No Platinum Finish For Leonard In Nashville LEBANON, Tennessee (April 15, 2006) - - Johnny Leonard finished a frustrating 39th after losing a motor on Saturday afternoon in the ARCA RE/MAX Series PFG Lester 150 from Nashville ...
No Platinum Finish For Leonard In Nashville
LEBANON, Tennessee (April 15, 2006) - - Johnny Leonard finished a frustrating 39th after losing a motor on Saturday afternoon in the ARCA RE/MAX Series PFG Lester 150 from Nashville Superspeedway.
Leonard, who started the event in 35th was looking to "survive" the second ARCA event of the season, but it didn't happen. Early in the race, Leonard was overtaken by leader Steven Wallace taking him off the lead lap as the driver of the No. 13 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was batting a very ill-handling racecar.
Crew Chief Bobby Dick with assistance from team liaison Mark Gibson worked together throughout the event making several adjustments to the car enabling Leonard to pick up his lap times throughout the early and middle stages of the race.
While battling the No. 26 of Brad Smith on lap 65, Leonard's motor quit in turn two forcing him to take his machine to the garage with his second DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season. "It's just frustrating," said the dejected driver climbing from the car. "PME (Pro Motor Engineering) build great motors, we hardly ever have motor failure, so I'm not mad, it's just disappointing."
"The car was working better as we were making adjustments. Mark and Bobby were able to make the car handle better. We lost the lap early in the race and never had to worry about losing any more until we had the motor problem. That says something. We were going to have a decent day, but that's racing. We'll just chalk it up and go onto Salem."
Despite the finish, Leonard praised his crew on their efforts this weekend. "My crew is awesome. We had trouble getting to the track with our truck breaking down on Thursday but they arrived on Friday and never stopped. Mark Gibson came over and helped Bobby with the car and he really played a huge part. Thanks to all of my crew for all their hard work this weekend."
Leonard, a native of Cape Coral, Florida was looking forward to Nashville as the track is the site of his career best ARCA RE/MAX Series finish occurring in August of 2005 where he crossed the line ninth. "It would have been nice to tie that finish or have beaten it, but there are good and bad days in racing. We'll regroup and head to Salem Speedway next weekend and look to get our season back on track."
Leonard's teammate Ryan Howard driving the No. 59 Williams Bros Lumber appeared to be heading towards a solid finish, but an unavoidable wreck halted those efforts leaving the MGR (Mark Gibson Racing) team with a disappointing 38th place finish.
MGR will run Leonard's entire program next weekend at Salem unloading a Chevrolet Monte Carlo purchased last month from Vision Racing.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the first short track event of the season, the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 by Federated Auto Parts set for Sunday, April 23rd. Practice and qualifying are set for Saturday, with the first Sunday race of the season set to take the green flag shortly after 3:15 EST.