Ryan Truex does a monthly driver diary for Frontstretch. In his latest edition, the Camping World East driver talks about the start of the upcoming season, gives his opinion on the Carl Edwards – Brad Keselowski fracas, and updates us on how his brother’s doing with his new Sprint Cup operation.
We’re getting ready to go test at Greenville. We’re going to try to learn some stuff there for the race. Then we’re testing Thursday at South Boston. It’ll be good to do some stuff this week, to get back in the car and learn how to drive it again, since I haven’t been in it for so long. Just trying to get ready for the year.
It’s a little tough to have two races in the first two weeks of the season, because if you have any kind of trouble you’ve got to get back and fix the car. Then, you’ve got your work cut out for you, because you’ve got about two days of down time before you’ve got to load back up and go to the track. It’s kind of tough, you’ve got to hope you have a good week the first week so you can just come back, load the car back on the truck, and take it to the next race. I’m not really a fan of the way they have the schedule this year. I mean, they’ve got two races, one after the other, and the one [at South Boston] is on Easter weekend. Then, we’re off for like five weeks. I don’t really like having that many weekends off, but you’ve got to do what they tell you and play with the cards you’re dealt, so it is what it is.
I think my brother Martin‘s pretty happy. Obviously, he did pretty well at Daytona, and in California they were running well before they blew up. They’re running good, at Atlanta they were running good and they got wrecked at the end. He’s happy with the way they’re running, just not happy about the way things have ended. Luck just isn’t on his side, and I hope that changes, because he’s been having bad luck for way too long and it needs to end sometime.
I don’t really know what my take on the Brad/Carl episode at Atlanta is. I think the drivers can do a good job policing themselves though, at our level and the Cup level. They’ve just got to keep their heads on straight. There’s no need to go wreck a guy when you’re 150 laps down or something like that. I can understand that NASCAR wants to put it back more in the drivers’ hands, but the drivers just need to realize don’t do it on the track, do it after the race. Go up and talk to them or settle it out of the race car, instead of using your car as a weapon and destroying someone’s day, wrecking a half-million dollar racecar. You never want to do that, because that’s just wasting money and making all the guys back at the shops work that much harder. I think everyone will take care of it. I think they know if they do anything like at Atlanta, at any level, NASCAR is going to come down on them harder than they have and make an example out of them.
I drove down to North Carolina yesterday. I had to do some stuff in the shop Tuesday, and now we’re going to go test, so the offseason pretty much ended for me this weekend. I went down to Daytona for Martin’s race, stayed there for two or three weeks. That was a cool little vacation, getting to hang out with my brother. I was on the pit box for Trevor Bayne‘s Nationwide race. That didn’t go too well, but it was cool just to be around and learn everything about the Nationwide Series I could, the cars and stuff like that. It was a good offseason, but I’m ready to get back in the car and get going.
There’s going to be a few other cars there [at Greenville], so we’ll kind of be able to tell how good we’re going to be based on other cars’ lap times. We’re just trying to get the car driving good at Greenville. The track has no grip. We didn’t do that good there last year, it was really hard to get a handle on the setup. We’re going to be looking to get grip there, since the track is slippery and worn out. It’s a tough track, so the biggest thing is going to be getting the car to drive good and getting it to drive for a long time, so when everyone starts backing up we can just keep on going towards the front.