Team puts forth impressive 29th place qualifying effort; Accident relegates team to 37th place finish DOVER, Del. (September 23, 2007) -- John Andretti and the BAM Racing were intent on continuing its forward momentum this weekend at ...
Team puts forth impressive 29th place qualifying effort; Accident relegates team to 37th place finish
DOVER, Del. (September 23, 2007) -- John Andretti and the BAM Racing were intent on continuing its forward momentum this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Andretti once again put forth an impressive qualifying effort for the team securing a 29th place starting position for the Dodge Dealers 400. At a track known to produce accidents, the afternoon saw 13 cautions, two red flag periods and a total of 15 cars retire early from the race. Unfortunately, Andretti was collected in a late-race accident that damaged the Paralyzed Veterans Dodge beyond repair. He finished the race in 37th place.
Before an estimated crowd of 137,000 fans, the field approached the green flag for an eventful 400 laps at "The Monster Mile." Starting in the 29th position, Andretti was focused on gaining track position and avoiding trouble.
The first caution of the race came out on lap 13 for an accident on the frontstretch. Andretti reported that the Paralyzed Veterans Dodge was tight in the center of the turns and on exit. He came to pit road for four tires and fuel.
Racing action had barely restarted when another caution came out lap 22 when the No. 21 machine of Ken Schrader spun on the frontstretch. Andretti ran to the bottom of the track and avoided contact with Schrader by mere inches.
Once the race restarted and the field settled down, Andretti was able to provide the team with an update on the Paralyzed Veterans Dodge. "I'm sliding all over the place," said Andretti. "I'm tight. I'm loose. I can't seem to find that happy medium."
Andretti came to pit road under caution on lap 57 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. He restarted the race in the 39th place on the lead lap. Andretti radioed laps later that the adjustments had improved the racecar.
"That helped me everywhere," radioed Andretti. "I can drive a little more around the track."
Despite the improvements to the racecar, Andretti was passed by leader Matt Kenseth on lap 108 and went one lap down in the running order. Andretti began battling a tight condition on track and by the mid-point of the race he was posted in the 37th position running two laps down to Kenseth.
Andretti continued to relay to the BAM Racing team that the car was tight. The crew used a series of pit stops under caution to make adjustments. When green flag pits stops began on lap 289, Andretti was running in the 27th position three laps down to the leader.
Andretti came to pit road on lap 313 under green flag conditions for four tires and fuel. When green flags pit stops cycled through, Andretti was posted in 32nd place.
As the race began to wind down, the action on track did not. The last 100 laps of the race saw six cautions and two red flag periods. Unfortunately, Andretti was involved in an accident on lap 364 on the backstretch. The Paralyzed Veterans Dodge was substantially damaged and Andretti was checked and released from the infield care center. He finished the race in 37th place.
"We worked hard on the Paralyzed Veterans Dodge all afternoon," commented crew chief Dean Johnson. "A track like Dover can be a challenge. We tried different things in order to learn more about the Car of Tomorrow. There were a lot of accidents and unfortunately we were part of one. We'll regroup and move forward to Kansas next week."