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Brackett Tabs Bainey For Truck Ride At New Hampshire

- Justin St. Louis on 14 Sep 2010

Dale Brackett is stepping aside at New Hampshire to enlist the services of Tim Bainey, Jr., in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. (Brackett Family Racing photo)PHOTO: Dale Brackett is stepping aside at New Hampshire to enlist the services of Tim Bainey, Jr., in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. (Brackett Family Racing photo)

Sylvania 300 weekend coverage presented by New England Dirt Track Championships and Subway of VT/NH

LOUDON, N.H. -- NASCAR newcomer Dale Brackett is thinking ahead.

Brackett, of Strong, Me., will vacate his No. 06 Chevrolet truck at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend to make way for Tim Bainey, Jr., behind the wheel.

“We’re looking at the big picture,” said Brackett, whose mentality more closely resembles that of a calculated veteran rather than a gung-ho rookie just trying to break into the sport.

Brackett has just two career attempts to qualify in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, neither of which was successful.

In his maiden voyage at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March, the 31 year-old former dirt and asphalt Late Model racer failed to make the cut when qualifying was cancelled by rain and the field was set by owner points; as a first-time participant in the series, Brackett’s wife Valerie, the team owner, had no points to fall back on. In his second attempt at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis in July, Brackett was woefully off the pace, the combined result of residual effects from a crash in testing at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway the week before and the absence of crew chief Joe Decker, who was dealing with the loss of his brother-in-law just days before the O’Reilly race.

Because of his limited experience, Brackett has not yet been approved by NASCAR to compete at tracks larger than an 8/10-mile oval, meaning the 1.058-mile Loudon, N.H., track was out of the question.

But Brackett decided that rather than sit idle while the series he’s trying to become a part of races just three hours down the road from his home, he’d compile notes for the future.

Enter Tim Bainey, Jr. Or rather, re-enter Tim Bainey, Jr.

Bainey, a Pennsylvania native, has some big-track, big-horsepower experience with seven career starts with the NASCAR Trucks and another 15 in the ARCA Re/Max Series, including last year’s Truck race at Loudon. Even better, Bainey is intimately familiar with the equipment he’ll have at New Hampshire -- Brackett’s team purchased its equipment from Bainey over the winter.

Brackett said his team came to the conclusion that if they want to make it in NASCAR, they’ll need the help of someone who’s been there; Brackett will reenlist the 32 year-old Bainey this weekend, along with his brother Danny as crew chief and father, Tim Sr., as spotter.

“I’m hoping we can learn from them,” says Brackett, who admits that his knowledge of the NASCAR Trucks perhaps isn’t as complete as it should be.

“It’s kind of sad in a way,” he says, but only half-kidding. “I’ve got a reputation as a guy that can take junk equipment and run well with it. Now that I’ve got good stuff I can’t make it go. I mean, we’ve got Hendrick engines, top-of-line suspension -- good stuff -- and I don’t know what to do with it. The Baineys should help us understand that.”

Brackett says the plan is for he, Decker, and the rest of the team to take calls from the Bainey group and learn the ins and outs of their truck. Brackett will also be taking care of some local backing for the team, as Maine companies Complete Hydraulics, Barry’s Collision Repair, and long-time racing sponsor Roy’s All-Steak Hamburgers have come on to support the No. 06 effort.

“We’ll all be there. We’re going to be the over-the-wall pit crew and we’re going to take notes every step of the way,” he said. “We’re excited, and we’re hoping we can put on a good show for our sponsors.

“This is like our Daytona. I’m a little bummed to not go as a driver, but this will help lock us into this sport for the future.”

SEASON OPENERS

ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
Feb. 13/14, 2011
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna Beach, FL

MODIFIED RACING SERIES
March 27, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl
Waterford, CT

PASS NORTH SUPER LATE MODELS
April 30, 2011
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Scarborough, ME

SPRINT CARS OF NEW ENGLAND
2011 Schedule TBA

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