Whitt off to fastest Cup Series start of career
By Dominic Aragon
March 15, 2017
Cole Whitt is off to the best start of his career—in terms of points positions, average finish and laps led—three races into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Whitt, driving for the single-car Tristar Motorsports operation, opened the season with back-to-back top-20 finishes and currently sits 15 points behind the Chase cutline, 24th overall in driver’s standings.
Thus far, Whitt has led three laps and has an average finish of 22nd. Additionally, 24th is the highest he has ranked in points after three races into a MENCS season.
“We know it’s going to be a struggle to keep up that pace,” Whitt said. “If we can keep that up, it would be great, but I think we’ve got a lot to grow, and a long way to go to get where we are actually running already.”
On top of its Cup efforts, Tristar Motorsports is also fielding a single-car operation in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series with J.J. Yeley. Their Cup program in 2017 is the team’s third stint in NASCAR’s premiere series.
In terms of the MENCS, Whitt said short-term goals for him and his team are to run consistently inside the top-30.
“It’s baby steps; you’ve got crawl before you can walk, and then you’ve got to walk before you run,” Whitt said. “Obviously, we over-exceeded on that, and that’s the point. We’ll never stop trying to get more.”
When looking at long-term goals, Whitt said finishing inside the top-30 in final points would make the season a success for he and the team.
“To be top-30 in points, we’d have to out-finish some teams that have been in Cup Series for a while, and have some great established notes, teams and people,” Whitt said.
“This is our first go at it. We’ve got a long way to learn and a lot of things to do. No sim programs, no support; we’ll get there, we’ll eventually have those things, but it’s going to be a long road ahead before we can do that.”
NASCAR Media Group Daniel Courson/The Racing Experts