Lofton Goes for a Wild Ride and Finishes 12th at Kansas KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 26, 2008) -- Justin Lofton fought a poor handling Lofton Cattle Dodge throughout Friday's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand. With a solid qualifying lap, the No. 93...
Lofton Goes for a Wild Ride and Finishes 12th at Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 26, 2008) -- Justin Lofton fought a poor handling Lofton Cattle Dodge throughout Friday's Kansas Lottery $150 Grand. With a solid qualifying lap, the No. 93 lined up in the tenth position. Wrestling the tight car and going for an exciting spin on the front stretch, Justin Lofton finished the day in the 12th position.
"The No. 93 Lofton Cattle Dodge was just too tight all day long," said Lofton. "And it was definitely down on power compared to our past races. All my guys had a great race today. I want to thank them as always for their hard work. They never give up. We get better and better each week."
Lofton and his ESR team were unable to get a mock qualifying run in during the Friday morning practice session. Struggling with cooling issues, the team simply ran out of time.
"We put in a solid lap for not getting a chance to do a mock run in practice," stated Lofton. "The car should be great in the race."
Lofton took the green flag to start the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand in the tenth position. By lap 3 Lofton was already reporting that the Lofton Cattle Dodge was "real tight in the center." At lap 28, Lofton radioed to Crew Chief Randy Nelson that he was able to "kill them in the corners but they kill me on the straightaway. We need more power." Lofton also continued to report that the car's handling was simply way too tight.
Lofton came to pit road under caution at lap 43. Struggling in the pit on the first stop of the day, the Lofton Cattle team changed four tires, added fuel and made adjustments to improve the tight condition.
At lap 55, Lofton reported again that the car was still tight. Nelson opted to pass up the opportunity to bring his driver back down pit road in order to better the track position. Lofton restarted the race in the seventh position on lap 60. Lofton continued to run in the top-10, reporting for the next 20 laps that the car is "way too tight from the center off." Lofton added, "I need help off the corners."
On lap 88, contact with the No. 99 of Ricky Stenhouse just off of turn four sent Lofton spinning on the front stretch. Lofton stayed in the gas, keeping the car off the wall and narrowly missing other cars including teammate Ken Butler, III. The No. 93 spun down into the grass, turned back onto the track and returned to the pit on lap 90.
"Wow," exclaimed Lofton. "What a ride!"
The No. 93 returned to the track with four fresh tires and a tank full of fuel. Moderate damage was caused to the left front fender of the Lofton Cattle Dodge when it spun through the grass. On lap 93 the race restarted with Lofton in the 14th position and on the lead lap.
Crew Chief Randy Nelson encouraged his driver, "The left front damage is probably not going to help you do much. Just stay with it and we will get a good finish!"
Lofton climbed to the 12th position and held it for the remaining laps, claiming his highest career ARCA RE/MAX Series finish.
"Thank you to all of my guys today," said Lofton. "Everyone did a great job! We were just way to tight today in the No. 93 Lofton Cattle Dodge. It's frustrating because I know as a team we are better than a 12th-place finish. The car, today, just was not. We'll move forward and continue to build on the season. I'm looking forward to heading to Rockingham next weekend. We had a solid test there last month and it should be a very positive weekend for our team."
Next Stop: Justin Lofton and the Lofton Cattle team return to North Carolina to race this weekend at the resurrected Rockingham Speedway. The Carolina 500 goes green at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, 2008. The race will air LIVE on SPEED.