WILLIE ALLEN SHINES IN NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES DEBUT Brings No. 47 Chevrolet Nashville Visitors and Convention Bureau Silverado to Checkered Flag in Sixth at Martinsville Martinsville, VA -- When Bon Aqua, TN native Willie Allen got the...
WILLIE ALLEN SHINES IN NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES DEBUT
Brings No. 47 Chevrolet Nashville Visitors and Convention Bureau Silverado to Checkered Flag in Sixth at Martinsville
Martinsville, VA -- When Bon Aqua, TN native Willie Allen got the call to make his NASCAR debut behind the wheel of the No. 47 Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Morgan Dollar Motorsports, the young driver had two goals -- to qualify for the race and to complete all 200 laps of the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
When the checkered flag dropped, Allen had done more than just meet his goals. Starting 21st in the 36-truck field, Allen scored an impressive sixth place finish in his Nashville Visitors and Convention Bureau race truck.
Allen participated in the GM Racing Driver Development test in May at Caraway Speedway. His opportunity to drive the Chevrolet Silverado at Martinsville Speedway came as a result of his performance in the test.
"I am just so excited about today, I am very proud to even be here," said Allen. "I had such a great team with Chevrolet and Randy Goss (crew chief), I just couldn't be more pleased with how today turned out."We started off a little slow, we were so tight. But on our only pit stop, the guys made some good adjustments to our Silverado and I made some adjustments to my driving style, different from my late model. I got in line a stayed there, learning as much as I could. Martinsville is a tough place to pass and I didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize the run we were having. We had a few close calls with people wrecking in front of me, but my spotter Jason (Pasch) helped me work my way around everything and we brought home a great finish for the team. It was a terrific learning experience for me today. I am happy we got such a great finish for everyone on the team."
Allen reported on the radio that the truck was "tight tight tight" so Goss went to work making a plan for adjustments during the pit stop. When Allen came down pit road under yellow on lap 55 of the 200-lap event, the crew insert a rubber in the right rear, moved the trak bar three rounds and made a tire pressure adjustment. The radical changes helped the truck.
When the majority of the lead-lap trucks pitted under caution later in the race, Goss made the call to stay out, a gamble that paid dividends as the race unfolded. Despite several more cautions, Allen did not visit pit road the remainder of the race and ran consistent laps through to the checkered flag.
"I am honored to have Nashville on my truck, it is a great city," Allen concluded. "I am very grateful to all the people who have helped me get to this point. I want to thank Morgan Dollar Motorsports and Chevrolet for the opportunity to drive this No. 47 Silverado; I had a great time out there."
Tentative plans are for Allen to return to the cockpit of the No. 47 Chevrolet Silverado one more time prior to the end of the 2005 season.