Jesse Lowe picked a big victory last Saturday night when brought home a $2,000 payday from the United Championship Racing Alliance sanctioned event held at the I-75 Raceway. Those kinds of wins almost became commonplace in 2017 when the No. 5J CVR Race Car pulled into victory lane a total of 23 times at the end of Crate Late Model features held all over the east Tennessee region. While the Crossville, TN driver has not had a bad season in 2018 by any stretch of the imagination, the nine checkered flags garnered to this point have left the team wanting more.
After changing chassis brands at the beginning of the current campaign, Lowe transitioned back to the more familiar cars built by chassis guru Chip Vineyard.
“It’s been a hard season for us coming off the wins like we had last year,” Lowe explained in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “We swapped chassis brands which didn’t play in our favor so we went back to CVR. Me and Chip have had an excellent working relationship since going back, actually better than what it was before I left. We’ve been testing a lot of stuff and we’ve learned a lot of stuff. Obviously it’s paying off. This win definitely ups the morale in the Lowe camp.”
The 25-year-old racer realizes that struggles are going to be a part of racing. The key is to minimize the down times and take full advantage of the upswings.
“That’s the hardest part about racing, that nothing is consistent,” Lowe described. “Weather, race track, tire combinations, and tonight it was a little rough so you could easily bend a ball joint or a shock and you don’t catch it until it’s too late. One thing I admire about Bloomquist and those guys is that week in and week out at different race tracks in different states they’re always some of the fastest cars there. We struggle to be the fastest car at our own home track week in and week out. The good thing about racing is that the lows don’t stay for too long but neither do the highs. What goes up must come down.”
Lowe’s win at I-75 indicates that his team is may very well be back on one of those upswings. And the No. 5J organization is racing at this point in the season with very little pressure on them, which makes it easier to do their thing.
“Actually, we’ve struggled so much this year that there’s less pressure on us,” Lowe declared. “There’s so many high quality cars here. We’re going out to win but with the season we’ve had we understand if we don’t. Tonight we went out there and just really raced the race track. We don’t show up to look at who’s here or look who’s in the pits, we just focus on the race track and try to make our car the best car for that race track.”
Lowe says that his team has maintained their optimism despite results that were sometimes disappointing.
“We’ve been on one of those low runs, it feels like, a lot this season,” the driver stated. “It seems like every time we start to get ahead it takes another step back. The thing that has really kept us going is the crew and leaning on each other.”
Ultimately, winning races will cure any ills that a race team might experience.
“Last year we were winning quite a bit of races and we had the finances to make sure we had fresh stuff on the car all the time,” Lowe recalled. “That helps tremendously when you roll in with new tires, and your shocks are fresh, and you’ve got fresh springs. All that stuff makes a difference.
“When we went back to the CVR car we went through everything and made sure we’re showing up with the best of the best,” he added. “We struggled there for a couple of weeks at Smoky Mountain and Talladega but we were fast last night(Crossville) and we were fast tonight(I-75). I credit that to Chip because he’s worked on it all week. He just told me to trust him and let him do his thing. I think I’m going to have to start trusting that guy a lot more.”
Lowe plans to be back in action for another big race on November 3rd at the Volunteer Speedway when Crate Late Model racers will be fighting for a $3,000-to-win purse.