By Lee Montgomery
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
Brian Scott doesn't want to make the same mistake twice.
Heading into the Nationwide Series season's first superspeedway race, at Daytona in February, Scott admitted his Joe Gibbs Racing team played a little too much defense, and the result was an accident, engine failure and a 34th-place finish.
For Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, Scott and his team will go on offense.
"Personally, I feel like the No. 11 team showed up at Daytona with the wrong mindset," Scott said. "We showed up at Daytona very defensive, kind of on our heels, trying to guard against the bad things that can happen. Of course, the bad things did happen. I think it was because of that mindset.
"I think we have to go to Talladega, and we have to be aggressive. We have to be on the offensive."
Scott said he needs to work immediately on the two-car draft when practice starts to develop relationships with other drivers so they know his car is fast and know they can work with him.
"Knowing that we're going to go to Talladega and run in those two-car deals the whole time, we're going to prepare for that," Scott said. "We've already got (in-car) radio deals figured out, we've already been politicking within the company about who's going to work with who."
That could mean you'll see Scott, 23, race a lot with his more-seasoned teammates, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
Busch is chasing Mark Martin's series record for victories and has won three times this year. Logano has four top 10s in five starts this year and, even though he's two years younger than Scott, already has eight wins. Busch and crew chief Jason Ratcliff seem to have a handle on the new Nationwide car, while Logano and Scott are still searching for the right combination.
"It's slightly unfair to compare me to Kyle and Joey because, one, they've already got substantial more experience than me," Scott said. "And, two, each weekend, they're getting two to three times the track time I'm getting."
But the equipment is the same, and Scott believes he can live up to the lofty expectations he put on himself when he joined JGR. That starts with his relationship with crew chief Kevin Kidd.
"He understands exactly what I'm saying when I'm talking about what the car's doing," Scott said. "And he knows what I'm looking for feel-wise. We're still working with that. We have some slight communication gaps every week, but they're getting fewer and fewer, and we're getting the gap narrower. We're getting better. It's one of the things we're working the hardest on."
That, and playing offense.
What: Aaron's 312
Where: Talladega Superspeedway
When: Saturday, 3:15 p.m. Eastern
TV: ESPN2, 2 p.m. Eastern
Radio: MRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 128
Track layout: 2.66-mile oval
Race distance: 117 laps/311 miles
Qualifying: Saturday, 1:10 p.m. Eastern
2010 winner: Brad Keselowski
2010 polesitter: Kevin Harvick