BUSCH: Dover II: Dion Ciccarelli race notes

Dion Ciccarelli Brings "Bad Boys Of The Bering Sea" Sixteenth Place Finish At Dover Dover, Del. (Sept. 21, 2007) - Having the crew from Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" on Dion Ciccarelli's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series...

Dion Ciccarelli Brings "Bad Boys Of The Bering Sea" Sixteenth Place Finish At Dover

Dover, Del. (Sept. 21, 2007) - Having the crew from Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" on Dion Ciccarelli's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series team might be a humbling experience. After all, those fishermen are involved in a line of work that makes a race car driver's job look comparatively easy. But Ciccarelli showed that driving a NASCAR stock car at the steeply-banked Dover International Speedway isn't as easy as it looks, wrestling an ill-handling race car to a sixteenth-place finish in the East Series finale.

Ciccarelli, who enjoyed the company of the Bad Boys of the Bering Sea along with plenty other sponsors and guests, turned his attention to practice on Thursday and found his new Predator chassis car to need some adjusting. While the entire Jamerson Motorsports team worked to improve things, a little extra help came from elsewhere in the garage area.

"I've got to thank the crew chief from the 66 team who helped us out a lot with our front end geometry," he said. "Both here and at Loudon last week, the car just didn't turn. After getting some advice from those guys we changed a whole bunch of stuff in the front end and the car started working."

While not yet completely up to speed in qualifying, Ciccarelli got a provisional starting spot and was set to race from the 28th position. With the handling still not to his liking, he tried the best way to get a car to work better, by putting the hammer down.

"I got to the point where I was just mashing the gas and driving as hard as I could," he said. "I don't know if the linkage was binding up before or it was hanging up on the firewall but I punched it a little bit more and the engine just came to life."

Encouraged by finding more straight-line speed, Ciccarelli pitted for some chassis tweaks during the course of the event and those changes were making him a happier driver. He got back on the lead lap during a lap 113 caution and raced his way to a sixteenth-place finish despite losing his power steering with less than ten laps to go.

"We made a couple of changes to the chassis and by the end of the race that thing was handling pretty good," he said. "I was heading for a top fifteen and running down the cars in front of me and putting up good lap times and having a great time. The Bad Boys of the Bering Sea are a bunch of wild guys and they were going to do all kinds of crazy things to me if I didn't run good but I think they're going to let me off the hook."

Performing well with so many friends and sponsors was important to Jamerson Motorsports, which was treated to a clambake during the day Friday thanks to Capt'n Chucky's Crab Cake Co. and Olde Philadelphia Soda.

"We had such a great time with everyone who came out here," he said. "The guys from Star Sales were here and they had a blast. Everyone's happy that we came out of here and got running good towards the end. If we had a fresh motor, I think we would have had something for them."

With the Busch East Series season over, Ciccarelli's already thinking about 2008 and the preparations required to make another run at success in the NASCAR regional touring series.

"I was thinking I could use a couple weeks away from the shop after this race was over," he said, "but now I think I'm going to be in there the first chance I get starting to go through everything to see where we can get better. We ended the season on a happy note and after the two races before this one, we really needed that. We finished up the year in better shape than we started. I've got two complete cars ready to go and a motor that has to go get freshened up. If we spend our money wisely we could come out of the box in 2008 with some really good equipment and ready to race."

-credit: dc/ajc

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Series NASCAR XFINITY