Braun Ready to Battle For Kentucky Speedway NCTS Title
Racing superstition is often eclipsed by driving talent, but Colin Braun hopes to benefit from both July 19 when races his No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford F-150 in the sixth Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race sponsored by Ford Racing and the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers.
The 19-year-old Ovalo, Tex., driver visited the track for Media Day today and will hold the lead in the NCTS rookie point standings when he makes his first start on the facility's 1.5-mile tri-oval in the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers."
"You can almost run these race tracks flat out in the trucks when you're by yourself. You throw the other trucks in there and the air is moving around. You can't do it flat out, but you sure want to.
"It's a lot of fun to race on these mile-and-a-half tracks just because the air can do so much. You can play with how you pass different trucks; you can go to the top, the bottom, anywhere. It's always really exciting," Braun said.
Braun plans to tap the Roush Fenway Racing Kentucky Speedway in-house knowledge that has produced past NCTS wins with Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, a Nationwide Series win with Edwards along with ARCA RE/MAX Series victories with current standings leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Braun's Roush Fenway Racing NCTS teammate, Erik Darnell.
"There is so much experience within the team. Of course, driving a Ford always helps because they're always fast. I think it just comes to the experience and the people around me telling me what to do, that's a big help.
"Hopefully, driving the No. 6 truck, we have a chance since Ford Racing and the Greater Cincinnati Dealers have sponsored this race for six years. We'll keep our fingers crossed," Braun said.
The former sports car and Formula Series competitor will roll into the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" ranked 15th in the NCTS standings after posting a season-best third-place finish at Kansas Speedway April 26 and three additional top-10 finishes through 12 starts.
He expects a tough battle in his quest for the ninth all-time Kentucky Speedway NCTS title from a field containing former Kentucky race winners and NCTS champions such as Todd Bodine, current championship leader Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Mike Skinner.
"I'd say the competition really is with the veteran drivers - the Mike Skinners, the Ron Hornadays and those guys. They have so much experience. Those guys have almost been racing longer than I've been alive.
"Luckily for me, I have a great crew chief in Mike Beam. He really helps me out by talking about different situations and scenarios. He knows what's going to happen during the race; how the racetrack is going to change. He's a huge help and I guess that's kind of what saves my inexperience. If we match his experience with my inexperience, we kind of get somewhere in the middle," Braun concluded.
The fourth of five event weekends on the 2008 Kentucky Speedway schedule opens Friday, July 18 at 4:30 p.m., with ARCA RE/MAX Series qualifying for that night's "Kentucky 150." NCTS final practice will follow at 6:30 p.m., and the "Kentucky 150" field will take the green flag at 8:00 p.m.
Gates open at 2:00 p.m., July 19. NCTS "Built Ford Tough Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" qualifying will begin at 3:30 p.m., the Blood Sweat & Tears 40th Anniversary Tour makes its stop on the Turn 1 Concourse at 5:30 p.m., and the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" begins at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Kentucky 150" and the NCTS "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" can be reserved by calling 888-652-RACE (7223) and online through the tickets pages of this Web site. Tickets also are available through any Meijer store and the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 400 Buttermilk, Suite 100 in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., next to the Montgomery Inn or the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center located off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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