Night has set in and the AAA Chevrolet SS has been loaded and Dennis Gammons has turned it toward Welcome, North Carolina. The crews are homeward bound and ready to rest. As the diesel thunders down the highway, we can all reflect on the day.
“It’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward!”
The day started with an Austin Dillon FaceBook takeover for NASCAR and a huge track walk sponsored and arranged by AAA. I saw some things in the FaceBook takeover that really bother me, normally I don’t do this, but I’m going to say it… If you log on to be an ass, you make yourself look a fool. Austin is 25 and more mature than half the old people who had to make rude and crappy comments out there. You want to play compare and contrast to Dale Earnhardt Sr. then let me remind you of something. He would have been 51 in 2001. In 1980 he would have been 30. In 1975 when he was 25 he was pissing off drivers on the short tracks and just wanting a shot. You expect Austin to be at Dale’s level? You are nuts. If you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all. Grow up!
When the green flag flew Austin started 11th and fought up to around 9th. As he ran the car got snappy loose late exit and a little loose on entry. After pit stops this became more problematic. Throughout the day the team worked on it and went back on adjustments. Josh Shipplett wielded the wedge wrench like a sword, going back to it on every stop.
Just past mid-race there was a loose rear wheel, the right rear as reported by Good Year racing. This happens. The 3 team is currently on the 4 lug nut plan like many teams. In order to remain competitive they have to be. Loose wheels are bound to happen. Don’t put this on the tire changer, he is busting his knuckles to do this job as best he can.
Caution caught the 3 down a lap, we got the wave around quickly and got caught up immediately after. Austin had a tough day with traffic in the pits which hurt them, the crew before that had kept even on stops and gained a position even. The day just kind of went bad to worse.
The takeaways from today? The 3 ran well, the crew never gave up, Austin showed a lot of grace and maturity and even made a comment that he had been very complacent with everyone today. The young man really fought hard to move forward. His restarts this week were the best they had been all year!
Its a process. Things are looking up, the team is growing organically and Austin is showing growth and maturing as a young man and driver. Applaud that!
For those keeping track of my Pit Stops For Hope bet with Frank Mathalia the score is currently; Frank: 2, Couch Crew Chief: 3. These are bets I do not hope to win. I have chosen to throw any crashes or blown motors out of the equation. Things like that cannot be helped. As a team we accept it and move on, that’s what the bossman, Slugger Labbe, says.
Finally, I want to thank all of you reading this. My blog hit 100 views this week for the first time ever. I know it was a little gimmicky with the give-away but it means a lot. I do this as a hobby and I do it for you. I enjoy what I do here and if not for you I would not keep trying to grow. I look forward to all the future interactions and I thank you for the future views and likes and retweets.
If that doesn’t wrap it all up nicely for you, always remember… At the end of the day, the hero still gets the girl.