Hello from Fort Worth, Texas! This is the sixth year that I have raced at Texas Motor Speedway. I first raced here in a Nationwide Series car in April, 2005, and the following year I drove a Cup car, too. This weekend I am here with Braun Racing and will be driving in both series again, something I haven't done at Texas since 2007. I'll be easy to spot in my yellow and black No. 32 Dollar General Toyotas.
This weekend is very important to everyone at Braun Racing and our sponsor, Dollar General. Qualifying the No. 32 car into Sunday's Sprint Cup race will mean the first Cup race for Dollar General, something that we have been working very hard for. First, we need to get through Friday's qualifying session since we are not guaranteed a starting spot in the race. Fortunately, Trent Owens, my crew chief on my Nationwide Series car, is also the crew chief on our Cup car. We will spend a lot of time together this weekend, focusing on two things: getting the Cup car into the race and getting the Nationwide car into Victory Lane.
The No. 32 Nationwide Series team is well established and has been together for a couple of years now. I have known Todd Braun for a few years and when they needed a driver for last year's race at Gateway, I was more than happy to jump into the car. We had a good weekend there, tying for the pole position and new track record and then going on to finish second in the race. They asked me to come back and drive the No. 32 at Phoenix and we wrapped that weekend up with a third-place finish. When it came down to setting the schedule for 2010 in the Dollar General car, I was asked to join the team. Brian Vickers is driving it for 10 races this year and I am in the seat for 23. We almost had the win a couple of weeks ago at Nashville. I really enjoy working with the guys and I think we will definitely find our way to Victory Lane this year.
Braun Racing has proven to be one of the best teams in the Nationwide Series. It is one of the few teams left that is considered a "stand-alone" team, meaning it isn't affiliated with a full-time Cup team. However, the group does see the need to expand and grow into the Cup series. Dollar General also has that desire and the two teamed together to field a Cup car on a limited schedule in 2010. I was asked to drive that car and, knowing the importance to both Braun Racing and DG, I couldn't be more proud. Far from the experienced Nationwide Series team that we are, we take each practice to learn as much as we possibly can. It is a different mindset, but we know that we are developing and growing. I am confident that we will qualify and I can't wait to drive that Dollar General car in its first Cup race on Sunday.