Moving from the Pocono Mountains to the Irish Hills of Michigan, Brennan Newberry and the No. 24 Qore-24 Chevrolet team entered the weekend at Michigan International Speedway with momentum on their side for the National Guard 200, following their career-best finish of 10th at Pocono Raceway.
With hard racing early in the 100-lap event, Newberry moved up to 12th on lap nine before slipping back to 14th when the second caution was displayed on lap 16. Reporting to the team that his Qore-24 Chevrolet Silverado was free in traffic, the team called Newberry to pit road for a track-bar adjustment and fuel only. The race restarted on lap 20 with Newberry running in the 11th spot.
Battling for track position, Newberry found himself maintaining his position in the top 15 when the caution was again displayed for a multi-truck incident in turn four in front of the No. 24 Qore-24 Chevrolet. Newberry did a great job avoiding the spinning trucks and was able to restart the race on lap 32 in the seventh position.
Under a long-green flag run, Newberry reported to the team "as the track gets hotter, the truck gets more free." Newberry was scored in the 10th spot at the halfway point of the race.
Five laps later the caution came out again on lap 55 for debris in turn two, and the team called Newberry to pit road for four tires with an air-pressure adjustment and fuel. With the race back under green-flag conditions, Newberry reported to the team that he had a vibration and on lap 64 retuned to pit road for four tires and to top off with fuel.
Newberry would go a lap down after making the unscheduled green-flag stop, but with luck on his side, the caution waved on lap 65 awarding Newberry the "Lucky Dog" and putting him back on the lead lap. Newberry returned to pit road on lap 67 to repair damage sustained to the left side of his Chevrolet and restarted the race on lap 69 in the 17th position.
Focused on getting back in the top 10, Newberry was able to take over 12th before the sixth caution of the race was displayed on lap 76 for a spin behind Newberry. Reporting his Silverado was too free in traffic, crew chief Eddie Pardue called Newberry to pit road for adjustments. The race restarted on lap 78 with Newberry in the 11th position.
Newberry slipped as low as 16th on lap 87 before making his final charge toward the front of the field over the closing laps of the 100-lap race. Under the final caution on lap 90, Newberry pitted for another round of adjustments and restarted the race in the 14th spot on lap 94.
With a six lap shootout to the finish, Newberry worked his way as high as 10th on lap 96; eventually finishing the race 12th behind teammate Ron Hornaday. The finish marked Newberry's second straight top-15 finish and sixth top-20 finish of the 2013 season.
Newberry Knowledge: "I actually think we carried the momentum over from our top-10 finish in Pocono. We started out really good, we didn't qualify where we wanted to in 18th, but I believe after the initial start we were close to the top 10 and the truck was working really good. The last time I was at Michigan, my truck was really, really loose and today I was just happy I could be full throttle with all the guys in traffic.
I knew after drafting in practice we were going to be really good. Eddie (Pardue, crew chief) tightened me up which didn't help us in qualifying, but gave us a really good truck for the start of the race. My spotter Rick Carelli just kept telling me how to use momentum. He really got me through today, he kept talking about momentum, momentum.
We had one incident in the race where I felt we had a tire going down and we lost our track position and came in a couple of times to fix the damage we had through racing. When it came down to the final restart with six laps to go, we gained a lot of positions and I thought we were on our way to another top-10 finish, but I am just as happy coming in 12th."