Montgomery's Strong Run Derailed By "The Big One" Rookie Contender Impressive With Front Row Start. February 16, 2004 (Daytona Beach, Florida) -- In his short racing career, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery has developed a...
Montgomery's Strong Run Derailed By "The Big One"
Rookie Contender Impressive With Front Row Start.
February 16, 2004 (Daytona Beach, Florida) -- In his short racing career, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery has developed a very impressive list of accomplishments at the Daytona International Speedway. He added to that list with his front row qualifying effort in the running of the Florida Dodge Dealers 250.
However, the race was held on the dreaded Friday the 13th and this seemed to be bad luck for the 20 year old as he got caught up in a 15 truck wreck on Lap 51 which ended his day prematurely and resulted in a 31st place finish in the season opener.
"I am not sure what happened but I saw a few trucks just ahead of me get together and then it was total mayhem," said Montgomery. "I backed down the #8 DODGE and thought I was going to miss it and then someone just drilled me very hard from behind. It was a little frustrating because we were running very strong and I think we had something for them at the end of the race."
Montgomery and his #8 DODGE team were strong all week as they settled around the top of the speed charts in all of the practice sessions. The Rookie of the Year contender had a legitimate shot at his 2nd career pole at the famed 2.5 mile speedway (Chase is the youngest pole winner in the history of the track having won the award for the 2002 ARCA race at the tender age of 18). His effort just fell a bit short and he settled for the outside pole with a lap of 49.150 for a speed of 183.113 mph.
With a threat of rain in the area on race night and the date on the calendar reading Friday the 13th, the race began with a flurry of action and wildness. With 2 cautions periods in the first 10 laps and fighting a tight condition, Montgomery fell back to around the 15th spot in the field. A lap 29 pit stop proved beneficial as an air pressure adjustment on a new set of Goodyear Wranglers helped the handling of the #8 DODGE truck.
As the race reached the halfway point Chase was quickly moving up through the field and posting some consistently fast lap times. As he reached the top 10, disaster struck with "The Big One" on lap 51 which resulted in the 31st place finish. "The finish is not indicative of the type of truck or race we had," stated Chase. "My guys worked as hard as anyone else in the garage area and they gave me a great truck which was evident by our 2nd place qualifying effort. I think we had atleast a top 10 truck and with some luck we may have been the team in victory lane. But in all, it was a good opening week for the team and gives us a big confidence boost to start the season with. We have a great package here with Bobby Hamilton Racing and Arrington Engines and we look for some great things this season."
In addition to season long associate sponsor, Gladiator Garageworks, Chase and his #8 BHR2 team received some very appreciated one race sponsorships support for the season opening event. Adorning the hood on the #8 DODGE was Miller-Leaman Inc. (filtration company) of the Daytona Beach area. Also helping out for the season opening event was Tribout.com and the Nashville Music City Motorplex.
Next up for Montgomery and his BHR2 team is the March 13th event at the 1.5 mile speed plant of the Atlanta Motor Speedway.