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May 9, 2014

From The Pit Box: Kansas with Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert shares his thoughts about Kansas Speedway and what it takes to be successful for the first race under the lights.

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From The Pit Box: Luke Lambert
Kansas Speedway

The No. 31 Kwikset Chevrolet team led by crew chief Luke Lambert enters this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway ranked ninth in the championship point standings, just 48 markers behind the leader.

Now in his second full season as a Cup crew chief for Richard Childress Racing, The 31-year-old from Mt. Airy, N.C., embarks on his 11th event with new driver Ryan Newman. So far the duo has racked up four top-10 finishes and has led 10 laps in competition.

Lambert feels good about Saturday night’s race under the lights especially knowing that his driver has visited victory lane at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in 2003 and RCR’s No. 3 team (formally No. 29) won the pole and the race last October.

Lambert resides in Clemmons, N.C. with his wife Jamie and his sons, Waylon and Cade. You can follow Lambert on Twitter at @LukeLambertCC.

How do you assess your team’s performance over the first 10 races? 

“I feel like we have had a lot of positives so far. The speed in our cars has been good in combination with Ryan’s driving style. I feel like we have been able to hone in on a pretty solid baseline for short tracks and the downforce tracks that we have gone to. Those things are really encouraging to me. I feel pretty confident that we can unload fairly close to what he needs as well as what he needs for the race. On top of that, we still have not won a race. That is certainly what we are going to the race track to do every week. We definitely need to work on that. So far, I think we’ve had a solid start to our season, but we’re still not quite where we need to be. Ultimately we are on the right track, we just need to put it all together and have that breakout race. I expect to see this No. 31 team contending for race wins in the very near future … like Kansas.”

How do you assess your relationship with Ryan?

“It’s been a very natural relationship with him, the team and me. We all communicate really well together. In general, we have a really good time racing together as a group. I think that’s a big, important part of what we have to do every weekend spending time together and going to battle every Saturday or Sunday. I think it’s important that we have the group we’ve got. The relationship side is going really, really well.” 

Talk about Kwikset being on the car this weekend at Kansas as the primary sponsor.

“Kwikset has some cool stuff. They are the leader in residential lock security. One of the products they introduced to the industry is the Kevo system and we hope to use this partnership as a way to encourage fans to check out Kwikset’s products like Kevo. It’s a really neat lock. It allows you to enter your home with the touch of your finger as long as you have your Smartphone on you and using the Bluetooth technology. It’s a really neat technology that I think is very valuable to have especially with me coming home at odd times and with different baggage and vehicles from week to week. It’s so cool to be able to use your phone as a key to your home, so-to-speak. It also boasts some other cool features like emailing a key to a person to access your home, like your parents visiting from out of town or an appliance repair person. They can unlock your door without you being there. It’s extremely safe and also very convenient.”


What kind of curveball does racing under the lights at Kansas presents to you on Saturday?

“I think we are all excited about it. I would be perfectly happy if we made more of the races, night races. Regardless, I think it will be very interesting. Kansas has been a really fast track ever since the repave. With the latest updates in aero to the Gen-6 car, we have been really fast at all the tracks. I think the combination of the repave, the new car and night racing; it’s going to be a really fast combination on Saturday night. Fans should see an exciting race. I am looking forward to it.”
 
 

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