Salem: Justin Lofton race report

Lofton Makes Solid ARCA RE/MAX Series Debut at Salem Speedway Contact and green flag pit stops bring 19th place finish SALEM, Ind. (April 13, 2008) -- Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in the No. 93 Lofton...

Lofton Makes Solid ARCA RE/MAX Series Debut at Salem Speedway
Contact and green flag pit stops bring 19th place finish

SALEM, Ind. (April 13, 2008) -- Eddie Sharp Racing's Justin Lofton made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in the No. 93 Lofton Cattle Dodge this weekend at the Salem Speedway. The No. 93 laid a strong 17.238 second qualifying lap and started in the eighth position for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 by Federated Auto Parts. Lofton dominated over half of the 200-lap event in the top-10. Late race damage and green flag repairs caused the No. 93 to fall 12 laps behind the leader and take the checkered flag in the 19th position.

"It was great fun out there today," stated Lofton as the team loaded the hauler. "I had a great car at the beginning and it was really unfortunate that we got caught up with the [No.] 1 car. That hurt us. We were still good; still in the top-10. And I don't know what lap it was but we got the door slammed up in turn four and got a right front flat. Things just went backward from there."

[IMAGE]As rained moved in on Sunday, conditions did not look good for the scheduled race. However, late in the afternoon, the radar showed a break in the showers and the ARCA RE/MAX Series teams quickly scrambled into gear with the race going green shortly after 5:00 p.m. With freezing temperatures and a three hour delay to the start of the race, Lofton took the green flag and kicked off his ARCA RE/MAX career.

During the caution on lap 73, Lofton brought the No. 93 Lofton Cattle Dodge down pit road for tires, fuel and to remove some of the brake tape. Lofton returned to the track in the ninth position. Another caution quickly followed.

During this caution, Crew Chief Randy Nelson radioed to Lofton that the car in front of him was asking for a little patience. Lofton replied, "10-4. It's just hard when I'm not getting any from behind either."

While running in the top-5, Lofton found himself between the wall and another car. The contact with the outside wall damaged the right front tire. With a right front flat, the No. 93 limped back to pit road under the green flag. A frustrated Lofton returned to the race in the 15th position but was cited for speeding down pit road. The penalty cost additional laps to be lost and the No. 93 Lofton Cattle team continued in the 19th position.

The team and driver remained determined and steadfast, finishing the race 19th place overall.

"It was a good time overall," said Lofton with a smile. "The overall finish of the car is not indicative of how good it was. It was a great car! Everyone worked really hard and I am so proud of my guys. I was glad I got to do it and that Eddie had the confidence in me to put me in a car. I'm looking forward to heading to Iowa next weekend and getting them a finish they deserve!"

-credit: esr

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Series ARCA