East Impressive in Brewco Debut Former USAC Champ 24th in Federated Auto Parts 300 Lebanon, TN. (June 9, 2007) ... Every long journey begins with a first step. For 22-year old Bobby East, his NASCAR Busch Series journey with Brewco Motorsports...
East Impressive in Brewco Debut
Former USAC Champ 24th in Federated Auto Parts 300
Lebanon, TN. (June 9, 2007) ... Every long journey begins with a first step. For 22-year old Bobby East, his NASCAR Busch Series journey with Brewco Motorsports began with his first step, the Federated Auto Parts 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday evening, July 9th. The former USAC Champion made an impressive debut with the Central City, Kentucky-based team as he qualified 22nd and finished 24th. However, the starting and finishing numbers are not the entire story of this young competitor's debut.
"Bobby (East) did a great job this weekend," Crew Chief Stewart Cooper commented after the race. "He did what he needed to do, run all the laps and gain as much experience in these Busch cars that he could. Bobby gave great feedback on what the car was doing all weekend. He didn't overdrive or push the limits of himself or the car."
The Federated Auto Parts 300 Presented by Dollar General was the first of a minimum ten NASCAR Busch Series race for East this year at Brewco Motorsports. Plus, it was only his second career Busch Series race. East finished 17th at Memphis Motorsports Park in October, 2005, in his only previous start.After three practice sessions on Friday, East turned his attention to qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The 12th driver to make his race against the clock, East turned a fast lap of 30.193 seconds / 158.937 mph to earn the 22nd starting position in the 43-car field.
During the early stages of the 225-lap event, East wanted to settle into a competitive race pace and gain as much experience racing in the Busch Series as possible. Even though he dropped back a few positions to 32nd on lap 25, East was providing Crew Chief Stewart Cooper with information on the cars performance so that the proper adjustments could be made on his first pit stop. After an early caution on lap three, the race settled into a long green-flag run. This forced teams to start making green-flag pit stops beginning around lap sixty.
On lap 64, East came to pit road running 28th for routine service. The Brewco crew changed four tires, added fuel, and made minor chassis adjustments. Even though the crew had an outstanding pit stop, luck was not on their side. Just as the stop was complete and East exited the pits, the #92 car of Bobby Santos spun bringing out the caution flag. The result left East two laps down to the leaders who had not yet made their pit stop when the caution came out.
With an uphill battle facing East for the remainder of the race, the young competitor did an outstanding job of using this race as a learning tool for future Busch Series races. With spotter Shawn Parker constantly helping the youngster work his way around the tricky 1.33-mile concrete course, and Cooper giving encouragement and lap times from the pits, East had the opportunity to drive a very competitive car under difficult circumstances and gain valuable experience.
At the halfway pint, East was running 30th, two laps down. During the final half of the event, East kept working through traffic and advancing through the field. In fact, his fastest lap of the race came on lap 147 when he toured the track in 31.10 seconds. At the 200-lap mark, East was running 25th and turning very competitive laps. The Indiana driver would gain one additional position in the final laps to post a 24th-place finish in his Brewco Motorsports debut.
"It certainly wasn't the finish that I wanted in my first race for Brewco Motorsports, but I really learned a lot tonight," East stated. "Stewart (Crew Chief Cooper) and the team did a great job preparing this car and working with me for this race. Shawn (Spotter Parker) really helped me during the race with my line, how to drive this track, and working traffic. I hate that we got unlucky with the caution right after our first pit stop, but that's how racing goes sometimes. I need to work on my restarts and the first few laps after restarts, but I'm hoping all that will come with experience. The guys on pit road had awesome pit stops tonight. I really want to thank everyone for this opportunity."
"Look at this car," Cooper added. "There's not a scratch on it after the race. For a young man to race every lap and not put a scratch on this car in a race like this speaks very highly of his talent. Bobby was great to work with, and I know he's going to get much better the more seat time he gets in these Busch cars."
The next stop for the Busch Series will be the Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, June 16th. Practice will begin on Friday, June 15th, with qualifying set for 5:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 16th. The 200-lap, 300-mile race is set for a 8 p.m. ET start next Saturday. Jason Keller will drive the #27 Huggies Ford Fusion at Kentucky. ESPN2 will provide live coverage of the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, with MRN handling the radio broadcast of the race.