Running solidly within the top-15 throughout the Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Caleb Holman made it through the chaos at the end to post a ninth place finish.
“We’re happy that we had a top-10 finish,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “We’re happy that we ran really well. Not a bad day to go out there and finish where we did. It could’ve been worse than a top-10.”
Holman started the race 25th, and steadily worked his way through the field during by halfway. While the rough Atlanta surface gave way to some tire issues for his competitors, Holman didn’t need to conserve throughout the race.
“From what we saw in practice and the first run, it worked real good and I didn’t have to worry about the tires,” he said. “So I just drove hard as I could to get up there.”
Holman would lose his track position past the event’s halfway point when he was penalized on pit road, but he was able to rebound and found himself just outside of the top-10. Late race accidents at the front of the field would then allow him to break into the top-10.
For Holman and Henderson Motorsports, it marks their second straight top-10 after finishing eighth last season at Martinsville Speedway. The success has happened virtue of expanding their team with the addition of new personnel. One of the key additions has been crew chief Chris Carrier as he helped build the program.
“There’s not many of us, but the ones that are here work hard and are dedicated,” Holman said. “We have a lot of fun and enjoy what we do. There’s nobody that goes to the racetrack that doesn’t want to be there. Everybody can’t wait to get there.”
Henderson Motorsports has also improved their engine performance program by using the NASCAR spec engine that is available, versus trying a different route.
“For a long time were trying to avoid on spending $30,000 a race on motors, and race more. Well, that doesn’t work,” he said. “The last two races of last year, we’ve been using the spec motor, which has a good amount of horsepower. That was a big deal.”
While happy with the success, Holman isn’t quite satisfied yet as he is looking to continue gaining moving forward.
“You’re never satisfied till you do even better,” he said. “We just gotta keep digging and working. But it is definitely positive, as you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. We do realize that we’re a long ways from being right there and we’re not the biggest team and it’s tough, but you can’t tell us that we won’t win the race. We’re going to keep trying.”
The past couple of seasons have seen Holman run a partial schedule, and that will remain true for 2016. He is not scheduled for another race until May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“During the time, we’re going to make sure to put the money together to get the good engines for the truck,” he said. “We’re trying not to spend all of our budget on motors at the start of the year, and then run out by the late end of the year by trying to race a lot more.
“We’re trying to do Eldora, Chicago and a couple more races before Homestead. We’re trying to spread out our schedule.”
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