Ready to goThursday, February 02, 2012

We had a great test session in Palm Beach. We had beautiful weather and a nice smooth race track down there. We have made quite a few changes to the car so it was good to shake it down and make sure everything worked. One of the areas that needed improvement was the plumbing on the car. We redid everything on it and went through it with a finetooth comb and everything is ready to go. On our first full pass, which was our third run, we went an easy 4.06 at 310 mph. Then we came back the next day and ran a 4.09 so it was good to see consistent runs from the car. On Sunday we ran a 4.12 but the fuel delivery was off quite a bit so it was on its way to running another mid-high-4.0. All in all, it was a good event and we were able to get the team on the same page. We still have some areas to work out but it was good to get back on the track and get some data to review for the season especially after all the changes. The team worked really hard the whole weekend and we are more than ready for Pomona.

As far as the team, we added two new faces: Lee Beard (crew chief) and Chris Abbott (motors) which are a big addition to the team. They bring a ton of knowledge and I think that is what’s going to put us in the winner’s circle a lot more this year.

The guys got back to the shop and got everything unloaded and got back to work on Wednesday. We have our new car to put together still so they’re staying busy on that. The new chassis is awesome and the nicest one I’ve ever owned or driven. McKinney did a great job and it’s got a lot of titanium which obviously helps get the weight of the car down. Now we’ll have three complete cars with computer, plumbing, etc., so we don’t have to take from another car in case something happens to the primary car.

Before testing, I spent two weekends with the folks from Snap-on at their annual kick-off meetings in Augusta, Ga., and Scottsdale, Ariz. We got a lot of congratulations and many of the franchisees followed the results last year and watched us go down to the wire with Matt Hagan for the championship. We’ve got a lot of support from the franchisees and management teams and they’ll all be watching for our Snap-on Toyota to do great things again! They’re not bashful at all and they want that championship so we’re gonna give them something to look forward to this season!

The meetings were very motivating and interesting to see how Snap-on really gets behind the people who are out on the trucks selling tools and making sure the customers get the best product. It’s great to be involved with Snap-on and to renew our relationship with them as our primary sponsor for another three years! I can definitely see why they are the number one tool brand!

We’re all really looking forward to the 2012 season. Come by our pit and check out our new set-up with our tech trailer and all the polished parts on the race car. It’s got a fast, retro look so expect it to be on top! See ya at the track!