Frustrating finish to a strong eeek for Compton. DAYTONA, FL. (February 15, 2003) - The Kingsford/Johnsonville team literally watched a great Daytona Speedweek performance go up in flames during the running of the Busch Series Koolerz 300 race...
Frustrating finish to a strong eeek for Compton.
DAYTONA, FL. (February 15, 2003) - The Kingsford/Johnsonville team literally watched a great Daytona Speedweek performance go up in flames during the running of the Busch Series Koolerz 300 race on Saturday. Throughout the week Stacy Compton was a strong presence on the time charts, qualifying in the 12th position and remaining in the top 5 fastest cars during each practice in race trim. As the race progressed, Compton ran comfortably between 6th and 12th position as he waited to make a big move near the end of the race.
Reflected Compton after the race, "The car was awfully strong all week and we were good during the race. We weren't getting a lot of drafting help early on, but the few times that we did get a partner, we were able to run down the leaders and join the lead draft. I was really just riding, saving the equipment for a big run at the end of the race when I felt the car run over something large. Shortly after that, I heard a pop as the right front tire blew and the car shot up the track and into the wall. The rest of the activity was a blur as I tried to avoid oncoming traffic and still get the car stopped to get out of the flames."
The spectacular accident occurred on lap 74 of the 120-lap event and relegated Compton to a 38th place finish. Commented Crew Chief Steve Plattenberger, "I'm heartbroken because we had a legitimate shot at winning this race. Stacy did a great job all week and the team worked well together. I'm just glad that Stacy is all right. That was a nasty looking accident and the car got pretty burned up. This digs us a hole in the points race, so we will have to be on our game every week from here on out."
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the race, leading the entire final half of the event on his way to his third victory of Speedweek. The team heads to Rockingham next weekend, a place that Compton had considered his nemesis before he broke through with a top five finish there in last fall's Busch event.