ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals
Arend's attitude at its apex as action approaches
Coming into this weekend's AC Delco Las Vegas Nationals, after having spent the last two weekends at home, Arend is primed and ready to get back into the action, driving his blue Checker, Schuck's, Kragen Impala Funny Car in one of the toughest classes in all of motorsports. The event also marks the beginning of the end for Arend, in terms of driving that CSK machine, but his attitude is one of positive anticipation, not morose self pity.
"It's been a great year for me, getting to drive for Worsham Racing while representing Checker, Schuck's, Kragen, and Murray's" Arend said. "As much as it would've been a dream to hear they'd signed us up as a two-car team for the next five years, the business side of this is just that and it didn't happen that way. It's just business, and the guys at CSK have been absolutely great to me, all year. We'll have a full contingent of CSK people with us this weekend, and I know they'll be supporting both of our teams equally.
"For me, it's just been an honor to drive this car, and to help CSK work with some great partners with our specialty cars. In effect, I've been a driver sponsored by CSK Auto all year, but I've also had the chance to drive cars dressed up for K&N Filters, Murray's Discount Auto, Chevron Techron, and Havoline, and that's been very cool for me. You can put together a pretty nice scrapbook just by collecting pictures of all these great cars! And now, we finish up right back where we started, driving the blue Checker, Schuck's, Kragen Impala, and nothing would be better than to go out with something huge. A trophy is pretty huge, so that would be nice."
As much of an honor as this season has been, it has not been without its share of frustration for Arend and his teammates. Their car has run well at times, and extraordinarly well at others, but the results have been hard to come by all year. Arend started well, with a semi-final finish at the season opener in
"All of us wish we could find one little thing we've done wrong, but the truth is we've been pretty capable of grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory all year," Arend said. "We've run well, and been beaten by inches. We've run great, and the driver has been asleep. We've been a bit shy, not wanting to smoke the tires, and have lost. It gets to the point where you come back to the pit and look at each other and say 'What next? How do we get a break around here?'
"A break would be nice, but just putting it all together for a weekend, putting the high qualifying spot together with a strong tune-up and a quick driver on Sunday, would be the best. We have all the ingredients, and have had them all year, but we keep messing up the recipe in different ways. Now, we have two races left and I'm still a total believer that we can find the right mix to make this thing happen. I know we can come out here in
With an attitude like Arend's, anything is possible and good things are likely.
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