Rookie Earns Career Best Finish July 19, 2004 (Madison, Illinois) - For the second time in three weeks, Chase Montgomery earned his career best finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Montgomery steered his ...
Rookie Earns Career Best Finish
July 19, 2004 (Madison, Illinois) - For the second time in three weeks, Chase Montgomery earned his career best finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Montgomery steered his #8 DODGE clear of late race trouble on his way to a 12th place finish in the running of the Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 at the Gateway International Raceway.
"That was some kind of wild finish out there," stated Chase. "There at the end I was just focusing on picking up as many positions as I could on the track while staying out of the wild happenings. We battled with the handling on our DODGE truck a little tonight but the guys on the crew kept making adjustments that helped us some. In all, to keep the fenders on the truck and come home with our career best is a pretty good run for us. "
This marked the first visit to the tricky 1.25-mile oval for the 20-year-old rookie. In turn, the only practice session before qualifying on Friday saw Chase turn the most laps of all the competitors as he acquainted himself with the track. These laps would pay dividends in the race on Saturday where Montgomery would start from the 24th spot as a result of his qualifying effort.
Under beautiful skies on Saturday night, the green flag flew for the 160 laps of the Ram Tough 200. From the beginning, Chase slowly piloted his #8 DODGE forward in the field as his comfort level with the track grew. A pit stop on lap 26 allowed for fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a minor air adjustment to aid the Mt. Juliet, Tennessee native once back under green flag racing. The change did not seem to help out that much and another pit stop was made on lap 67 for further adjustments.
Montgomery hovered around the top 20 until the last 50 laps of the event saw him gradually pick up more positions on the track. The third and final pit stop of the evening on lap 107 helped with four fresh tires, fuel and one last adjustment on the #8 DODGE. A restart on lap 160 for a green/white/checkered finish saw Chase and his #8 DODGE tangle with a few other trucks going into Turn 1 and the result was a little damage to the right front fender. This would turn out to be the first of a record four attempted green/white/checkered finishes. After the spin and subsequent caution on lap 160, Montgomery held his own and kept his nose clean the rest of the way and in the process picked up valuable positions to record the career best finish of 12th.
"I am not real sure what happened out there on that first green/white/checkered," said Montgomery. "We were all being aggressive and getting what we could at the end - I would say just great racing in this series. After that, I played it safe and it got even wilder out there. We battled with the handling on our truck tonight but we all worked with what we had and we came home with a good finish. The team and I are all improving and I look for us to be getting these types of finishes on a regular basis. "
The 12th place finish was the 6th top 20 of the season for Chase and his 5th out of the last six races. The finish kept him in the 22nd spot in the overall driver's standings. He also maintains his 5th spot in the highly contested battle for the Rookie of the Year honor.
Chase and his BHR2 team will now utilize the much deserved week off to continue their efforts in improving the program as they will participate in a test session this week at the Kentucky Speedway. The next event for the series will be on July 31st at the Michigan International Speedway.
For more information on Chase and his team, please visit them at www.chasemontgomery.com