Ready, Set, Go!
Well, a year's work came to fruition last night at the Bud Shootout. Team Red Bull finally took to the track in a race situation, albeit an exhibition race. It didn't take long for Brian to nudge his No. 83 to the front, leading laps two and three -- the first time a Toyota has led a Cup race. But as expected, help didn't come often for Brian, as first he was hung out to dry by his former HMS teammates and then had difficult time finding drafting help behind him the rest of the night. Get used to it folks. Welcome to NASCAR. Brian hung in there and escaped the last lap crash to pull an eighth place effort for the team. The mood was high back in the pits and garage afterwards. Now the focus turns to the 500, which will be the toughest to qualify in its long history. Brian got the first qualifying position, which doesn't help things. Normally, being first means you get a hotter (and slower) track, and you don't learn any setup changes from previous qualifiers. If today proves difficult, Brian can still race his way in during the Duels races on Thursday. As he showed last night, he knows his way around restrictor plate tracks.