Promising Run Cut Short by Early Race Accident at ORP (July 25, 2009) Indianapolis, Ind. & ...
Promising Run Cut Short by Early Race Accident at ORP
(July 25, 2009) Indianapolis, Ind. What started out as a promising run soon turned into disappointment as the America's Incredible Pizza Company race team was 21 laps into the Kroger 200 when an accident sent the team home early. The early race incident placed the team in the 37th position when the night ended.
O'Reilly Raceway Park is known for its grassroots racing. The environment is reminiscent of the days when drivers first sat behind the wheel of a stock car. The .686 mile track also marked the first double-file restart scenario on a short track in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Teams readied themselves for the one day Saturday show. The first practice session was slated to begin at 9:30 am until a storm moved through the area causing NASCAR to rearrange the schedule. Around noon, the rain showers finally moved out of the area and the task of drying the track began. 48 cars were able to get an abbreviated practice session in before qualifying took place at 5:30 that evening. The No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Toyota posted the 15th quickest time with a 22.765 second lap, 108.482 mph.
Under sunny skies, qualifying took place and Lagasse Jr. posted a stellar lap. The America's Incredible Pizza Company Toyota would sit in the sixth position come the start of the Kroger 200.
As the race got underway, Lagasse Jr. was poised to make a charge directly to the front. By lap four, the No. 11 was sitting in the fourth position and running lap times consistent with the leader. When lap 20 was recorded in the books, Lagasse Jr. found himself battling it out with the No. 88 car for the third position. That battle soon turned ugly as the No. 88 tapped the rear bumper of the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Toyota sending the car flying into the wall.
The 11 car also sustained damage from the No. 1 car as it had nowhere to go and drove into Lagasse Jr. after the impact with the wall occurred.
Back in the infield, the America's Incredible Pizza Company race team surveyed the car and determined the damage was too severe to repair. The team would end their night just 21 laps into the 200 lap event.
"It's disappointing," remarked Lagasse Jr. "We had such a strong car and we could have easily ended up with a top-five finish tonight. I hate it for the team and our sponsor. Hopefully our luck will change heading into Iowa next weekend."