DOVER, Del. (September 25, 2000)- Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil team received an education in racing this weekend with a 16th place finish at Dover Downs. Neither Tolsma nor crew chief Gary Showalter had ever raced at The...
DOVER, Del. (September 25, 2000)- Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil team received an education in racing this weekend with a 16th place finish at Dover Downs. Neither Tolsma nor crew chief Gary Showalter had ever raced at The Monster Mile prior to this weekend, and will take some valuable lessons with them for next year.
Tolsma qualified the truck in the 15th position, improving from practice times. This was a successful run since the team worked extremely hard during the optional test date and practice sessions to find the best setup. Dover is a notoriously tough track and it was a challenging task to find the right combination for speed, performance, and driver comfort.
Shortly after the green flag dropped on the 200 mile event, Tolsma radioed to Showalter the truck was extremely tight - so tight he could barely turn it. He said the truck had no grip and the tires were not responding to the heat after making many laps. Tolsma felt there was something wrong as he fell back to the 20th position.
On the first pit stop at lap 53, the crew made air pressure adjustments, added two spring rubbers, and made a track bar adjustment in an attempt to battle the tight condition.
The next opportunity to pit came on lap 79, when the team asked Tolsma to come in for major adjustments. The crew changed the right front shock and made a track bar adjustment. When Tolsma went back out onto the track the truck was still tight in the center and exiting the corner.
On lap 110, Tolsma commented the truck was much better and began to show lap times as fast as the leaders. Tolsma made valiant attempts to gain his lost laps back, but accidents and cautions continued to occur halting efforts to gain track position on green flag runs.
Following the race, Showalter said, "Sometimes it costs you a race to learn about a track. We definitely learned a lot about Dover and the truck. We'll be better here next time."
The next event for the CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team is at Texas Motor Speedway where Tolsma has been stellar in the past and looks forward to collecting another victory to finish the season.