So, Chicago wasn’t nice to Austin and the team. To be fair, Loudon isn’t exactly being nice this weekend either. With a finish of 14th in Chicago, a backup car and 29th qualifying so far this weekend don’t bode well for our guys, but if there’s any good news, it is that Austin is normally REALLY good here.
Average finishes of 6th and 8th in truck and Xfinity respectively prove that he knows this track. Average finish of 14th in Cup series makes this Austin’s third best track behind Charlotte and Daytona. His 14th place finish in Chicago was 16 positions above his average Cup finish there and he was pulling away on long runs.
With a continued 4 positions better than his career average, this is far from a doom & gloom weekend. With an average start of 20th and 14th finish, he runs better than he qualifies which is exactly what we need here. The secret to the weekend will be Slugger Labbe, this is his home track and he would really like a win! With some good pit strategy, he may help put Austin near the front.
The math tells a good story, 6+8+14=28/3=9-4= 5. Fifth may feel like a win in a backup car this weekend, the reality of the weekend is we need every point possible, so the team will have to take a chance and the pit crew on their game. The 27 pit crew will be pitting the 3 car and the original 3 crew will pit the 27 while the 31 returns to its normal lineup for Ryn Newman.
This team never gives up and that is what makes it special, they refuse to quit. So wish them luck, pump them up, and I’ll see you in the box!