Craig Goess Finishes Second at Toledo Speedway; Continues Trek to the Championship Moves to Second in Points Behind Patrick Sheltra by Just Five Points Toledo, Ohio (Sept. 13, 2010) - Craig Goess and the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. team ...
Craig Goess Finishes Second at Toledo Speedway; Continues Trek to the
Moves to Second in Points Behind Patrick Sheltra by Just Five Points
Toledo, Ohio (Sept. 13, 2010) - Craig Goess and the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of N.C. team continue to show endurance and consistency in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards. As the field battled on the high-banked oval at Toledo Speedway, Goess forged to the front of the pack and finished second at Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers 200. A last-lap surge from the No. 81 to pass the leader for the win was denied by a lapped car, but Goess was able to collect his eighth top-five and 13th top-10 of the season.
The weekend began with a rain-shortened practice Saturday. With only 40 minutes of practice, the No. 81 Greenville of N.C. team made changes to the Toyota. Goess was able to use the short practice to turn the second-quickest lap of 16.483 seconds (109.203 mph).
Rain continued to fall on Toledo Speedway Saturday afternoon, and ARCA Racing Series officials canceled qualifying due to the track conditions. The starting line-up was set by car owner points, which placed Goess third.
The green flag dropped on the Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers 200, and it didn't take long for the short track action to get to its usual bumping and grinding fashion. By lap 40 of the 200 laps, Goess held steady in the fourth position. By the halfway mark, Goess and the No. 81 team contended in the seventh position with damage from an early incident and a braking issue.
By lap 147, Goess moved back into the top-five and was determined to make it to the front of the pack. The No. 81 showed speed throughout the day and consistently posted times quicker than the leader. By lap 175, Goess moved into the second position behind Chris Buescher. Other drivers dealt with tire issues throughout the day, but Goess continued to focus on the front and looked for an opening to make a move.
With 10 laps to go, Goess found his opportunity. The No. 81 caught up to the leader and held steady on Buescher's bumper. As they took the white flag, Goess was looking to make his move around the leader. Lapped traffic held up the No. 81 and made contract with his left rear quarter panel in turn one. Goess held on but could not make up the lost ground to pass the leader.
Buescher crossed the finish line first, collecting his second win of the season and sweeping the two Toledo Speedway races. Goess crossed the line second, improving on his 14th-place finish from the May 2010 race at the speedway.
"Overall it was a good day for us," said Goess. "We really didn't want to see that last caution because we were catching up to the leader. We were about two-tenths of a second quicker, and I feel like we could have won if it weren't for that caution. On that last push, we got back up to (Chris) Buescher on the last lap, and I was trying to make something happen. We caught up to lapped traffic and made contact, which put me too far back to pass the leader. Thankfully, we didn't lose any positions in that incident."
[esr.jpg] With three races left, Goess and the No. 81 team continue to push toward the goal of the ARCA Racing Series championship. Goess is now five points behind point leader Patrick Sheltra. Tom Hessert is in the third position, 10 points behind Goess.
"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to compete for the championship," said Goess. "I think everyone on the Eddie Sharp Racing team is focused on the goal, and we are all hungry. I'm proud of everything that we have accomplished and overcome this year, and I hope that we will be at the top in the end. There are still three races left, and we will do everything that we can in each of those races."
Goess now looks to Salem Speedway for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic this Saturday for more short-track action. The green flag drops at 7:15 p.m. Saturday evening for 200 laps / 110 miles of racing.