Continuing to get stronger on a weekly basis, Shane Lee hit a milestone a couple weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, with a career-best finish in the Kansas Lottery 300. The Richard Childress Racing driver recently talked about his season, and more, with POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts looking back on Kansas?
SHANE LEE: It was definitely really good, as I don’t think we were any worse than eighth on the speed chart through the weekend counting practice and qualifying. We ran no worse than sixth the whole race. It’s definitely one of the best cars that I’ve unloaded with this whole year, which definitely helps. These last couple of weeks getting to run a couple races in a row and getting more comfortable with the car and the guys is definitely paying off, and hopefully we can carry that momentum to Texas and run just as good there.
PS: I was just going to ask. What are your thoughts going into Texas?
SHANE: We’ve been doing a lot of simulator work. We still we need that look bit more speed, a tenth or two tenths, to be a little more competitive and run with the top-two, three guys. I felt what we were lacking at Kansas at the end was the two-tenth range. We got a little bit to find, but if we find it, we’ll be in really good shape. Texas with the new reconfiguration is a little bit more of a one-groove track compared to Kansas where you can run all over the place, so it might be a little bit hard to pass with everybody on the bottom. The car is getting a lot of speed in it, so we’ll see what happens.
PS: With having the career-best fourth at Kansas, how much does it boost your confidence heading into the final three races this year?
SHANE: It’s a pretty big confidence boost. A lot of these races this year we’ve ran in the top-five; it’s just something always happened at the end of the race that was just bad luck and cost us a good finish. Kansas is the first race that we’ve ran all clean, and finished pretty much where we ran pretty much the whole race.
PS: You’ve had some solid runs this year. How would you rate your season overall to date?
SHANE: I think it’s been pretty good for the most part. I think if we could just have races go clean and not have a couple issues that took us out of some good runs and strong finishes. We defiantly had the speed to run in the top-10 no matter what type of track that we went to, so that’s been my biggest thing for confidence in knowing that we can run with these guys. If we can put the whole race together, we’ll be in a good spot.
PS: What’s been the biggest surprise for you this year?
SHANE: A couple of the tracks, and coming from the ARCA Series in how stiff the competition is. Like, when you’re running in the top-10, you’re only looking for a tenth to a tenth and a half to run in the top-three or four. That’s how close the field is once you get in the top-12 to 15 cars. Everybody is running real close together, and it takes just a little bit to get up there more.
PS: Could we see your schedule expanded for 2019?
SHANE: I hope so. We’re definitely trying to work on that stuff. We’re seeing how these four or five races go. Kansas and Richmond have been pretty good starts to that, and we’ve got three more left on the schedule to keep impressing people, even Richard and them, to see if we can get more races.
PS: How did you get started in racing?
SHANE: I started racing go-karts when I was seven years old. It was something my dad got me into. Then we moved into the Limited Late Model and Late Model ranks at my home track of Hickory (Motor Speedway). From there, we went to the ARCA Series and ran there for a couple years, and then ran a couple truck races and here we are now.
PS: What’s been your most memorable racing moment to date?
SHANE: Probably this year, getting in the (No.) 3 car for these races and being able to run up front, and that’s been pretty cool in having Richard there, my dad, Nick, and all of them. Even having Richard talk to you on the radio is pretty cool.
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