St. Louis: Brett Butler race report
Butler battles heat to 21st at Gateway Brett Butler understands, "feeling the heat." A racer is constantly feeling the pressure to perform from his team, fans, and sponsors. The constant pressure from competitors during a race fuels the fire ...
Butler battles heat to 21st at Gateway
Brett Butler understands, "feeling the heat." A racer is constantly feeling the pressure to perform from his team, fans, and sponsors. The constant pressure from competitors during a race fuels the fire within a driver. Combined those elements with triple digit temperatures at Gateway International Raceway and you got yourself a real inferno.
Butler entered the track and knew right away, it was going to be a hot one. "That thing is reading 105 degrees," as he looked up at the thermometer on the side of his pit box. "And it's in the shade!" he exclaimed.
Prepared with bottles of water, Butler practiced and then qualified the #47 Fuel Doctor USA Chevy in the 31st position before rushing over for an autograph signing.
"That was not our greatest qualifying position but we know that the truck is good on long runs. It times are consistent from lap one to lap fifty for us so we feel pretty good about running them back down," Butler stated as he took his seat to start signing autographs.
The 100 degree did not waiver the smile from Brett's face as he joined his newest Fuel Doctor USA teammate, Jeffrey Earnhardt at the table."These fans are great. It is hot and they are here to support the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and see a great race, and we appreciate that. We are handing out 350 white Fuel Doctor USA shirts so perhaps they can stay cool and understand just how much we enjoy their support."
Butler took a stand next to his stead in preparation of the race. He stood along time. A power outage outside the track had the teams waiting out the repair so lights could be utilized at Gateway International Raceway.
Like true warriors, Butler and his teammate, Earnhardt walked to the stands and started talking with fans and signing autographs during the long delay."It's hot in the stands as well, so we figured we would at least try to meet the thousands of fans waiting it out in the heat, just to try to take their minds off the situation."
After a three hour delay, the announcement was made that the race will start on Saturday afternoon.
"Things happen and we will just get lots of fluids and put on a show for these fans tomorrow," Butler stated as he walked to his car for the evening.
Saturday, the clock struck high noon and Butler was ready. The 47 Fuel Doctor USA Chevy immediately started climbing the charts as Brett moved into the 22nd position on lap 70. After an incident involving Mike Skinner, Ricky Carmichael and his teammate Jeffrey Earnhardt, a long caution flag ensued."I'm having trouble breathing with this heat, guys! We are not going fast enough to get air into the truck under caution," Butler exclaimed over the radio.
The team went to action with wet towels and bottles of water as the 47 pulled into the pits, trying to cool down their driver so he could finish the remaining circuits of the 160 lap race.
"Hang in there Brett! We know what you are going through, so let's try to stay cool and get to the finish and we will get you what you need," stated owner Rick Ware.
The remainder of the race, Butler battled 180 plus degree heat and finished the race in 21st.
Despite the conditions, Butler showed that he improving. On lap 124, Butler turned his fastest lap of the weekend on old tires and in the heat of the day.
"He is still learning and that is very promising. With everything that he was experiencing, Brett still improves each and every lap!" stated Ware.
"This has got to be one of the hottest races I have ever run. It was like being in an oven for three hours with the door shut," Brett stated as he wondered his way to the hauler.
"It was a good point day for us and it showed everyone just how tough the competitors are in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. We were suppose to race in the evening, but with the circumstances, we got pushed to the heat of the day and still put on a great show for our fans and sponsors. It's what we do!" stated Brett.
Brett and his Fuel Doctor USA team will now regroup and head to O'Reilly Raceway Park for the running of the AAA Insurance 200 on Friday night.
"Another track I have not been to and another hot night in the Midwest. The heat is on, and we will be ready once again!"
Also don't forget to cast your vote daily for Brett Butler for the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver contest. Visit: www.nascar.com/news/features/2010.truck.mpd/index.html
-source: rick ware racing