It was rather short notice, but when opportunity rings, you take the call.
Stanton Barrett received a phone call from Rick Ware about going back racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series five days before the inaugural Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course race in September.
The original driver for the car was not approved to run the race, and Ware turned to Barrett, a driver with over 25 years of experience across NASCAR’s top-three series.
It had been over 12 years since Barrett had strapped in for a Cup Series race but he was up for the challenge.
“Fortunately, circumstances worked out where I could jump behind the wheel at the ROVAL,” Barrett said to The Racing Experts.
Barrett and his Rick Ware Racing team had only one racecar for the race weekend.
During practice sessions, Barrett utilized the time to learn braking points and get comfortable with the track.
The 45-year-old qualified 39th in the No. 51 and ran as high as 38th.
A few laps into Stage 1 of the race, Barrett’s car fell off the pace.
“I thought maybe we were having a brake problem and losing brakes, but we were just adjusting the front brake instead of the rear brake during the race,” Barrett said. “It caused me to lock it up there and crash in Turn 1.
“But we had a strong car. We were running [lap] times better than our qualifying, just in race trim.”
Barrett said what will stick out most to him about the race is being able to say he was a part of the 40-starter field at the ROVAL.
“I do plan to go back next year,” Barrett said.
If the trends holds up on intervals between Cup Series starts, Barrett’s next Cup Series race would be in 2030.
Barrett, however, hopes that trend won’t continue. Sponsorship will be pivotal in making the next start come a lot sooner.
“I’m going to be talking to some teams and see what they have available, and try to run some of the road course races, if not all of them,” he said.
It’s not that Barrett had wanted to wait so long to run in NASCAR’s top series. The phone rang in the past, but the right opportunity had not come up yet.
“It’s not fun running around all day and getting lapped,” Barrett said. “I’d definitely love to run, and want to run more, but again, just need to be in the right situation with the right tracks where we can do that.
“Short tracks, road courses and superspeedways, you can do that with an experienced driver, and a decent car.”
In 2019, Barrett’s ideal Cup Series schedule would be to compete at all the road courses, Martinsville, New Hampshire and the superspeedway races along with road courses races in the Xfinity Series races. He will be talking with teams to see what races can be done.
“Hopefully it won’t be another 12 years before we get in a Cup car,” Barrett said jokingly.
Barrett does not have any more Cup Series races lined up for 2018, but would be open to running another race.
“It’d be fun,” Barrett said. “Homestead’s always a fun one, but again, those mile-and-a-half tracks are really tough to be competitive with some of these teams just have such [great] technology and engineering.
“But regardless if I race or not, definitely want to get to one and watch the guys. The [playoffs] this year [are] pretty exciting, watching these guys make cut and the driving is pretty aggressive.”
Barrett, a racer and Hollywood stuntman, is always looking for sponsors who may want to partner with him as he looks to continue racing in NASCAR.
“I have almost 30 years of motorsports marketing and helping companies develop motorsports programs,” Barrett said “…There’s so many ways that you can utilize motorsports and a sponsorship platform.”
In the coming months, Barrett will continue his roles as a Hollywood stuntman, entrepreneur and charity work.
The full interview will run on ESPN Radio Albuquerque soon. Check back for the link.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.