectable crowds -- especially at Auto Club Speedway last month -- that have been treated to some of the best racing I can remember in the Sprint Cup Series.
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team continues to amaze me. Fontana has been a thorn in my side since I came into the Cup Series full time in 2010. But I had a ton of confidence going into that weekend. I just knew we would be better than we'd ever been there.
And we were.
I think we had a car that could have won the race before getting into some oil around Lap 37 and making contact with the outside wall.
We still had speed in the car, but it wasn't the same after that. Through great execution, we were running in the top five with a handful of laps to go before we started really overheating the motor. Not wanting to ruin a good Roush-Yates power plant, I decided to back off over the final laps, which unfortunately led to our worst finish of the season.
After the Easter break, we head to Martinsville this weekend.
I don't know very many drivers who have enjoyed going to Martinsville early in their careers, including me.
Now it's one of my favorites and I'm proud of how we have competed there lately. It's such a rhythm racetrack. You have to have great footwork to run well at Martinsville because you are constantly working the throttle and brake in concert.
That's why you see guys like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Denny up front every time we go there. They have great footwork, which is something I've spent a lot of time improving myself.
I honestly think we can go up there and be the car to beat this weekend.
We've had equally as fast Discount Tire Ford Mustangs in the Nationwide Series but, man, the luck and execution haven't been where we need it.
Obviously, we were wrecked in two of the five races when we had cars that could win, but those are the breaks. We've built our Nationwide Series program up to where it's one of the elite, right there with Joe Gibbs Racing, and we will win our share of races this year.
It's great to see Sam Hornish leading the points. I'm proud to call him my teammate because he works really hard and has a great attitude. And I can't wait to see what Logano will do in our Nationwide equipment.
Make sure to tune in to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this weekend as they come back from their early-season vacation.
Brad Keselowski Racing will have two entries in Saturday's race. Ross Chastain will drive the No. 19 Checkered Flag Foundation Ford F-Series, while Ryan "The Kid" Blaney will pilot the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford. I'm really excited and confident about our chances with those two.
Both are exceptional short-track racers for the amount of experience they have, so we'll see how they do on the paper-clip-shaped oval.
After that, it'll be time to kick back and see if my Michigan Wolverines can figure out the Syracuse matchup zone in the Final Four.
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