By: Ashley McCubbin
Any driver who is tackling a series for the first time is trying to get through each event without too much damage to the car, with the best finish possible. The pressure to do that this weekend will be even larger, as drivers know they will be using the same car for two races – one Saturday, the other Sunday.
“I think you’re last point is the main goal for everyone – to not have to go to back-up for a second day,” Anthony Alfredo told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Obviously, any race you want to take care of your car; you don’t want to have to replace components or body panels after a race, but knowing that you have to race the next day, you’re not doing any favors by tearing up the racecar.
“Whatever you find or learn on Saturday, you kind of throw that out of the window if you have an accident and have to roll out the back-up car. It’s not going to be exactly the same. You always have it close as possible, but when you have the same car, you know exactly what will work. So that’s the ultimate goal on Saturday, as well as having a successful run and thinking ahead for Sunday.”
Alfredo did not start off the year well in completing events, failing to finish three of the first six. However, there has been a recent turnaround in results with three top-20’s in the last eight races.
Being able to get a good result is something Alfredo has found more challenging than expected, saying the biggest surprise of 2021 is the level of competition.
“It’s the 40 best drivers in the world so it doesn’t get much better that, but it puts it in perspective when you’re battling Cup Series champions for a top-20 at some places,” he commented. “It’s just crazy and that’s really when it sets it in. The other thing, you make one really small mistake and people think, ‘Oh, a Cup race is so long, it’s twice the length of an Xfinity race, you have time to recover when you make a mistake,’ but when you’re competing with this competition, you can’t make any mistakes.”
Alfredo notes the smallest mistake, whether speeding on pit road or sliding through your pit box, can result in going from the top-10 to outside the top-20.
“You definitely have to put a whole race together, and I’ve definitely been doing that recently, which is why I’ve had a lot more competitive runs and been able to get better as a team,” he added. “You see other guys do that as a team – the best of them speed on pit road, have a bad restart, and it’s really hard to minimize those mistake but when you can, that’s when you see the difference in results.”
Certainly continuing to improve on a weekly basis is the goal for Alfredo, as he also looks to solidify his future with Front Row Motorsports. While he wants to remain and grow with the team, they have yet to resign for 2022.