Blown Tire Plagues No. 71 Team in Atlanta
Mooresville, N.C. (9/7/2011) - While the blossoming peach trees of Georgia received some much needed rain this weekend, the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee pushed Sunday's Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to Tuesday morning.
A blown right front tire and a pair of pit road speeding penalties plagued the No. 71 Interstate Moving Services Ford Fusion team, which ultimately earned a 30th place finish. Rookie driver Andy Lally called the race a learning experience.
"We fought the car all weekend long. However, I don’t think we were alone in that regard. The weather and track conditions were constantly changing on us. We tried some stuff in qualifying that didn’t work as well as we had hoped, which gave us a hole to dig out of when the race started. We were passing cars and even used some pit strategy to lead a lap early on. Just when it looked like we were going to have our day turned around, we cut down a tire and had to pit. I'm proud of my guys for helping us salvage what we could. That's the mark of a good organization. I'm looking forward to going back to Richmond where we had one of our strongest runs of the season earlier this year."
The team is still holds position in the top-35 of NASCAR's Owner's Points Standings by a forty-four point margin, or the equivalent of over a full race. The team earned a 26th place finish in their earlier Richmond appearance this spring.
Team owner Kevin Buckler shared his thoughts on the weekend, saying:
"In racing, there are some things you just can't control. The weather and cut tires were two things completely out of our hands this weekend that hurt us, but at the end of the day…we were fast! The guys worked on the car and at several points in the race we had a real Top 20 car. It's still been a good two months of upward progress for our organization. I firmly believe we are getting better every week. Richmond has historically been a good racetrack for this team. We ran strong there in the spring and I know we have a better program now than we did then. We showed how strong our short track program is at Bristol and I believe Richmond can yield good results for this organization."