Hemphill Long Faced at Long Pond "Rookie Runs Out Of Fuel 2 Laps From End" June 14, 2004 (Long Pond, Pennsylvania) -- "You win some and you lose some" -- and on Saturday ARCA RE/MAX Series Sensation Ryan Hemphill lost the battle of the fuel...
Hemphill Long Faced at Long Pond
"Rookie Runs Out Of Fuel 2 Laps From End"
June 14, 2004 (Long Pond, Pennsylvania) -- "You win some and you lose some" -- and on Saturday ARCA RE/MAX Series Sensation Ryan Hemphill lost the battle of the fuel mileage game. The end result was a 7th place finish at the Pocono International Raceway in the running of the Pocono ARCA 200 after Hemphill's #64 TRIMSPA DODGE ran out of fuel two laps from the checkered flag.
"I really like this place, stated Hemphill. "The guys on the TRIMSPA team gave me another great car and we had a lot of fun out there today. This team has made great calls all year long and today things just did not fall our way. You just move on to the next race and go get them again."
With qualifying rained out on Thursday, the starting grid was set by the current 2004 ARCA car owner points standings and that gave Hemphill the second starting spot. A motor change in the only practice session of the day on Thursday seemed not to be a problem for the Apollo, Pennsylvania native and his #64 TRIMSPA DODGE. Despite only 8 laps around the tricky triangular track, Ryan showed his muscle by topping the charts during the Happy Hour session on Friday.
With the TRIMSPA DODGE dialed in, Hemphill darted to the lead at the drop of the green flag on race day and remained there for the first 37 laps of the 80 lap event. In all, Ryan would go on to lead a total of 39 laps.
As the race unfolded, very few cautions were to be found -- a total of 2 cautions waved for only 9 laps. This presented the team with some challenging pit stop and fuel mileage strategy. Due to the long green flag runs, only 3 cars were on the lead lap towards the end -- Ryan and the two Cup drivers of Scott Riggs and Kenny Schrader. As Ryan ran second and was gaining slightly on the leader (Riggs) -- he and his Braun Racing team hoped for a late caution or they feared they would be short on fuel. That fear became a reality with only two laps remaining as the #64 TRIMSPA DODGE ran out of fuel. As he coasted around the 2.5 mile track and into his pits -- Ryan lost hard earned spots on the track that resulted in his 7th place finish at the end.
"We could have pitted under green there at the end and conceded ourselves to finishing third," stated Hemphill. "But we are here to win races and give it everything we got. I am not sure if I had anything for Riggs or not there at the end but we had a darn good car for sure and another great engine from the guys at Ernie Elliott's. I definitely enjoyed my first visit to Pocono and I look forward to coming back here next month and redeeming ourselves with a win."
Although not running for the ARCA RE/MAX Series overall points championship, the 7th place finish moved Ryan into the 5th position in those current standings. Also, the "Rookie Sensation" took the lead in the race for the Rookie of the Year honor.
Ryan and his TRIMSPA team re-group and head north to the spacious confines of the Michigan International Speedway where they hope for another spectacular performance this weekend.
To learn more about Ryan, please visit his website at www.ryanhemphill.com