Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Education of AJ

AJ's transition to NASCAR continued yesterday at California Speedway. AJ's No. 84 experienced some engine trouble during Friday's practice forcing his crew to swap engines from the back up car. The result was only 10 practice laps over two sessions. Not good for a rookie that has never raced at the sweeping, two-mile track. Hence, he missed the field in qualifying, but not by much. Then later in the night, he boarded the No. 00 Red Bull Tundra owned by Waltrip Motorsports and finally got his seat time for 99 laps. When it comes time to return to California Speedway next Labor Day weekend, AJ will be a big step ahead of where he was yesterday. Today he'll chill and watch Brian's practice runs to soak in more lessons.

13 Comments:

Blogger Jackie said...

that sucks for AJ...I hope he can make it next weekend and hopefully watching Brian run laps will help him too

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there AJ, your time will come. The more laps you run the easier it will get!

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are they low on engines-that they have to pull one out of a back up car? and don't have one just waiting?

7:27 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

I think TRB should run a Busch car for AJ, just to get more seat time. I know he is a good driver, but he needs more time in the stock cars. Plus, with the way the Busch ranks look right now, I don't think AJ would run the risk of going home many weekends, if any.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous mark c said...

Ryan,

I've heard that TRB is planning to run some Busch races but that's just a rumor at this point. I'm dying to find out whether or not they are going to do it!

8:20 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I totally agree they still had to spots open for the race last night so I dont think he would be getting sent home every weekend and he is a good racer he just needs more seat time to get used to the tracks....maybe even an ARCA race because the cars are more similar to the cup cars

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evidently the handling is the issue as it seems the other Toyota's have the power. However, if you cant get on the gas quick coming out of Turn Two and Turn Four at California, you're junk...oh well.....Vegas next....hopefully testing at Vegas helped....I would imagine with the $$ Toyota threw at MWR and Red Bull Racing in the Cup Series, they are getting a little anxious....

8:18 AM  
Anonymous toro rosso83 fan said...

I think some of you need to adjust your expectations. It is a hard thing to go Cup racing and it is more competitive now than ever. AJ will be fine, of course he needs more seat time, that will come. A rookie team with a new car and a rookie driver (who has never raced stock cars) is not going to come in and tear it up. Keep your chin up AJ and keep learning.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that AJ will be fine--in time.
But is TRB willing to wait for qualifying to happen? I agree with Ryan that Busch seat time is the a good alternative and much more transferable than truck seat time. It would seem that there has to be a car somewhere that TRB decals can be slapped on and give AJ the experience in drafting, etc. that he needs.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ryan that a Busch schedule would help AJ get the seat time needed to be successful in Cup races. It would also give AJ's pit crew the "real time" practice needed to gain positions in the Cup pits.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10 laps at a track you have never been to in a car in which you have no experience is not the best conditions to go out and try to qualify in Nextel cup. My understanding is that the truck, though it may give a chance to learn the track will not transfer any information you can use to drive the cup car (might apply more to the COT though). Being able to run in the Busch series I think would a huge advantage in the process of learning. Besides the way it is now you are racing the same drivers in Busch that you would be in Cup.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think AJ is going to make any races in cup. What would you expect? Never even ran a Busch car and throw him into a Cup Ride???

They should have hired a somebody with experience, and put AJ in a Busch car for a year.!!

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think you need to take him out of the cup car because he will still need to learn that car. But you need seat time in a car along with driving in racing conditions to know how the car will behave in those sitations. Right now the Busch series can offer both. If something isnt learnedby running both why are these drivers sweeping races for the weekend?

5:17 PM  

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