Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Arend and blue team ready for final battle
Any driver would be motivated to make a statement in his final race of the year, and certainly every driver would like to put an exclamation point on the end of a sponsorship, but Arend can also factor in his own desire to pay his team back, for the year they've given him and for the disappointing way in which their Las Vegas weekend ended on Sunday.
"We had the car to beat in Vegas, and the driver messed up," Arend said, referring to his red light start in round two this past Sunday. "We could've won that race, and that would've been a great way to start wrapping up the season and this blue team sponsorship. Instead of celebrating, I was apologizing, so now I have one more chance to show these guys, and the people at CSK, how much I appreciate what I've been able to experience this year. I owe everyone a ton, and if I can do anything to end this thing with a celebration, I'll do it.
"We're all sad to see the blue team sponsorship go away, but everyone around here knows how business works and we understand the reasoning. We're working hard at trying to find something else for next year, but we're way behind in the process so it's going to be tough. All we can do is work hard at it and hope something comes together, whether it's before
If his car performs in
"We started out pretty strong here, beating (Jack) Beckman and Capps before losing to Robert Hight in the semi-final," Arend said. "Then, for whatever reason, we just couldn't get a break or get out of our own way for a long time. We lost so many races by inches it was infuriating, but it's all history now and all we have left is the Auto Club Finals this week. We can make all of those memories go away with a big weekend."
Though he comes into
"I knew coming into this season that I'd probably erase all of my career bests, and we've done that from top to bottom," Arend said. "We've reset my career bests for E.T. and speed a bunch of times, and we're going to end up with the most round wins ever for me, but I'd be lying if I said I thought my record would be 9-21 going into
"So this weekend, I'll get up each morning at my home in
And a great way to put that exclamation mark on the end of the Team CSK blue car's illustrious history.
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