Loudon: Chad Chaffin race report

CHAFFIN AND BAM RACING JOIN FORCES AND GARNER ATTENTION IN LOUDON No. 49 team makes first start in ten events with much success by running smart race LOUDON, N.H. (July 1, 2007) -- BAM Racing welcomed Chad Chaffin as driver of the Paralyzed...

CHAFFIN AND BAM RACING JOIN FORCES AND GARNER ATTENTION IN LOUDON
No. 49 team makes first start in ten events with much success by running smart race

LOUDON, N.H. (July 1, 2007) -- BAM Racing welcomed Chad Chaffin as driver of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge at New Hampshire International Speedway. Both team and driver garnered attention when after missing the race by a fraction of a second they were granted a starting position in the Lenox Tools 300 after another competitor's qualifying time was disallowed. The BAM Racing team made its first start in ten races and Chaffin made his first NEXTEL Cup Series start of the season.

With 49 teams entered in the race, six teams would not qualify for the race on Sunday. The 13th competitor to take the track, Chaffin posted a fast lap time of 30.128 seconds at a speed of 126.421 miles per hour. The effort was the 39th fastest overall, but with current owner points rules the No. 49 Dodge was the first car out of the race by three-thousandths of a second.

However, during post-qualifying technical inspection the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota driven by Brian Vickers was deemed too low on the left front and the team's qualifying time was disallowed. Chaffin and the No. 49 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge were next in line to make the race and were granted the 43rd starting position on Sunday.

As racing action was set to begin before an estimated crowd of 101,000 fans, crew chief Lee McCall reminded his driver and team about the importance of running a smart race.

"This is going to end up being a fuel mileage race," radioed McCall. "So when it looks like the cars in front of you are going to pit, we'll come in as well. Let's have a smart race and we'll be there at the end."

It only took five laps of racing before the first of six caution periods came out after the No. 4 car driven by Ward Burton blew an engine. Most teams decided not to make pit stops and the No. 49 team decided to stay on track as well. Chaffin restarted the race in the 40th position.

A long green flag run ensued and teams started making pit stops around lap 67. Chaffin reported that the car was tight and brought the Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge to pit road on lap 69 for four tires, fuel, track bar and air pressure adjustments. After the pit stops cycled through, Chaffin was running in the 40th position.

When another caution came out on lap 97, Chaffin reported that the racecar was too loose.

"The car is really loose and I just couldn't get going," radioed Chaffin. "It's real twitchy. Whatever you did last time was a little too much."

Chaffin brought the No. 49 Dodge to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. He restarted the race on lap 102 in the 40th position.

Almost immediately, Chaffin reported a problem. "I believe I've got a tire down," he said. "I hate to come in and throw it all away but the car is really laying over."

Taking no chances, the team brought the car to pit road for right side tires and fuel. Although no tire problem was found, the team did not loose any track position and Chaffin returned to the race in the 40th position.

By the mid-point of the race, Chaffin was running in the 37th position four laps down to the leader. When another round of green flag pit stops began, Chaffin came to pit road on lap 198 for four tires and fuel.

When the caution came out for debris on lap 253, Chaffin made another pit stop for four tires and fuel. After the restart, he was running in the 35th position when he reported a bad vibration. He radioed the team that he had a loose wheel. He came to pit road on lap 270 for four tires and fuel.

With 30 laps to go, Chaffin remained on track and reported the car was the best it had been all day. He posted lap times comparable to those of the leaders and finished the race in the 36th position. The BAM Racing team gained one position in the owner points standings moving up to the 47th position.

"I am proud of the effort we all put forth this weekend," said Chaffin. "This was my first weekend with the team and my first time in a Car of Tomorrow. Overall, I think we did very well. Even though we made the race after another car was sent home, we deserved to be here as we only missed the race by a fraction of a second. We ran a smart race and learned a lot. I look forward to racing with the BAM Racing team again in Chicago."

-credit: bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Chad Chaffin , Brian Vickers