Enough already about Cole Whitt's hair color and his diminutive, youthful appearance, so what if he barely meets the height requirement at Disney's Autopia ride. Continuing to do so is a little like pointing out Beethoven's lazy left eye instead of focusing on his music. The 19-year-old Red Bull rookie is a phenom - deal with it - and because now anything less just seems like a thinly-veiled attempt to smush this huge driving talent into earthly dimensions we can more easily relate with.
The 19-year-old Red Bull rookie says he would like to take some of the momentum from Dover along with him to Charlotte this weekend.
Now that the young K&N sponsored racer has had a glimpse of the checkered it's, it's safe to assume he'll be kicking it up a few notches.
Think back to what you were doing at that age on Friday the 13th, and pretending not to be superstitious in front of your friends probably comes to play - going toe-to-toe with Kyle Busch late in the Lucas Oil 200 probably doesn't. The driver of the No. 60, Turn One Racing Red Bull Chevrolet, didn't win the Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway, but he did get a real good peek at the checkered flag. In what may prove to be a career defining moment in his young NASCAR career, Whitt finished second, his best to date.
Whitt told K&N Race News, "I think our team performed really well, and obviously finishing second place to Kyle Bush is like a win for us. I would have liked to been one spot further up, but we'll take second and keep trying for a win."
Kyle Busch and Cole Whitt went fender to fender during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Under the guidance of Red Bull Racing Team, Whitt is competing in his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and now that he's had a sample of what winning in this series might taste like, every indication points to him being a glutton for more.
"It's a big learning curve. A huge learning curve," Whitt said after the best finish of his seven-race Truck Series career. "Kyle's just fast. He and I had the field covered, and it was going to come down to the two of us. We had a better long-run truck. He had a better short-run truck. He's good on restarts... no question."
And that's precisely what the final 17 laps of the 200-lap race came down to - restarts. Whitt admitted after the race that he learned more than a truckload about restarts from Kyle in those last rounds.
"It just seemed like he (Busch) could get though the initial crack on the throttle. That's where he would get me," Whitt said. "We weren't bad in the second- and third- gear shift. He just seemed to get the throttle down so much better. We got it better at the end, just not good enough."
"I think for the most part we did everything we could," continued the K&N sponsored driver. "We had a fast truck and we were there at the end to contend for a win. I got to go to school a little bit and work on my restarts, and at the end we were there with Kyle Busch, and he's the best in the business when it comes to restarts. But, I think I'm getting better, and my restarts got better. Not spinning the tires is key."
Whitt confessed that Dover Speedway fits his driving style ideally, what with its high banking and high speeds. He says it's the kind of track he really enjoys racing on, adding "I like tracks that you have to get up on the wheel and really drive. We had a really good truck on the long runs and when we had clean air."
Kyle Busch may have picked up a thing or two regarding Whitt and the level of opposition he no doubt will be facing in races to come. Showing his future adversary a healthy dose of respect Busch said, "Cole Whitt did a really nice job, I think he's got something going on over there. The guys do a really nice job, and he's fast. He's quick week in and week out, and this is the first one he's really contended for - that I've been in, anyway."
With his second place finish Whitt climbed to third place in the driver standings, shaving off more than half his deficit on the top spot. He's now a mere seven points behind series leader Matt Crafton entering the May 20 race at Charlotte.
Said Whitt, "Hopefully we will take a little bit of momentum with us, but it's like any race, we start over from square one, and try to be fast, and be up front."
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