Houston's Efforts Hobbled by Late Race Crash; Team ASE/Carquest Dodge Driver Finishes 23rd at Michigan BROOKLYN, MI (July 31, 2004) - Andy Houston was doing all he could to gain positions at the end of the Linex 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck ...
Houston's Efforts Hobbled by Late Race Crash; Team ASE/Carquest Dodge Driver Finishes 23rd at Michigan
BROOKLYN, MI (July 31, 2004) - Andy Houston was doing all he could to gain positions at the end of the Linex 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, but instead he ended up with the last thing he wanted - a crash. For the second straight event, Houston's Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was involved in a fracas as the field headed toward the white flag. This week Houston was swept up in an incident on the front stretch involving David Reutimann. The contact with Reutimann's Toyota caused extensive front end damage that dropped Houston to the end of the lead lap and relegated him to a disappointing 23rd place finish.
"I don't know what we have to do to get some decent luck at the end of the race," Houston said after the race. "It is a shame because everybody on this Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge crew deserves a better fate than we ended up with today. It is disappointing because we raced hard for every position that we got on the racetrack, and then because of something basically out of our control we had to give them all back at the end."
Houston started the event in the 17th position after rain washed out qualifying on Friday. He swiftly moved his Dodge up through the field over the first 25 laps, his lap times indicating he was a match for the leaders during the first stage of the race. When caution fell on lap 23, Houston's Ultra Motorsports pit crew gave him a boost by gaining him several spots on pit road. Unfortunately, Houston's second set of tires did not suit the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge as well as his first set, and the handling on Houston's Dodge took a turn for the worse. Crew Chief Trip Bruce made a series of adjustments designed to tighten up Houston's ride when the race's third caution flag fell on lap 68. Houston fought his way back up through the field again and weathered a series of caution flags toward the end but could not dodge the race's final calamity when Reutimann spun coming off of turn four on lap 98.
"On that first run the truck was really good," Houston claimed. "It was a little loose in and a little tight off but then it came in about halfway through the run. I told the guys not to make any adjustments because it looked pretty good right there. The second set of tires just made the truck really loose from the center of the corner off. We made some adjustments on that last stop and we were working hard there at the end to get every position possible. We just got caught up by the 17 when he spun there at the end."
The next race on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule is slated for Friday August 6th at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Power Stroke Diesel 200 will be broadcast live nationally on The Speed Channel, MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio at 8pm ET.