Conyers, GA (Tuesday June 10th, 2003) - - NASCAR Busch Series driver Ron Young headed back to Nashville Superspeedway hoping to improve on his 20th place performance back in April, however when racing "under the lights" things can get exciting in...
Conyers, GA (Tuesday June 10th, 2003) - - NASCAR Busch Series driver Ron Young headed back to Nashville Superspeedway hoping to improve on his 20th place performance back in April, however when racing "under the lights" things can get exciting in a hurry.
The teams would only get one practice session and that occurred on Friday afternoon, with the teams only getting 55 minutes on the track, as the skies darkened and the rain began to pour. Thunderstorms and at times heavy rain would wipe out the rest of the practice session, along with qualifying and the ever important "Happy Hour". "We really needed some more time on the track," said Young.
In that session, Ron clicked off the 33rd fastest lap around the 1.333 mile superspeedway in a time of 31.282 second transferring to a speed of 153.405 MPH. "I really need some seat time at Nashville, it's important to me to have a good run this weekend, and while we've improved from April already, we still have a long way to go."
Not having the chance to qualify was a huge blow to the RB1 Motorsports team. While the team knew they didn't have a shot at the pole, they were confident that they would have a shot at a decent starting position for the Trace Adkins Chrome 300. "Man, I wish we would have been able to qualify, I know we weren't that good in practice, but I had a good feeling that we were going to improve unfortunately, we will never know," he said.
Ron was forced to his sponsorless 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from the 31st starting position. The team currently holds that position in the car owner standings heading into Saturday, with a large portion of the field being set on owner points. "I don't like starting 31st, but we started 42nd in April, so I guess it's an improvement, we'll just have to head to the front with determination," the former NASCAR All-Pro series driver mentioned.
When the garage opened on Saturday afternoon, they were welcomed with overcast skies, with the rain pushed ahead ensuring the race fans a f ull 300 mile exciting race. When the green flag flew just after 8:00pm EST, it did not take long for the first caution to come out.
Ron was punted by the No. 26 of Lance Norick which shot the Red No. 71 entry high in turn three and four leaving Young to battle with a very slick top of the racetrack, he spun the machine backwards just barely tapping the wall. He pitted his machine on lap three, with veteran NASCAR Busch Series crew chief Ricky Pearson ordering a chassis adjustment and to pull the fenders away from the car, along with four new Goodyear tires and fuel.
They returned to racing on lap seven with the Conyers, GA native once again making a dash towards the front in order to remain on the lead lap. While cautions were quickly falling left and right, it was a welcomed sign for the RB1 crew as they attempted to fix as much of the damage as they could, along with another chassis adjustment as Ron reported the car was not handling to his liking.
The 32 year old driver would once again find disaster as he was racing ahead of leader Scott Riggs approaching the lap 40 mark. Joe Buford in the No. 53 and Moy Racing's Brad Teague who were in a side-by-side battle made contact in front of Young, sending them spinning wildy with Ron taking quick actions to avoid them. However, he did not escape as clean as he would like as the No. 77 of Teague hit the No. 71 on the right side causing noticeable damage to the passenger door of the machine.
"There was a lot of smoke, and I thought I made it through, but got caught," stated Young. "I was very frustrated at the time as I thought I was going to stay on the lead lap, but Riggs passed me in the smoke and we got trapped."
Ron would make another stop under caution, allowing the crew to fix and assess the damage in addition putting four new tires and topping off the fuel tank.
With all the damage, Ron was still able to turn some decent lap times, and was able to pass his other competitors as he made his bid to try to remain in the top 25. After another restart just after half-way, the former Go-Kart driver would once again get the boot, this time from the No. 0 of Jason White.
The contact would send him spinning down the backstraight away, with NASCAR leaving the field under green flag racing conditions. He would be forced to pit and once again change tires and while there was no apparent damage in the spin, it cost the team some valuable time on the track, trapping them two laps down.
For the remainder of the event, it would be a battle to avoid any more altercations on the track, stay out of the leaders way, and hope for the best finish possible.
While, the No. 10 of Scott Riggs took his second win at Nashville Superspeedway, Ron was credited with a 22nd place finish.
"I am so disappointed," said the former late model driver. "The incidents on the track, put us behind, and while they weren't my fault, it put us in the hole right from the beginning.
Despite the results, he was sastified with the finishing position. "With the night that we had and to finish where we did, is a blessing, we'll pick up the pieces, go home, fix the car and return to racing," he said.
The team was thankful to have THP Printing as an associate sponsor of the No. 71 Chevrolet for Nashville. "I'm thankful to THP for all that they do, I just wished we would have had a better finish."
The NASCAR Busch Series heads north from Nashville to Kentucky Speedway, located in Sparta, KY for the 16th event of the season. The Meijer 300 is slated or June 14th, 2003 with live coverage on FX and MRN radio beginning at 7:30pm EST.