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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Scott Speed Driver Diary: An “Unlucky, Good” Day in California & Charging Towards the Top 35

This past weekend’s race at Fontana was one of our better runs this year. Although it may not have always looked like it, we actually ran really well almost the entire race. We started out kind of slow, but then it came around. We just got unlucky because we were running around 21st and we just had gone a lap down. Right around that time, there was a caution and we pitted while about 12 cars stayed out to become the wave around cars, which cost us several positions on the track. That really hurt us a lot. I felt that we easily had a top-15 car but were caught behind the 8-ball on that pit sequence. The new wave-around rule is a good thing in many instances but on this particular afternoon, it did not work in our favor. So overall, it was an unlucky 21st-place finish and from that perspective, that’s a good thing.

Right now, I’m really focused on making the Top 35 in points for the remainder of the year. With the No. 34 being as lucky as they are, and as unlucky as we are sometimes, it’s been a struggle. I mean, this past weekend at Fontana, they weren’t within three-tenths of a second of what we were running all race long and yet they still end up on the lead lap. They just seemed to catch the cautions at the right time and we didn’t. So because of that, they still gained points on us despite our solid finish and I think that’s crazy. They were nowhere near as quick as us but that will happen. Eventually that kind of luck has to run out and hopefully we’ll find ourselves within the Top 35 by the end of the year.

We didn’t have a great finish in our Nationwide car this past weekend, but it put an end to a great streak we had going in the No. 99 Camry. We actually had six consecutive top-10 finishes coming into California. The communication and setups that we have going has been working really well and I’ve been fortunate to be driving great cars week in and week out. I’m not sure what is going to happen in 2010 in that series, but we’re trying to get something worked. There is still plenty of time to figure that situation out and hopefully we can come away with something because I’ve enjoyed running in that series this year.

The season may be almost over but there is still plenty to accomplish at Team Red Bull and we will be fighting to the checkers at Homestead. So keep rooting for the No. 82 team and thank you for all of your continued support!