Mission accomplished for Compton in Homestead.
Homestead FL (November 18, 2002) - Stacy Compton finished up the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series Season with a 7th place qualifying effort and a 13th place finish at the Homestead/Miami Speedway. As the season reached it's end, it left the Kingsford/Johnsonville team to reflect on what it had accomplished this year. The goals for the season included winning at least two poles, winning at least two races, and finishing in the top 10 in points.
Although the Compton didn't win poles, he significantly improved on the team's qualifying history, improving their average start from 25th place in 2001 to 11th place in 2002, including five starts inside the top five. The team didn't win a race but accumulated three runner-up finishes and five top-five runs, more top fives than they had achieved in the previous two seasons combined.
The loftiest goal was to move into the next echelon by finishing in the prestigious "top 10 in points." When the race began in Homestead, Compton was 79 points out of seventh place, but a mere 29 points out of eleventh place. That put some significant pressure on team and driver as the green flag dropped on the season finale. Reflected Compton after the event, "We were pretty sporty in the final happy hour practice on Friday, but the weather and track conditions were totally different for the race. The car was extremely tight throughout the day. I knew how hard we had all worked to achieve our goals this season and I was determined to do whatever it took to deliver a top 10 points finish to our Sponsors. I can tell you that I am as exhausted now as I've ever been after a race."
Commented Crew Chief Steve Plattenberger, "We really missed the chassis setup with the cooler weather today. Stacy drove his heart out and really carried the car to the finish we needed to stay in the top 10 in points. That's what a team is all about - picking each other up and never giving up. I'm really proud of our driver, our Sponsors, and everyone on this team right now. We made huge progress this year and we've got a lot to build on for next season.
A 13th place finish may not be what everyone was looking for on Saturday, but it assured the team a place on stage at the yearend awards banquet as Compton finished the season in 9th place in the standings. After 34 races, 260 plane tickets, 672 hotel nights, and over 100,000 autographs, Stacy Compton and his team can look back with pride on the results of the 2002 campaign and look forward with even greater confidence as they prepare for 2003.
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