Caleb Holman can’t wait to get on the road to Charlotte this week. It’s not the drive to Charlotte he’s so excited about, it’s the driving after he gets there.
Holman and his Food Country NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team has been idle since posting a ninth-place finish in the second race of the season two months ago. It is the team’s only start of the season.
“It’s hard,” Holman said of the down time. “We’ve kept very busy with different things around the shop. But it’s difficult to sit on your hands, especially when you’ve had some good runs.”
Holman is accustomed to extended breaks between truck series starts. The Henderson Motorsports team makes only a handful of starts a year, opting to make sure they are as competitive as possible when they do arrive at the track.
The break between races was longer than usual this spring because the team has been anticipating the approval of NASCAR’s new spec engine for the truck series, which will cost about half of the normal lease fee the team pays each race. The engine has yet to be given NASCAR’s final stamp of approval for teams to use, though.
“We’ve been waiting for that new engine to come out. We can go to two races for what it would cost us to go to one,” said Holman. “It was supposed to be ready by Charlotte, but it’s not ready yet.
“We decided to go to Charlotte because if we’re gonna do this, we have to race.”
Holman’s last two starts have resulted in top-10 finishes. He posted an eighth at Martinsville Speedway last fall before the ninth at Atlanta earlier this year. The Atlanta finish has Holman and crew chief Chris Carrier feeling confident about Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“You can lump Charlotte into the same category as Atlanta and Kentucky. All three are mile-and-a-half tracks,” said Holman. “I’ve run a lot at Atlanta and Kentucky. Because Atlanta was our last race will help this week. We’re taking the same truck we had at Atlanta and I think we have improved it some. We’ve got the same type of motor we had at Atlanta.
“We get more confident when we go out and run to our potential and that’s what we did the last two races.”
Despite the long layoff Holman knows he needs to be fast as soon as he rolls onto the track for the first practice session Thursday.
“I had better be fast the first lap. That’s what Chris expects. That’s what I need to do,” said Holman. “We have to be as good as everyone else is instantly. He expects me to be wide open the first lap and come in and tell him what he needs. And that’s not unfair. That’s what I need to do.”
Caleb Holman PR