Pocono II: Matt Carter race report

Carter Captures Fifth Season Top 5 at Pocono; Secures No. 2 in Points Long Pond, PA (08-03-08) ARCA RE/MAX series driver Matt Carter, pilot of the No. 46 Fort Dodge Animal Health/Stine Seed Ford Fusion, scored an impressive season fifth top...

Carter Captures Fifth Season Top 5 at Pocono; Secures No. 2 in Points

Long Pond, PA (08-03-08) ARCA RE/MAX series driver Matt Carter, pilot of the No. 46 Fort Dodge Animal Health/Stine Seed Ford Fusion, scored an impressive season fifth top five finish by placing fourth in Saturdays' Pennsylvania ARCA 200 at Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Friday, during SIM Factory Pole Qualifying, Carter posted a lap time of 54.606 seconds to deposit the No. 46 machine on the starting grid inside the top ten in the sixth position for Saturday afternoons' 80 lap race event.

During the morning hours on Saturday, major thunderstorms moved into the Pocono Raceway area, pushing back the green flag command to 2 p.m.

Inside the first ten laps of the race, Carter suffered a sliced left front tire forcing him down pit road in second gear to take four fresh tires. When Carter steered the No. 46 machine back out onto the race track, he was one lap down in the 31st position.

On lap 23, luck broke out for the No. 46 team when a caution came out and race officials waived the yellow flag. Carter was declared recipient of the Lucky Dog pass, which positioned him back on the lead lap for the restart. He piloted the No. 46 Fort Dodge Animal Health/Stine Seed Ford Fusion rapidly up through the field, picking off cars in front on him one by one - gaining as much as two to three positions per lap. Barely past the half way mark of the race, 20 laps later, Carter and the No. 46 machine were back inside the top ten of the 41 car field in the eighth position.

Yet again on lap 47, race officials were forced to waive the yellow flag and crew chief, Travis Carter, of the No. 46 team made a call for four Hoosier tires, gas and no adjustments. Carter rolled the No. 46 machine down pit road at 4000 RPM's and the No. 46 crew made outstanding time. In the race off pit road, they gained two positions putting Carter in sixth place for the restart.

During lap 73, the officials waived the last of a total of seven tallied cautions for Saturdays' Pennsylvania ARCA 200. Carter taxied the No. 46 machine around the Pocono pavement for five laps under yellow until the official green flag restart on lap 78. With only two laps remaining, Carter battled for third place, but when the checkered flag flew the No. 46 Fort Dodge Animal Health/Stine Seed Ford Fusion came across the start/finish line in fourth place.

"We had a really good car all day," stated Carter. "It's unfortunate that we cut a tire at the beginning of the race and got a lap down, but we got it back and positioned ourselves back up to fourth. We were a little tight there at the end. I don't think we had anything for the first two guys, but if we would have had some more green laps I think we would have finished third. We've made some gains as far as these big tracks. We've got Nashville next week, so hopefully we'll take with us what we've learned the past two to three weeks and do well there."

A respectable fourth place finish on Saturday moved Carter up two slots in Championship points to second place - making for a very productive race weekend for the No. 46 team at Pocono International Raceway.

-credit: mcPR

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Series ARCA