“Sometimes you get caught up in what’s going on from lap to lap every race, and you voice your opinion. But to me it’s no big deal; our teams work very close to each other, we have worked very close to each other all season long and I really don’t see anything to change it.”
Patrick has to do some team-building of her own.
She must quickly acquaint herself with Pemberton, who became JRM’s competition director following Tony Eury Sr.’s release on Sept. 7. Patrick said she will miss her relationship with Eury Jr., who nurtured her transition from open wheel to stock cars and helped her earn the pole in the season opener at Daytona.
“It’s something we’ll deal with,” Patrick said. “There are still some guys that have been there all along, so I feel like we’ll pick up where we left off at Kentucky the last time and get on with the weekend.
“This is one of those tracks that challenges you. When the car is hooked up, you can have a great race.”
The weekend begins with Friday’s Kentucky 201 Camping World Truck Series race. James Buescher won the summer race here and returns 11 points out of the lead in third behind Ty Dillon and Timothy Peters.
Dillon assumed first place with a runner-up finish at Iowa to Ryan Blaney, 18, who became the Truck series’ youngest race winner. The son of Cup series driver Dave Blaney drove Cup points leader Brad Keselowski’s RAM to victory in just his third series start.
“Another win would be great,” said Blaney, who will making his first Kentucky start. “I just have to finish, make laps and have clean” trucks.