If things continue the way they have been thus far this season, Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott may soon change his middle name from Joseph to “Consistency.”
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Scott’s picture next to the word “consistency” in the dictionary, he’s been so unwavering in what to date has been a very solid season for the Idaho native.
Scott currently leads all NNS regulars in highest average running position (7.683), highest average starting position (7.3) and the most laps in the top-15 (2,198 or 95.4 percent).
In 12 starts thus far this season, Scott has two top-fives, five top-10s, 10 overall top-15 finishes, a 17th-place finish and his one off-race, a 33rd at Talladega (the only DNF he’s earned in 2014).
What’s more, his average start is outstanding (7.2) and average finish is almost as good (11.7).
This season in NNS has 12 starts, including two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Average start is 7.2 and average finish is 11.7.
Wait, there’s more:
He’s qualified 10 times in the top-10 (and an 11th time he was 13th), including earning the pole at Richmond and the outside pole at Phoenix.
Add all those things together and Scott could be primed to finally earn the first NNS victory of his career on Saturday at MIS, where he finished fifth in last year’s race on the wide and fast two-mile track.
“I think the only thing we’ve missed is we need to be a little bit better on restarts and have a little good luck,” Scott said Friday. “I feel like we’ve got the speed and are competitive enough to win races.
“We’ve gotta improve in just a little tiny area like restarts and the first lap after restarts on speed. If a couple of races had just gone a little differently and been more of a long run to the end, things of that nature, I think we would have had a couple of victories instead of a couple (close) finishes.”
And if Scott can get what has proven to be an elusive first win, it could be the final piece to the puzzle of potentially winning the NNS championship this season.
But at the same time, Scott’s uncanny consistency could also carry him to the championship, just like it did for Austin Dillon, who went winless in 2013 yet still took home the NNS title at season’s end.
“NASCAR has always rewarded consistency,” Scott said. “They’ve done a lot of changing of formats in the Cup Series and the Chase to try and put more emphasis on winning, but the format for our championship in Nationwide has never changed.
“It’s more of the old-school format, consistency is more important than winning races and then also having DNFs. It’s just the way the sport is. It doesn’t matter how you get there or how you win the championship, the most important thing is you won (the title).
“I wouldn’t feel the least bit upset if I won (the championship) without winning (a race). Of course, you always want to win, you always want to just not even have that conversation, but consistency is every bit as important in victory lane. It just feels a lot better and everybody wants to get to victory lane.”
Scott has even been consistent in the NNS standings: he’s remained in sixth place for the last six weeks, and is only 57 points behind series leader Regan Smith. Of course, it helps greatly that he’s running for Richard Childress Racing, which has surrounded Scott this season with solid motors, fast chassis and a team that is as hungry for success as its driver is — and will do everything it can to help him reach that championship goal.
“This No. 2 team, we’ve strengthened some positions as a group, but really more than anything, we have notes from all these tracks that we’ve been to now, we have a good database of knowing what I like and what I don’t like,” Scott said. “We’ve gone on some science experiments the wrong way and we’ve figured out directions not to go and not to shoot ourselves in the foot. … All those things together have really contributed to our strong start.”
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