Tough Night for McCumbee Still Nets a Top-15 at Lowes Friday, May 15th -- Lowes Motor Speedway - Chad McCumbee and the SS Green Light Racing team had high hopes for Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education...
Tough Night for McCumbee Still Nets a Top-15 at Lowes
Friday, May 15th -- Lowes Motor Speedway - Chad McCumbee and the SS Green Light Racing team had high hopes for Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200. The night ended with McCumbee feeling more like he had just finished riding a roller coaster than a 200-mile NASCAR race. The #07 finished the event fifteenth to fellow Chevy driver Ron Hornaday.
Qualifying was halted when a brief rain shower the rolled over the Lowes Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon halfway through the NCWTS qualifying session giving McCumbee the eighth starting spot based on owners points for the race that kicked-off NASCAR's All Star race week.
The field took the green flag Friday evening and Chad quickly moved towards the top-five. Chad narrowly avoided disaster early on when Matt Crafton got loose as Chad was passing him on the outside on lap three. The ASI Limited Chevy was fast on new tires, but the speed would fade as the run went on and Chad began to loose time to the leaders; falling to seventh on lap ten and dropping to eighth on lap twenty-two.
The first caution fell on lap twenty-six when Timothy Peters went for a spin and bounced hard off the inside wall. Crew Chief Bobby Dotter took a chance and only took fuel on the ensuing pit stop putting Chad out front when racing resumed. Chad held the top spot for several laps when a huge wreck involving Mike Skinner and TJ Bell halted the race on lap thirty-three. LMS crews had to repair the safer barrier on the front stretch leading to a short red-flag condition.
McCumbee stayed on the point for five laps after the race resumed before Colin Braun passed the #07 on lap forty-five. Chad struggled as the older tires were loosing speed and the trucks with new tires began catching him one by one. Chad managed to stay in the top-ten until lap sixty. The SS Green Light team needed a caution, as the truck was getting tighter with each lap but luck would not be on their side as Chad continued to fall in the running order. He was lapped on lap eighty-six and finally a caution came out on lap eighty-eight when Kyle Busch tapped Colin Braun who spun into Brian Scott, eliminating the race leader form competition.
It took several cautions for Chad to position himself to earn a "lucky dog" pass which he was awarded on lap 108, getting back on the lead lap. Chad brought ASI Limited Chevy to pit road for new tires and fuel and looked poised to make a run into the top-ten at the finish, but once again the truck got tight and McCumbee was relegated to fifteenth place.
McCumbee stayed positive despite the disappointing finish. "It was a crazy night; it felt so good a the start, then we dropped back but I could stay in the top-ten. We got up front on the pit deal and the truck felt pretty good, we could stay up there for a while and then we dropped way off." He said after the race, "The truck would get real tight after about 5 laps; it just wouldn't turn, I'm not sure but we might have had something binding in the rear end, I don't know. I trust Bobby and the SS Green Light guys will figure it out. We got a lead lap finish, but we really were looking for a top-five or top-ten run for ASI Limited tonight."
McCumbee remains eighth in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, 196 points behind Hornaday. The NCWTS has a week off before heading to Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 29th. The SS Green Light team is actively pursuing marketing partners for the event.