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Roush Rookie Watch: Hardest part of the season is over

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On Tuesdays during the Nextel Cup season, Roush Racing's four Busch and Craftsman Truck rookie drivers will file diaries on FOXSports.com, including Busch rookie Todd Kluever. For more information on any of the Roush Racing drivers or teams or to join any of the Roush driver fan clubs, log onto RoushRacing.com

We've got four races under out belts now, and I honestly think the hardest part of the season is over now. After spending a week in Daytona followed by two trips to the West Coast and a trip to Mexico, the entire 3M team is ready to race closer to home. In addition to that, we had the added pressure of being a new team and having to qualify on time to make each race. We only have to do that one more time — this weekend in Atlanta — and then we will have owner's points to fall back on if we need them.

Todd Kluever diaries

  • Hardest part is over
  • Added pressure in debut
  • Daytona went really well for us. I was pleased to come away from there with a top-10 finish. I dodged a lot of accidents in front of me and managed to get through the final big wreck on the last lap to end up 7th. That really helped us in the points to start out with a strong finish and not have to dig out of hole in the point standings right off the bat. We took the same car to California and Las Vegas and were a bit disappointed with our results there. I finished 12th at California, was the highest non-Cup driver and won rookie of the race. At Las Vegas, the car started off so tight I could hardly drive it and gave up a lot of time in the corners. We ended up two laps down and finished 21st. This weekend, we are taking a new car to Atlanta that I think will be much better. Mexico was an interesting trip. It was my first time out of the country and my first road course race. I spent a lot of time at Virginia International Raceway, practicing my road racing skills. Boris Said was a huge help to me there and gave me a lot of good advice when we got to Mexico. Road racing is a lot of fun, but it's also pretty tough. We almost made it through the whole race, but the transmission broke with a few laps to go which put us back in 32nd place. We've learned a lot as a team over these first four races, and I believe we're going to keep improving with every race. It won't be long before we're up there running with the leaders.

    Tagged: Todd Kluever

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