Rookie Persistent With Ill-Handling Ride July 13, 2004 (Sparta, Kentucky) - Chase Montgomery has had a roller coaster first season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and it continued Saturday night at the Kentucky Speedway. Montgomery...
Rookie Persistent With Ill-Handling Ride
July 13, 2004 (Sparta, Kentucky) - Chase Montgomery has had a roller coaster first season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and it continued Saturday night at the Kentucky Speedway. Montgomery battled the handling of his #8 DODGE all evening on his way to a 20th place finish in the running of the Built Ford Tough 225 at the 1.5-mile speedway.
"It was really a struggle out there tonight," stated Chase. "We just couldn't seem to get the grip of our truck and it made for an uncomfortable ride out there. But the team all hung together and encouraged me all night and we brought the truck home safely and it was another top 20 finish for us."
For the second week in a row rain showers forced the cancellation of qualifying and the field was set according to the current 2004 owner's points - which placed the 20-year-old in the 24th spot on the starting grid.
The drop of the green flag on Saturday evening saw Montgomery cautiously feel out his #8 DODGE as well as the green, and somewhat still damp, race track as he maintained his position in the middle of the pack. That position would be held throughout the race with pit stops on laps 54 and 100 being used for some major adjustments to improve the handling. The last stop on lap 100 significantly helped the #8 DODGE and the Mt. Juliet, TN native brought it home safely in the 20th position.
"Tonight served as another good learning experience for me and this team," said Montgomery. "We did not have a good handling truck tonight and I struggled as well - but we all worked together as a team and came home with our truck in one piece and a top 20 finish - for that I am proud. I think this is a sign of the growth that we have made as a team so far this season and we all just need to continue to improve and learn from races such as this one."
The 20th place finish was the 5th top 20 of the season for Chase and his 4th out of the last five races. The finish moved him up into the 22nd spot in the overall driver's standings. He also maintains his 5th spot in the highly contested battle for the Rookie of the Year honor.
Chase and his BHR2 now turn their focus to this weekend's event at the 1.25-mile oval of the Gateway International Raceway for the running of the Mo.-Ill. DODGE Dealers Ram Rough 200 to be held Saturday evening.
For more information on Chase and his team, please visit them at www.chasemontgomery.com