Phoenix: Chad McCumbee race report

McCumbee Scores Top-15 in the Desert November 13th, Phoenix International Raceway -- Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 plenty of promise for Chad McCumbee and the SS Green Light team with a new truck, a great starting position and the support of ...

McCumbee Scores Top-15 in the Desert

November 13th, Phoenix International Raceway -- Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 plenty of promise for Chad McCumbee and the SS Green Light team with a new truck, a great starting position and the support of tiwi and Valvoline promoting the "Fuel Proof Guarantee" on his No. 07 Chevrolet. Friday the 13th proved unlucky as an ill-handling truck resulted in a 15th place finish behind Kevin Harvick who won the NCWTS race for a second straight year at the one-mile track.

The No. 07 tiwi/Valvoline Fuel Proof Guarantee Chevrolet was solid in Thursdays practice sessions with Chad running well into the top-15 in both sessions. Chad pulled off as tremendous lap in qualifying posting the seventh quickest time and the best starting position of the year for the SS Green Light team on a short-track.

When the green fell Chad new immediately that his truck was too loose to stay with the lead trucks. Unable to get hard on the gas in the center of the corner, the No. 07 fell back in the running order during an early green flag run dropping all the way back to 16th on lap 35 when the caution flew for a spin by Brad Sweet.

Bobby Dotter and the SS Green Light team made adjustments to tighten up the truck and he restarted in 18th place and with the truck handling somewhat better moved up several places. Even with the adjustments, Chad could not avoid being lapped on lap 87 by Aric Almirola who was setting a blistering pace while leading the field for much of the race.

The caution flew on lap 91 but Chad missed the lucky dog pass as Almirola had just passed another truck. McCumbee missed several more chances to gain back his lap before finally getting the free pass on lap 134 when Kevin Conway hit the wall bringing out the races fifth caution. Chad came into the pits for some more adjustments after earning the lucky dog to make a sprint towards the finish.

Restarting 18th with eleven laps remaining and with the truck handling much better, two more cautions in the closing laps slowed Chad's progress to move up in the running order and the No. 07 finished the night in 15th place. "I just couldn't get back to the gas like I needed to early in the race," McCumbee said. "The tiwi/Valvoline Chevy was strong at the end, but there was just not enough laps to get back to the top-ten."

"We have been working hard to get our short-track program on par with our intermediate stuff. A top-15 would have been a solid finish for us in the past, but we really wanted to get a top-ten this week," he added. "We have one more race to get tiwi and Valvoline to the front of the field and Homestead should be a great track to do that. We've shown the speed, we need to get the finish."

The final race of the NCWTS 2009 season is at 8:00 pm Friday night November 20th at the Miami-Homestead Speedway. McCumbee and the No 07 team will again sport the "Fuel Proof Guarantee" on the hood of the tiwi/Valvoline Chevy.

-credit: ssglr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Bobby Dotter , Kevin Conway , Aric Almirola , Chad McCumbee , Brad Sweet