Jeffrey Earnhardt – Next Up: Homestead And 2013By Jeffrey Earnhardt
The Daytona race for Rick Ware Racing was great. And people are still talking about the deal with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr at Charlotte a few weeks ago. To be taken out by a driver who has been really aggressive all year just sucks. This was a really good run and we had worked our butts off before that putting that car together, so to be up front running like that was a good feeling for the whole team. And to know we were able to run like that with such a small budget was an incredible feeling. It’s all about running from the heart and that’s kind of the way we do it every time I’m out there on the track because we’re not able to do it every single race. And even if I were I would still race as hard as I could every race because I’ve seen it all taken away and you never know when that is going to happen.
I mean I’m not out there to make friends and I guess enemies are good for racing but if you’re going to race like that you better be expecting to be raced like that back. It’s like what Kyle Busch said when he was taken out by Ryan Newman at Kansas, he’ll have another one before the year’s over. That’s just the nature of the sport. My grandfather was the same way. He was a rough racer but he got raced rough right back and he accepted that. He was definitely one of a kind and caught everyone’s attention. Even if they didn’t like him they couldn’t help but admire the way he drove and how good he was. So you treat people the way you want to be treated. If you run them hard and take them out then you can’t get pissed off when they do it to you.
So we are still working on sponsorship for next year but it’s tough. I think everyone in this sport is seeing that. We know we won’t be able to compete against the big money teams out there next year but the Rookie Of The Year field will be as tough as the year after because you will have Ty Dillion coming up and that’s big money right there to compete against with the kind of budget we’ve been racing with. We hope to be in every race every weekend and getting all the seat time I can to better my future. We just have quite a few more races to find sponsorship for but one way or another we are going to find a way to put it all together and hope we get that rookie title. We want to finish out this year with a strong run at Homestead to end this season on a positive note and to lock down the other races next year and be competitive while working on the Rookie Of The Year. I want to be in the top 15 every weekend.
With the right amount of money for good motors and everything else, I think with a team like Go Green Racing and the #39 car we can be capable of doing that. That’s the team I drove for at Charlotte. Archie St. Hilaire owns the team and Clinton Cram is the Crew Chief. He was actually my crew chief back when I ran the Camping World East Series. He’s been in the sport a long time and he’s not afraid to ask for help from very knowledgeable people which is a cool thing about him. We have a great work chemistry together and that was another deciding factor going in to that race. We worked well together at Charlotte. We struggled terribly there all weekend but he never gave up. He kept trying more and more to make the car better. We made a lot of adjustments throughout the race and really big adjustments because we just couldn’t get anything to work but to see all the hard work they put into that car, to never give up and to try so hard was good for me. It was frustrating to get busted over losing a tire on the last pit stop under green but overall the positivity that they kept and the hard work throughout the entire weekend was reassuring for me. They’re not going to back down and as long as they aren’t backing down I’ll never back down. It’s always good to know that everyone on the team is giving 110% and not giving up even when you’re 10 steps behind everyone but taking big leaps forward trying to make it better.
I look forward to seeing a lot of success working with Clint and that being a big plus for the future every weekend. I know we’ve got the right people to make it happen, now we just have to find the money to make it all happen. It’s just like anything else. You don’t want to go bust your butt for someone who’s not going to bust their butt for you. You want to know everyone is putting forth equal contributions to the task at hand. When you have that you’re not going to let each other down. It almost becomes a good competition to see who can push who the hardest. The harder they work the harder I’m going to drive.
I have a lot of determination. Growing up I put myself in a lot of tough situations and fortunately I’ve learned from them. That’s where the deciding factor is. When you can not repeat those mistakes over and over then it really changes who you are. I wouldn’t change what I’ve learned and how I’ve learned it. I feel like that is why I am the person I am today. You can’t expect everything to be just handed to you. And you never know when it will be gone. I’ve learned you have to work for it. And with what I have had to do for myself I feel that made me work harder, appreciate what I have and what I am doing a lot more than it would otherwise. And I want the fans to know how much I appreciate them. I always try to spend a little time with my fans. Without them there would be no racing and we as racers need to respect what they do for us.
Views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Catchfence
Article Tags: 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series, 2013 NNS, Charlotte, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Jeffrey Earnhardt, NASCAR, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Rick Ware Racing, RWR, Uponor