JR Motorsports Nationwide Series Phoenix Preview
Aric Almirola - No. 88 TaxSlayer Chevrolet
“Last week was a tough race for our 88 team. At Daytona you always want to come out of the box strong, and man, did we have a fast car. We definitely would have been up front with the leaders, but we had a motor issue and it cost us a good run. That’s just part of racing. Sometimes things are just out of your control, and you’ve got to continue to be focused and move on.
“I’m confident we’ll be strong at Phoenix, and it’s going to be fun driving the TaxSlayer Chevrolet this weekend. It’s a cool-looking car. I think it will look awesome on the track. Last fall at Phoenix we put together a good race. We were running well and then Pops (Tony Eury Sr., crew chief) made a call for a two-tire stop and that gave us the necessary track position our team needed. At these short tracks it’s all about track position. Phoenix is a slick track and it can be tough to get your car handling well in turns one and two. But if you’re successful in doing so, you can usually get hooked up in three and four, too.”
Danica Patrick - No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet
“I enjoyed running Phoenix last year even though things didn’t exactly turn out the way I had hoped. It’s always cool to race close to home. We typically get a good turnout from Go Daddy because they’re headquartered in Scottsdale. So there are a lot of Go Daddy employees that come out and enjoy the racing. It’s a lot of fun to have them at the race.
“It was great to be able to piece together a solid run last weekend at Daytona. Last year it seemed we could put good pieces of a race together, but never an entire one. That’s going to be a big part of this year. If our Go Daddy team is able to continue to put entire races together, I think we can continually reach our goal of top-15 finishes. Obviously, Phoenix is going to be a different test for us than Daytona. Phoenix is a driver’s track. It’s going to be close quarters, bumper-to-bumper racing, and that is something I’m still getting adapted to.”
JR MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK –
WELCOME TAXSLAYER – JRM is proud to feature TaxSlayer on the hood of its flagship No. 88 Chevrolet this weekend at Phoenix. TaxSlayer is an established firm with a solid reputation and over 40 years in the tax preparation business. This event marks its first of nine races as the team’s primary sponsor. TaxSlayer will have two primary races on the No. 88 Chevrolet with Aric Almirola, six races on the No. 7 Chevrolet with driver Josh Wise, and one on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 5 Chevrolet at Bristol.
GO DADDY/DANICA HOMECOMING – This weekend will be a homecoming race for both GoDaddy.com, the primary sponsor of the No. 7 Chevrolet, and driver Danica Patrick at Phoenix. Go Daddy’s headquarters are stationed in nearby Scottsdale, Ariz., while Patrick resides in the Phoenix area.
ALMIROLA AT PHOENIX – With three Nationwide Series starts to his credit at Phoenix, Almirola’s best finish is sixth, coming last fall in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Almirola also led eight laps during that event, a personal best for his 2010 NNS season. In three truck series starts, he’s secured two top-five finishes and led 52 laps.
PATRICK AT PHOENIX – In Patrick’s lone stock car start at PIR she finished 32nd after two on-track incidents led to cosmetic damage. Patrick also finished 15th in her only start at PIR in the IndyCar Series.
SOLID SHOWING – Patrick is fresh off a competitive run in the season opening race at Daytona International Speedway. She raced solidly among the front runners in the event and led a lap, becoming the first woman to lead a lap at Daytona in a NASCAR national series race (includes NSCS, NNS and NCWTS). Patrick’s fourth-place start and 14th-place finish were also a NASCAR career best for the Roscoe, Ill. native.
TEAM JRM POINT’S POSITION – Patrick and the Go Daddy team are currently ranked seventh (-10) in the driver point standings and 14th in owner points. Driver Aric Almirola is ranked 11th (-16) in driver points and the No. 88 TaxSlayer Chevrolet is 19th in owner points.