Goess Finishes Fourth at Talladega in Career-Best Showing at a Superspeedway The No. 81 Overcomes Engine Problems Early TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 2010) - Craig Goess drove his No. 81 Toyota of Greenville NC Toyota to a fourth place finish in...
Goess Finishes Fourth at Talladega in Career-Best Showing at a Superspeedway
The No. 81 Overcomes Engine Problems Early
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 2010) - Craig Goess drove his No. 81 Toyota of Greenville NC Toyota to a fourth place finish in the Talladega ARCA 250 Friday afternoon. The top-five finish marks Goess' career-best finish at a superspeedway.
The weekend got off to a bumpy start Thursday, when the No. 81 engine blew during practice. "We ran the first few laps. The team was testing how much tape they could put on the car, and the motor blew," said Goess. The ESR crew worked hard to get the car ready for qualifying later in the day.
With the new engine installed, the No. 81 qualified 22nd with a run of 52.34 seconds (182.958 mph).
Friday afternoon the Talladega ARCA 250 got underway, as Goess prepared for the start of the 94-lap race. By lap 12, Goess worked his way to the 19th position.
The No. 36 hit the wall on lap 19, causing the yellow flag to wave. Goess and team took advantage of the caution and came into the pits for fuel only, picking up two positions to come out in 17th place.
When the green flag waved on lap 22, Goess and ESR teammate Brandon McReynolds began to work together. Goess and McReynolds drafted around the 2.66-mile superspeedway, missing another incident on the tri-oval. Goess stayed out during the caution and moved up to 10th place.
By lap 34, Goess proved how quick the No. 81 Toyota was as he worked his way into the top-five and continued his way to the front of the 42-car field. Up to second place, Goess escaped "The Big One" on lap 50, a multi-car accident causing a prolonged yellow flag at Talladega Superspeedway.
Goess and the leaders began to hit a stride, lengthening the distance between the top-nine cars and the rest of the field. Crew Chief Johnny Allen radioed to Goess with a strategy to win the race. "Don't make a move until lap 90, stay nose to tail and keep doing what you are doing," said Allen.
The No. 81 held steady in the third position throughout much of the race, waiting to make his move. As a Talladega race usually ends, everyone was running single-file until the last lap. When the No. 22, 60 and teammate McReynolds got a run on the outside, Goess stuck to the inside, as he did for much of the race. The last pass of the tri-oval was every man for himself, and Goess muscled to a fourth place finish.
[esr.jpg] "I think it was a pretty good day, from how we had run at superspeedways last year," said Goess. "We kind of just got caught up in accidents that were unavoidable. We got through the pack clean and stayed out front. For where we started and having to change motors, it was a good day for us."
The fourth-place finish marks the third-straight race Goess finished in the top-five. He finished second at Salem Speedway and last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Prior to Friday's top-five finish, Goess suffered from on-track incidents and finished 30th at Talladega and 34th and 17th at Daytona International Speedway.
Goess and his No. 81 ESR crew will take a few weeks off before the next ARCA Racing Series event on Sunday, May 23 at Toledo Speedway for the Menards 200.