Last race review: ESR driver Justin Lofton piloted the No. 6 Toyota to victory yet again on Friday at Toledo Speedway. The win was the fifth this season for Lofton and car owner Eddie Sharp.They have now won four of the last five races. The team...
Last race review: ESR driver Justin Lofton piloted the No. 6 Toyota to victory yet again on Friday at Toledo Speedway. The win was the fifth this season for Lofton and car owner Eddie Sharp.They have now won four of the last five races. The team nearly hit the trifecta with all three teams nabbing top 10 runs but Tim George Jr. was the victim of short track racing late in the running, dropping him to 16th. Craig Goess however, notched yet another top 10, finishing sixth.
Where they stand: Lofton continues to lead the point standings, adding a slight cushion thanks to the win on Friday night at Toledo. He now holds the spot by 65 points over the second place entry of Parker Kligerman. Craig Goess sits a comfortable fifth and George Jr. is on the cusp of the top 10, in 11th.
Back to Illinois: Team ESR will mark its third appearance spanning the last four races in Illinois. It also marks the second dirt track visit. It all started last month on the dirt in Springfield before moving to the Chicagoland intermediate track. The team then trekked to the paved short track in Toledo, Ohio on Friday before packing up and returning to Illinois for the Southern Illinois 100.
How they do it: The three-day turnaround from Toledo to DuQuoin can be a challenging one, if you let it. The Eddie Sharp Racing stable however, has it all under control. Moving from the short track in Toledo, Ohio, to the dirt track in Illinois, ESR pulled an extra hauler from the fleet, usually used for testing, to carry the additional cars.
Down and dirty: The one and only time rookies Goess and George Jr. ran on a dirt track fell just weeks ago at Springfield. George Jr. finished 14th while Goess was caught up in a wreck, finishing 26th. Teammate Lofton won the pole and finished sixth. In 2008, Lofton made his debut on the DuQuoin dirt and finished 12th.
What they're saying:
Of the busy schedule from the short track in Toledo to a three-day turnaround to the dirt track on Labor Day before heading to the road course in New Jersey, Craig Goess puts it into perspective:
Craig Goess, driver of the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Toyota
"I think its very challenging from a driver's standpoint. It forces you to wear different hats inside the car. It might not be a fun stretch at the time, but in the end it will make you a better racer."
Lofton and George Jr. reflect, and look forward to the dirt track:
Justin Lofton, driver of the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota
"I'd love to get a win on dirt. We've had a lot going for us lately. The only one we missed was on the dirt at Springfield. We've learned a lot since my first run last year. I feel like we've got it hitting on everything right now, from the short tracks to the speedways. We'll see what we can do this time."
Tim George Jr., driver of the No. 2 Ruby Tuesday Toyota
"Headed into the next dirt race, I will reflect back to Springfield, my one and only experience I have on dirt so far. That was a solid run, and I look forward to having some fun on Labor Day and learning more about racing with limited grip."