Cave Back With Familiar Faces As Part Of Mike Salinas’ Top Fuel Team In 2019
Arron Cave has had the opportunity to learn under the likes of Alan Johnson and Brian Husen, bolstering an impressive career track that has been helped by tremendous passion and work ethic.
Those career-changing opportunities will continue for the 32-year-old Cave as he moves to Mike Salinas’ Top Fuel team for the 2019 NHRA season.
He’ll again work under the proven expertise of longtime winners Johnson and Husen, as the trio aim to help take Salinas to new levels this year.
“Brian and Alan are phenomenal to work for and Mike is a great driver who is in it for the long haul,” Cave said. “To have an opportunity to further my knowledge with the cars, move up and things like that, I’m really looking forward to it. I like to go places and fix things, and the way we look at it, we’re there to win.”
It’s the primary reason why Johnson, Husen and Cave made the move to Salinas’ team.
Cave had most recently worked as car chief for Brittany Force, enjoying a championship season with the standout driver in 2017.
Husen left John Force Racing to tune Salinas’ car in 2019, and the Scrappers Racing group will also include Johnson as a tuning advisor and Cave in a significant role. Combined, they have big goals in mind as soon as the NHRA opener next weekend in Pomona.
“Every weekend we go to race, we want to win the race,” Cave said. “Mike had a great season a year ago and we’re here to give him a little extra push, and give him all the parts and pieces to contend. We just want to keep this ball rolling and we’re really looking forward to getting him his first win and competing for a championship.”
While Husen and Johnson are well-known for their tremendous track record in the sport, Salinas has also had an eye on Cave’s success the last few years.
He’s been impressed with how he has diligently worked through the sport at a young age, sensing a noticeable drive to improve.
Coupled with a strong work ethic that has given him the trust of Husen and Johnson, and Salinas believes Cave has great potential as a tuner.
“Arron is real meticulous, hands-on guy and you need younger blood because the sport is changing,” said Salinas, who had one final round appearance and finished seventh in Top Fuel points in 2018. “This guy is amazing, and it’s been clear to Alan, Brian and myself that he’s the next up-and-coming guy. He’s so dedicated and he just loves this stuff.”
Heading to this week’s preseason test session in Phoenix, Cave admits it has been a hectic few weeks as the team came together just more than a month ago.
But he’s formed a strong rapport with Husen and Johnson, and the entire team has displayed a strong knack when it comes to working together. They head to Salinas’ Scrappers Racing team with plenty of expectations, but Cave shrugs off that pressure and is simply ready to work.
“Just working under Alan and Brian, they’ve taught me so much,” Cave said. “It’s a powerhouse team and I’m really looking forward to this. I hoped to work with Brian again. I really enjoy working alongside him and we’re all on the same page. We’re going to put the work in and hopefully it all pays off.”
Salinas has the utmost confidence in the group as well, from building a championship-caliber car to making the best tuning decisions throughout a race weekend.
Some of that responsibility will fall on Cave’s shoulders and Salinas has confidence Cave will continue to perform at a high level.
“I think unanimously between all three of us (Johnson, Husen and Salinas), we all believe the guy is going to be a superstar,” Salinas said. “He really thinks things through, he’s all business and he wants to prove himself. Plus, he’s as smart as I’ve seen.”