BUSCH: Dover II: Brad Coleman preview

Coleman Set to Meet Monster at Dover Joe Gibbs Racing Teenager to Run Monster Mile for the First Time Charlotte, NC (September 17, 2007) -- Brad Coleman has already had Top 5 success at a one mile track this season. He has also had success...

Coleman Set to Meet Monster at Dover
Joe Gibbs Racing Teenager to Run Monster Mile for the First Time

Charlotte, NC (September 17, 2007) -- Brad Coleman has already had Top 5 success at a one mile track this season. He has also had success on a concrete track. Now he will try to combine the two as he gets his first opportunity to meet "The Monster Mile" at Dover International Speedway in the RoadLoans.com 200.

The Joe Gibbs Racing rookie standout has seen a lot of tracks for the first time this season, but that has not prevented him from posting some impressive inaugural numbers. His first time at Milwaukee he posted a fourth, at Talladega a ninth, at Montreal an eighth, at Watkins Glen a fifth, a 16th at Texas, a 15th at Michigan and a 17th at Bristol, all tracks he had never seen before and running against a host of Nextel Cup drivers at each event.

"We've been really fortunate to have strong finishes at tracks I have never raced," stated Coleman. "I am looking forward to adding The Monster Mile to that list and can promise you my great team at JGR will bring the No. 18 Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet into Dover ready to race."

The Joe Gibbs Racing standout has not been in a race car since his Top 20 finish at Bristol almost a month ago, but the youngster has proven his innate ability to jump in behind the wheel after a layoff and bring home top finishes all season long. After his first schedule gap, he returned to post a Top 10 at Talladega. Following a six week layoff he turned in consecutive Top 5's with a 2nd at Kentucky and 4th at Milwaukee. After the next four week layoff he was running Top 10 at St. Louis prior to a late race incident, followed by a Top 10 at Montreal and Top 5 at Watkins Glen.

"I am really looking forward to being in the race car full time in 2008," stated Coleman. "We have been blessed to have great success throughout the 2007 season but not being in the car every week is tough. It is tough on the crew, tough on the driver, and tough on the media. I was in the pits at Richmond supporting my team last week and the No. 18 was involved in an accident. The announcer at the track said "And Brad Coleman has just been involved in a wreck in turn two". I wasn't even in the car that weekend!"

Coleman's run at another top finish will be a challenge for a number of reasons at Dover, most noteworthy being the large contingent of Nextel Cup drivers he will race against as well as the experienced Busch Series regulars who raced there this spring.

Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff doesn't think it will matter.

"Brad has consistently shown us all season he has a special gift behind the wheel, regardless of what situation you put him in," said Ratcliff. "He has put up some very impressive numbers this year, especially when you consider he was the youngest in the series, not in the car every week, running tracks he had never seen, and competing against a lot of Nextel Cup drivers along the way."

In just 14 races for JGR in 2007, the impressive youngster has posted three Top 5's, five Top 10's, seven Top 15's and nine Top 20's along with winning the Pole at Talladega and outside Pole at Bristol. Coleman's next race following Dover is not until October 27 in Memphis.

-credit: jgr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Brad Coleman
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing