RENSHAW HAS CAREER DAY AT THE "MONSTER MILE" "Driver Applauds Team Effort" DOVER, DE (June 6, 2005) -- The Dover International Speedway is known as the "Monster Mile" due to its difficulty on drivers and their machines. The first trip to the...
RENSHAW HAS CAREER DAY AT THE "MONSTER MILE"
"Driver Applauds Team Effort"
DOVER, DE (June 6, 2005) -- The Dover International Speedway is known as the "Monster Mile" due to its difficulty on drivers and their machines. The first trip to the track is often intimidating for drivers as the track usually lives up to its appropriate nickname. Deborah Renshaw brushed the legend of the track away and quickly claimed the one-mile concrete oval as her new favorite track as she piloted her No. 8 EasyCare DODGE to a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career best 12th-place finish in the running of the rain-delayed MBNA RacePoints 200 on Saturday.
"My team gave me an awesome truck this week," said Renshaw. "We came here and tested a few weeks ago and that paid tremendous dividends for me. I had always heard about how tough this track was - so to be able to test was a big benefit for me. We had a great test and I was comfortable when we unloaded our No. 8 DODGE this week."
Deborah turned a few heads when she jumped to the top of the speed charts with her first laps on the track during the first practice session on Thursday. She would end the session sixth fastest and set her sights on a possible career best qualifying effort later in the day. Unfortunately, Renshaw would post the 30th quickest time in the qualifying session.
"I am not sure what happened with my qualifying run," stated Deborah. "I guess I just need to figure out this qualifying deal so that we can get some better starting positions for these races. I think it is just a mindset that I need to acquire and I am sure I will in due time -- but hopefully sooner than later."
Renshaw and her BHR2 team would have to wait an extra day for the running of the 200-lap event as rain moved into the Dover area on Friday and forced postponement of the race until Saturday after the running of the NASCAR Busch Series event. The wait turned out to be well worth it for the Bowling Green, Kentucky native and her Tennessee-based team. The green flag on late Saturday afternoon saw the No. 8 EasyCare DODGE aggressively improve its position on the track and was running in the top 20 by lap 50. As Deborah did a good job of avoiding various troubles on the track; the handling on her truck was continually improved with a few sequences of pit stops with minor adjustments.
"Our truck was just a little tight off the corners but otherwise it was handling great," stated Renshaw. "My guys gave me fantastic pit stops and made the right calls in the pits to make our truck better with each stop. After a few of those adjustments we had a rocket-ship out there and it was awesome."
A long green flag run in the middle portion of the event did see the No. 8 DODGE lose a lap to the leaders but Renshaw impressed many with a strong determination to get in position for the precious "lucky dog" honor and her lap back. Her persistence would pay off when a caution on lap 167 gave the No. 8 truck that lap back and put Deborah back onto the lead lap.
The last 30 laps of the 200-lap event would see Renshaw scratch and claw her way around the "Monster Mile" and fight for every precious final spot in the field. In the end, she would come home with the 12th-place finish and the second best finish ever for a female in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"This is a huge confidence boost for me," said Deborah. "I stated at the beginning of the season that this was the best opportunity of my career but we have not had the results to back that up yet. I still have a tremendous amount to learn in this series and today may have been the best learning experience to date. I ran side by side with the best drivers in this series and held my own all day -- it was nice to have some of them come up to me after the race and congratulate me on a strong run. Not only did I gain that confidence boost for myself but hopefully I gained some respect from the other competitors. As much as I want to dwell on this great run, I need to focus on taking this momentum into what is the busiest stretch of the season for us and back up this run in Texas. I know my team will provide me with another strong truck and maybe we can improve on that career best finish."
Deborah and her BHR2 team set their sights on the running of the Chex 400K on Friday evening at the Texas Motor Speedway.