Top-10 Still on Back Burner for Ballew and Lester West Allis, WI (June 24, 2007) - Bill Lester took to the track at the famed Milwaukee Mile looking for his first top-10 finish of the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, but battery blues...
Top-10 Still on Back Burner for Ballew and Lester
West Allis, WI (June 24, 2007) - Bill Lester took to the track at the famed Milwaukee Mile looking for his first top-10 finish of the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, but battery blues sent the driver home with a 24th place finish Friday night
Lester was loose in practice and qualifying but the team gambled that the truck would tighten up as the 200-lap/200-mile race unfolded in the evening hours. He placed the No. 15 Floors by Design Chevrolet Silverado in the 22nd spot on the starting grid after posting a time of 30.094 seconds at a speed of 119.625 mph
When the first caution flag waved on lap three, Lester reported that he felt that the grip was pretty good so far on the track. By the first pit stop under caution on lap 68, Lester had reported that the truck had become loose in and tight off the corners. The No. 15 team, led by Doug George, made track bar and air adjustments.
Lester was thrilled about the handling of his Silverado after that adjustment and worked his way into the 16th place for the third restart of the race when suddenly the truck just quit on the backstretch. He tried all the normal restart and kill switch procedures but the truck would not start forcing the track safety workers to push him back to the pit road.
The crew immediately snapped to attention putting in a new battery that solved the problem. Unfortunately, the untimely event caused Lester to go four laps down; laps he was unable to regain after the incident.
Although Lester was multiple laps down he still was running times faster than the leader and was one of the fastest drivers late in the late going of the race according to NASCAR Loop Statistics. Lester was seventh fastest out of the 36-truck field on the backstretch of the Milwaukee mile. He made the majority of his passes on the front stretch improving nine positions on the racetrack in the last 20 laps of the race.
"Man, if we had any luck it would be no luck at all," Lester said. "I'm so disappointed for this team. Doug (George) and this team put a hell of a race truck together for us and I just hate it for them that the battery just died. We had a couple bad stops, which didn't help us, but we should have had a top-10 finish tonight. We had the truck for it and were running the times to be there. We are moving in the right direction and I am hungry for a good finish so it will be only a matter of time before we are right up front where this Billy Ballew Motorsports equipment should be."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to the Memphis Motorsports Park for the running of the O'Reilly 200 event Saturday June 30, 2007.