ASHLEY ASKS….. Wendell Chavous
In the midst of his second full campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Wendell Chavous is having a solid season to date, ranked 13th in the standings with a season-best 12th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.
Prior to the 37 Kind Days 250 weekend at Kansas Speedway, the Premium Motorports driver shared his thoughts with POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts going into Kansas?
WENDELL CHAVOUS: I’m looking forward to going to Kansas. We have a new truck for this weekend, so hoping we can have a good run.
PS: What are some of the challenges of Kansas?
WC: I really don’t think there’s any challenges. Last year we had a failure in the right front of the truck and crashed in practice, and then crashed in the race. We just didn’t get everything fixed, I guess. It seems to be not too hard of a place to adapt to.
PS: How would you characterize your season so far?
WC: We know about where we’re going to run every week with our crowd that we’re used to racing with, and I feel like doing beyond what we should be doing. Right now, we’re 13th in points so everybody in our camp is pretty happy right now with how we’ve ran this year.
PS: What’s it like being one of the smaller teams in the bigger organizations?
WC: When they go out in practice, they put new tires on, do mock runs. We kind of limited on the practice we can run so we have the best tires to race on. It makes things a little difficult with our set-up stuff as we don’t get the long runs in practice to know what the truck will do after 25, 30 laps. That’s the only thing. Those guys can afford to go out and wreck a truck in practice, pushing it to the max for everything that it’s got. We can’t do that because it’ll put us behind for the next weekend that we’re going to race. It’s a lot of work for our guys.
PS: Beyond this weekend at Kansas, what track are you looking forward to getting to?
WC: I’m looking forward to going to Eldora again this year. We were pretty good there last year. We got the lead on the caution for a couple of laps and they did some unapproved adjustment, or something like that under the pit stop, and we went a lap down. But we would’ve gotten a top-10 so we’re looking forward to going there this year.
PS: How did you get your start in racing?
WC: I started racing go-karts when I was about five years old. I did that until I was 15, and then I went racing dirt late models. Then it just escalated from there as I went from racing dirt late models one weekend, to my guy sponsoring my dirt stuff asking if I wanted to go pavement racing. So we went from dirt racing to racing an asphalt car two weekends. Next thing we know, we’re at Martinsville four races later from dirt to pavement.
PS: Looking at your racing career, what’s been your most memorable moment thus far?
WC: I would have to say my biggest when I won the Grand National Fast Track Championship in dirt racing in 2010. That was a big, big deal then. We were on limited money and it wasn’t a deal where we were underfunded, but rather racing against people that were factory teams. We outperformed them and won that big race.
PS: Who is your racing hero?
WC: I would say Martin Truex Jr. is. He went from a team like an unfunded team and the one time he got that break, he’s the dominant car. He hung in there and didn’t quit; he went from the bottom to the top.
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