“I'm looking forward to when it's about racing instead of race,” he said.
Lester became the first black driver to compete in NASCAR's top series since Willy T. Ribbs in 1986, finishing six laps off the pace in 38th place Monday at the Golden Corral 500, won by Kasey Kahne.
The 45-year-old Lester, a regular in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series since 2002, accomplished one of his stated goals, avoiding a crash and racing to the end of the 500-mile race, postponed on Sunday because of rain.
“It was a very significant learning experience for me,” Lester said. “It was fun to be out there with them. This is just the beginning and we have two more (Nextel Cup) races to go.
“I got a late start in my career and I'm trying to catch up as quick as I can.”
Lester said he hopes he earned some respect from the other Cup drivers.
“I was able to bring it home in one piece and able to build up my database of knowledge,” he said. “There were some opportunities for me to take some chances and I could have gotten in the way. But I'm not trying to do that.”