By Bill W
September 7, 2017 –
The Sunnyvale, Texas driver felt good about his car before the rains came Friday. “When we hot lapped Friday and were rained out, I told the guys this is the best car we’ve ever had here,” says Sam. “It was getting through the corners so well. We knew going into Saturday, that we were going to be good.”
Sam and the team were in tune with the track on Saturday. “We made a few adjustments throughout the night and the car was just perfect,” he says. “We started fifth in the heat and we were able to go where most guys couldn’t. We had a free lane on the bottom and we were able to hit the bottom really well. That propelled us by those guys.”
He would checker second and qualify for the redraw. “We were able to get to second pretty quickly,” says Sam. “We ran ‘TK’ (Tim Kaeding) down, and I knew we were in the redraw. I didn’t really try to pass him. I tried a few different lines to try to prepare for the feature. I wanted to try to run through the slick stuff trying to emulate what the track would be like and how the car would feel.”
Sam drew a starting spot outside row two for the main event. “We were able to get to second at the start,” he says. “The track did what we thought it was going to do. We got up on the cushion early, and you could feel hints of rubber laying down. We got up to Tim and I showed him my nose early. Once he saw that, he really drove away from me.”
He continued his pursuit of Kaeding. “We were able to reel him in in traffic,” says Sam. “We passed him for the lead there around halfway. We didn’t get a full lap in, and the caution came out. We were put back behind him, and he took off again in open track. I was able to stay with him a little better, and when we got back to traffic, we were able to get by him. We had one more caution come out, but we were able to pull away in clean air. The last five laps, you had to run in the rubber. Before that, you could run the cushion.”
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Sam would like to thank Highway 79 Collision Center, the Sparks Family, Kiebler & Sons Lawn and Landscaping, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Champion Oil, NAPA Auto Parts of Franklin and Sherwin Williams, FK Rod Ends, 21R Youth Racing League, Huggins Cams, CP Carrillo, Callie’s, Vortex Wings, Simpson Racing Products, Kinsler Injection, Barnes Oil Systems, DMI, Fisher Racing Engines, Moose Blocks, J&J Auto Racing, KSE, Smiley’s Racing Products, Hoosier Tire, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions.