Memphis Brings Out the Blues for Coleman; Joe Gibbs Racing Teenager One of Many Victims in Crash-Filled Race Charlotte, NC (October 29, 2007) -- After qualifying sixth and running a solid second throughout the first third of the race it ...
Memphis Brings Out the Blues for Coleman; Joe Gibbs Racing Teenager One of Many Victims in Crash-Filled Race
Charlotte, NC (October 29, 2007) -- After qualifying sixth and running a solid second throughout the first third of the race it looked like another Top 5 was in the cards for JGR's Brad Coleman in the Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Ultimately, the successful rookie was relegated to a 33rd place finish in the caution-filled crash-fest. Of the 253 laps run for the race, an astounding 117 or 46% of the laps were turned under the yellow flag.
"I am really disappointed with this outcome for my Joe Gibbs Racing team because I know we at least had a 2nd place car here in Memphis," stated Coleman. "We ran well in all the practices, we qualified well and were carrying that momentum with us in the race until he (#71 Ron Young) just slowed right in front of me in the corner. I didn't hit him on purpose but I had nowhere to go."
On lap 52, with Coleman directly behind the #71 car of Ron Young and the entire field behind Coleman, the cars headed into turn three where Young abruptly scrubbed speed and gave Coleman no choice but to plow into his rear bumper, sending him spinning and causing the caution to come out.
The damage was not fatal but 36 laps later, NASCAR required Coleman to come to pit road to replace a missing hood pin that had worked its way out following the incident. With the unscheduled pit stop, Coleman was forced to restart in 37th position and make his way through the field. As he tactfully set up each car and passed them cleanly, the 19 year-old was making quick work of the field, passing as many as two cars per lap around the .75 mile track.
Unfortunately, Coleman was just a passenger in a number of multi-car melees before the race was over. Drivers in the middle of the pack began to get more aggressive as the race grinded on towards setting undesired new records of wrecks and cautions.
"Today was not the race I was looking for in my first time at Memphis, but I know that I did all I could and my team did all they could to set ourselves up for success," stated Coleman. "We will take our positives and everything we learned from this weekend and bring them back for my final race with Joe Gibbs Racing and this great No. 18 team in Phoenix. I am going to Phoenix with the single goal of getting these Carino's Italian Grill guys a well-deserved victory."
In just 16 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 last scheduled race for Joe Gibbs Racing will be on November 10th at Phoenix.