Pocono: Phillip McGilton race report

McGilton Finds The Lead For Second Week in A Row At Pocono "Brewco Driver Leads; But Falls Victim To Tire Failure" LONG POND, PA (June 10, 2007) - - Fresh off a career-best fourth place finish a week earlier at Iowa Speedway, ARCA RE/MAX Series...

McGilton Finds The Lead For Second Week in A Row At Pocono
"Brewco Driver Leads; But Falls Victim To Tire Failure"

LONG POND, PA (June 10, 2007) - - Fresh off a career-best fourth place finish a week earlier at Iowa Speedway, ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie Phillip McGilton headed to Pocono Raceway this weekend looking to keep the momentum going.

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In practice, McGilton battled a tight No. 47 SIPerformance Ford Fusion. Tackling the triangular 2.5-mile speedway for the first time on Friday McGilton stated. "The car isn't handling the way we would have liked so we're going to make some adjustments and hope for the best in qualifying."

From the start of the qualifying run, the team immediately knew something wasn't right under the hood. In ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, McGilton turned a lap of 56.728 seconds at 158.652 MPH netting him 20th on the ARS starting grid.

Following his time trials attempt the Brewco Motorsports team checked under the hood where they found a crack in the ceramic casing around one of the new spark plugs installed prior to qualifying which resulted in the car to only firing on seven cylinders during his run.

The team quickly repaired the problem but McGilton would be forced to start the 10th ARCA RE/MAX Series event of the season from the tail of the field, since the cars were impounded following qualifying. Working on the car for any reason following qualifying is a violation of the impound rule forcing the deep starting position.

At the start of the 80 lap/200 mile event, McGilton quickly began his charge towards the lead pack. Within a few laps McGilton had blasted his SIPerformance-Brewco Motorsports Ford through the field up to the 11th spot. His charge would be slowed on lap nine when McGilton's left front tire came apart, the first of two such occurrences for the team. Luckily, the car only sustained minor damage.

McGilton was able to bring his SIPerformance machine back to pit road where the team put on four new Hoosier tires and sent him back out.JDuring the caution, the team made several pit stops and felt confident that McGilton still had a solid racecar heading back into racing conditions.

On the restart, McGilton would once again dive hard and make a charge towards the front of the field. Despite the early tire problem, McGilton's Ford still turned in solid lap times quickly motoring towards the front.

McGilton would take the lead on lap 59 for the second time in his last two races having also led laps during the Prairie Meadows 250 at Iowa the previous weekend.

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After holding the lead for three laps the tide turned once again when McGilton's Ford blew yet another left front tire. Amazingly, McGilton was once again able to hold on to the car but was forced to make a green flag pit stop for a new set of tires putting the team one lap down with just a few circuits remaining.

Charging like a veteran, McGilton would pass several competitors on his same lap and cross the line 19th. "I'm disappointed by our finish today. We worked on the car really hard this weekend and it was paying off during the race. A lot of people had tire problems today and unfortunately we were one of them. I guess the bright side is that we didn't have a destroyed racecar but the finish hurt us. This team has the capabilities of winning races. We just need a little luck to make it happen," McGilton sounded.

McGilton is sixth in ARS points heading into the next event on the schedule from Michigan International Speedway. The Brewco Motorsports developmental driver is only 60 points from the fifth position held by Michael McDowell.

Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the ARCA 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Serving as the first of a triple-header weekend for the Michiganders, the 11th race on the 2007 schedule will take the green flag on Friday, June 15 beginning at 5:00pm with live coverage on SPEED.

The Brewco Motorsports team is excited about heading to MIS following their impressive fourth place test at the two-mile facility last month.

-credit: brewco

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Michael McDowell , Phillip McGilton