Jamie Lambert Carries JRM Hopes in Better Half Dash

Ron Lemasters | 5/17/2022

Better Half Dash iRacing News

Lambert will race the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Legends car with Noah Gragson serving as her crew chief. The race will air May 19 at 6 p.m. on RaceHub, with all proceeds benefitting MRO>=.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 17, 2022) -- The annual Better Half Dash, which pits the better halves of NASCAR competitors and crew chiefs against each other at Charlotte Motor Speedway in virtual U.S. Legend Cars via iRacing, will once again have representation from JR Motorsports.

Jamie Lambert, wife of No. 9 team crew chief Luke Lambert, will carry Bass Pro Shops colors in the annual event, scheduled for Thursday night at 6 p.m. ET on FS1's NASCAR Race Hub broadcast as part of the annual NASCAR All-Star Race from Texas Motor Speedway, will take the wheel for the event, which will pay $10,000 to the winner's charity of choice.

The event, which has a long history, also features a sponsor for each virtual U.S. Legend Car and its driver that will serve to help Motor Racing Outreach. The top two fundraisers among the drivers will earn the pole positions for the two 15-lap heat races prior to the main event. The sponsor for Jamie's car is Bass Pro Shops, the primary backer of Gragson, Luke Lambert and the No. 9 Chevrolet for JRM.

Jamie Lambert's crew chief for the event—her first competitive event as a driver--is none other than JRM driver Noah Gragson, who raced Legend Cars as part of his path to NASCAR stardom.

"It is the first time, I'm a rookie in the Better Half Dash and I am nervous, but very excited," Lambert said. "I've had a lot of fun doing it. Kelley (Earnhardt Miller) actually gave me the opportunity to do it and I am super thankful that she did. It's for a great cause, to support Motor Racing Outreach. They've been a huge part of my family's lives and in the sport."

Like every driver at JR Motorsports, the objective is to win the race. Lambert is no exception.

"I want to win it, but if I can't win it, I want to finish in one piece," she said. "I just want to manage my laps. It's hard, because most of the practices, you're not with the other girls on the track. We haven't had a full practice race to know what it's going to be like. Just trying to stay out of people's way and give them room. That's going to be my plan. I'm hoping for calm nerves. That's what I'm going to need. It's a small track, there's 12 of us on it and a wide range of experience."

Gragson, winner of two races so far this season in the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet, is her crew chief and has given the first-time competitor some solid advice, she said.

"The best advice Noah has given me is to have fun, and that's true. Unfortunately, I'm up for having fun but I'm also a pretty competitive person, so I want to be good at it. I've taken it seriously, the practices and getting to know the iRacing rig. It's definitely a learning experience, but I'm doing my best to switch to fun mode today, because it's time to have fun."

Jamie's husband Luke is a former racer and first-rate crew chief, and likewise has offered advice.

"He's given me a little advice, and I don't mean to razz him, but he hasn't been able to beat my lap times," Lambert said with a laugh. "It's been a learning experience together. He hasn't spent a lot of time on iRacing, but he's actually raced U.S. Legend Cars on similar tracks and at Charlotte, and he said it doesn't really translate. He's been really good at trying to help me manage my runs and my laps, things like that. Besides just Noah having such a great personality and having him as my crew chief, one reason it's better is, I'm more likely to listen to him than I am to Luke!"

Racing to benefit MRO is something Lambert is excited about, because of what the organization has meant to her and her family.

"Luke and I were talking about it recently, and what MRO has offered us over the now 16 years that we've been in the sport is an opportunity to fellowship and worship with others at the track when otherwise on the road that would be difficult to do," she said. "They also have just provided a great community for our children with the Community Center. When our daughter was sick and in the hospital, MRO was really awesome about reaching out and being supportive and offering love, care and concern for us. That really meant a lot to us. There are so many ways they work to make a community and consistent presence. They're always there and you know you have their support and care."

In terms of strategy, Lambert feels like starting from the front row is key to victory.

"If I get on the pole I think I have a chance," she said. "I was on the pole for one of our practice races this week and it showed me even if I haven't been the fastest in practice, the race is a totally different story. If I just hit my marks and not worry about the ladies behind me, I have a real chance at winning. I'm hoping for a calm to come over me. I definitely think starting on the front row is the ticket for the win. You just have to keep the ladies behind you and hit your marks. That's what I'm planning to do."

Those wishing to speed Lambert's quest for the front-row start in the heats can do so by clicking here to donate to her charity of choice, which is Motor Racing Outreach.

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