The Frontstretch: Truckin' Thursdays: Miguel Paludo on Offseason Fun and Prepping for 2013 by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Thursday February 21, 2013

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Truckin' Thursdays: Miguel Paludo on Offseason Fun and Prepping for 2013

Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday February 21, 2013

 

He’s baaaack! In 2013, Miguel Paludo joins Frontstretch.com once again to feature his driver diary right here in Truckin’ Thursdays. About every five weeks, you’ll see Miguel popping in to talk about the latest and greatest in his Truck Series adventures with Turner Scott Motorsports as well as all of the fun things in life off the track.

I can’t believe how fast the offseason went by. I thought it wouldn’t be that quick but it really was. After Homestead, it was the first time since we moved to the United States that we didn’t go to Brazil right away. We applied for our green cards and you can’t travel until you receive the card. Well, you can travel but you have to get a visa and it takes a really long time. So we planned to be here in the U.S. for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It was nice to be here in a different situation — not just racing. I had my in-laws come in and Patricia was happy to have them here. We enjoyed Christmas and New Year’s Eve together at home. It was pretty simple for just ourselves with a nice dinner.

Two days prior to New Year’s Eve, we got the news that we had received our green cards and we were able to go to Brazil. So we hurried up to schedule the trip and get the tickets changed. We left for Brazil on January 2nd for two weeks and came back on the 19th. It was good to see the family. Before, we would spend two months in Brazil; this time, we only stayed 15 days so we were a little rushed. But it was a really good time with the family and friends. We were all over the place. We went to Brazil, straight to my mom’s house, from my mom’s house to the beach, then to our house for two or three days.

Then we we got back, we had our closing day – we bought a house! We’re super excited about that. We closed on the 25th and signed everything and just moved about two weeks ago. There were some things to be fixed before we moved in and we just moved. So it wasn’t a calm offseason by any means, but it was all good things happening: signed the deal with Turner, got our green cards, Christmas and New Year’s here in the U.S. for the first time and the trip to Brazil, plus the house. Everything has gone really well so far.

Looking ahead to the 2013 season, I feel like we’ve got a great shot at a victory at pretty much any racetrack we visit. I’m pretty confident for this year. I spent a lot of the offseason working out both mentally and physically. I feel stronger as a person this year. Last year, we talked a lot but we could never talk about the positive stuff so we can move forward. Something always happened – bad luck, a crash or we broke something. This year, I feel really good and every racetrack, we’ll be going for the win. We tested a couple weeks ago in Nashville and we were super fast from the beginning to the end; even our average lap speeds were fast. It was a three or four-truck test and we were one of the fastest trucks out there.

I’m looking forward to every racetrack. At Daytona, you never know what will happen there. Last year was proof of that – we sat on the pole, led a lot of laps but crashed at the end. My plan for this year is to go to every racetrack to win and if I can’t win, I’ll grab the best finish I can, especially in the first five races. Last year, I finished 30th at Daytona, 17th at Martinsville and 15th at Rockingham. That has a huge impact on the season when it’s just 22 races long. If you can finish better at the beginning and start off in a good spot, it’s easy to manage afterward rather than if you’re trying to recover. If you finish third and the guys ahead of you finish fifth, you’re only gaining two points and it’s really hard to catch up. I’m just looking forward to the beginning of the season.

Miguel Paludo was in position to with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 last February at Daytona – until getting caught up in a late-race wreck.

Besides heading to Victory Lane this year, I’d really like to finish in the top 5 in points. The goals will change as the year goes on if it looks like we can accomplish more than that. Every year, you want to run for the championship, but until you get started on the season and see where you stand, it’s hard to tell. In my rookie season, I finished 17th in points and then last year, I finished tenth, seven positions better. So my real goal is to run a solid top 5 in points.

That’s about it for now, but I’m looking forward to our next diary and I hope I’ll have some good news from Daytona and a trip to Victory Lane. After that first win, it’s a lot easier to do it again, I think.

Miguel’s Corner
Welcome back to Miguel’s Corner! Each week, we’ll put the spotlight on some different things going on in the lives of the Paludo family. If you’ve got any questions you’d like Miguel to answer, please send them to beth.lunkenheimer@frontstretch.com and then look forward to the answers!

Oliver Update: As a father – and Patricia as well – you always want to do the best for your child. It was a big victory for us to have Oliver’s numbers going so well. The doctor said that if his numbers remain like they are until he’s ten years old, he’ll be in a better place than a lot of teenagers that know more about diabetes. The numbers tend to run a lot higher for the average person that doesn’t take care of it. The doctor was super excited about keeping those numbers low.

Just so you can understand, the average numbers are calculated by taking a blood sample and the machine averages the blood sugar readings from the last three months. It doesn’t matter if there’s a really low number and a really high number in that time; it’s all about the averages. For a kid Oliver’s age, he’s got some awesome numbers. It was a big victory for us. The first time after he was diagnosed, he was 8.5 and then 7.4 and now the last time, he was 7.3. He’s getting better and better, so it’s a huge accomplishment for us.

He’s starting to say some words like dada and mama and sometimes he starts talking, but it’s not clear just yet. He’s starting to say some phrases in Portuguese, too.

Portuguese Lessons

vamos corridas: Let’s go racing.
Me diga se estou certo.: Tell me if I’m right.
Quando saberemos?: When will we know?

Tweet of the Week

@miguelpaludo: Love you babe! @patisouzapaludo pic.twitter.com/yEUY0FFu

@PatiSouzaPaludo: On the way to Daytona http://instagr.am/p/V7Ej-4PcBd/

Photo of the Week:

Too many Doritos! Photo courtesy of Patricia Paludo.

Connect with Miguel Paludo!

Contact Beth Lunkenheimer

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