Tim Russell Chicagoland race report

Tim Russell Impresses in Third ARCA RE/MAX Attempt 23-Year-Old and Team Pull Together For Top-10 at Chicagoland INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 11, 2006) -- A penalty in the ARCA RE/MAX Series usually means a team's day is over; not so for ...

Tim Russell Impresses in Third ARCA RE/MAX Attempt
23-Year-Old and Team Pull Together For Top-10 at Chicagoland

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 11, 2006) -- A penalty in the ARCA RE/MAX Series usually means a team's day is over; not so for Tim Russell and the Hagans Racing team. They weren't going to let a one-lap penalty ruin their stellar weekend as the team pulled together and brought home an eighth-place finish in the SK Hands Tool 200 at Chicagoland Speedway (IL).

"It's great to finish in the top-10 at a track like Chicagoland," said Russell. "It was a pretty stout field out there today; I am just glad we had no scratches on the car. It was just so tight all day long. If we would have had another stop, we probably could have gotten the car right and brought home a top-five."

The impressive weekend for the rookie started off fast as the team set a good pace in the afternoon practice. They made some adjustments in practice that paid off during qualifying as the team secured themselves a fifth-place starting position.

Once the race was underway Tim was able to keep his car solidly in the top-10 all afternoon. Multiple cautions throughout the event limited the amount of green-flag runs.

The challenge for the team came on lap 66. Russell was running in the second position and was preparing to pit when a miscommunication about position on the track (concerning whether the team could pass lapped cars and pull directly behind the leader) resulted in Tim being penalized and held a lap. During the ensuing stop, the team took the opportunity to work on the tight condition and go up a round on the track bar.

"I kind of made a mistake out there on pit road," admitted Tim. "On the backstretch, I came down a little too early and got penalized a lap when we were in a position to be in the top-five. The whole Hagans Racing team worked their butts off all day long, and we were able to get the Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Dodge back on the lead lap."

On the restart, Tim put himself in a position to earn his lap back. It happened quickly, as he was able to stay in front of the leader and avoid the carnage out on the racetrack as cars got together behind him and brought out another caution soon after the green flag was waved.

Once he earned his lap back, Tim was caught up in traffic, but he still managed to make the right moves and work his way up to the eighth position by the time the checkered flag fell.

"My car was really good on the outside, because it was tight," added Russell. "There were a lot of racing grooves out there, so I was able to take it three-wide a few times and get up there. It was fun; I really liked this place, and I am really looking forward to coming back next year."

Team owner Matt Hagans was up on the pit box calling some of the shots for the young rookie and was pleased with his results, as well as how the team handled the adversity that was dealt to them throughout the afternoon.

"I am very happy with the finish," said Hagans. "We didn't give him the best car; he didn't have a winning car. We had a little bit of struggle there with the balance on the car during practice, qualifying and the race. He made some great moves in the race, and there was a lot of carnage and yellows out there, and he missed every single one of them. He finished without a mark on the car, and that is how we like it.

"We got a lap down, and we got it back, and that is the mark of a good team and a good driver. You just don't ever give up until the checkers fall."

Then next race for the Hagans Racing team will come at the high-banked and newly-repaved Talladega Superspeedway on Friday, October 6th. The event will be broadcast live on SPEED at 4:30pm (EST).

-credit: www.hagansracing.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Matt Hagan , Tim Russell