Now the road courses are over and done with, it’s time for us to knuckle down and figure out this 1.5mile oval car. 190 mph flat out banked oval racing in packs is thrilling stuff and you need to keep your wits about you at all times because everybody will generally stay in a big bunch and constantly be dicing for position. You also need a good car to be fast in clean air and stay flat out in traffic. And that’s what we as a team had to develop.
I’m not pleading poverty though. I’ve probably harped on about the disadvantages we’ve faced as a team from the outset enough already. The reality is I’m more than pleased with what Derrick and his team have provided me with at each race and the chances I’ve had to really race hard against a lot of good drivers and teams. I knew at the beginning of the year the advantages of being with Walker Racing would always far outweigh any disadvantages.
Chicago was a really solid weekend us. Qualifying 11th showed again that some of these Lights teams know something about Qualifying that we don’t. I don’t think it comes down to engineering ability, I know I have a really good engineer, it’s just they’ve ran this car for nearly 10years already and we are new.
At the end of the day it is the race that counts. My race car was a bit of a handful in the beginning. But with the tools in the cockpit I was I able to make a pretty decent grip balance to race with and push back up the field in the 2nd half of the race. Getting to 5th by the end was great but we still have things to improve to be able to make an impression on the top 4.
With only 2 races left it’s a points race for us right now and I have my sights set on 5th in the series. Sonoma’s setback still stings as that’s 15-20pts I had in the bag before the car broke down but we still have a chance if Saavedra makes a few mistakes and we are strong.