FONTANA, CA (May 1, 2004)-After garnering top rookie honors in qualifying, Billy Parker and Duraflame RWI Racing led five laps en route to a 22nd place finish in Saturday's Stater Brother 300 at California Speedway. The five laps, led during both...
FONTANA, CA (May 1, 2004)-After garnering top rookie honors in qualifying, Billy Parker and Duraflame RWI Racing led five laps en route to a 22nd place finish in Saturday's Stater Brother 300 at California Speedway. The five laps, led during both yellow and green flag periods, mark the first laps led in the young history of Duraflame RWI Racing.
Saturday morning was relatively calm in the Duraflame camp, as pre-race preparations were rather routine. With temperatures expected to rise into the 90s by race time, plans were being made to accommodate any changes in track conditions. The attitude in the garage was positive following a stellar qualifying effort on Friday.
Parker started the race in 11th position and moved into the top ten quickly, occupying sixth position by lap ten. Following a 14.16 second pit stop on lap 52, Parker remained in the top ten, scored in the tenth position.
The caution flag flew on lap 65 for a spin on pit road by #51-Stan Boyd. The yellow period brought the majority of the leaders to pit road for service. However, the Duraflame RWI Racing team elected to stay on the race track, due to the small number of laps on the current tires. This move allowed Parker to take over the lead of the race, which he held for five laps. The five laps included the halfway lap of the race, for which the team won the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award.
With the worn tires however, Parker struggled to hang on to the lead pack and fell to 15th place by lap 85. The caution flag would fly once again however, on lap 87. This gave the Duraflame team an opportunity to bring the car to pit road and adjust the car to correct a loose condition. Following a 15.16 second, four-tire stop, Parker exited the pits in 15th position.
The adjustments however, were too much and Parker was forced to fight a tight condition. This would send Parker towards the back-markers and resulted in contact with the lapped car of #24-Shane Hmeil. The contact caused severe aerodynamic damage to the Duraflame Dodge, worsening the tight condition. By lap 100, Parker was scored in the 23rd position.
The team made a green flag pit stop, their final one, on lap 131 for four tires and damage repair. The 20.92 second stop put Parker in 27th position for the run to the finish. As a result of several teams stretching their fuel mileage too far, Parker was able to climb into the 22nd position, where he would ultimately finish.
The next race for Duraflame RWI Racing is the May 8th Charter 250 at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri. The race marks the return of one of Missouri's most revered athletes, Rusty Wallace, to his hometown. A St. Louis native, Wallace has been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and has an enormous following in his home state. Both qualifying and the race will take place on May 8th. The Charter 250 has a 7:30 PM local start time with live coverage by FX-TV and MRN Radio.
For more information on Billy Parker, Rusty Wallace and Duraflame RWI Racing, please visit: www.rustywallace.com and www.rwiracing.com.
Billy Parker, Driver-"We had a really good car today; the circumstances just weren't right. We decided not to pit with everyone else under that caution and it turned out to bite us. I just couldn't keep up with those guys on new tires and it got us back there where we shouldn't have been. The 24 car just ran into the side of us going down the straightaway and it killed the aero on the car. The Duraflame Dodge just got way tight after that and our day was done. It's a shame, but we'll get there. We tested really well at Gateway, so we'll go get them there."