LAMAR LANDS TOP-15 FINISH IN HOMECOMING AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY LEBANON, Tenn. (April 13, 2009) -- Burney Lamar didn't have far to travel for this weekend's Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The Brentwood, Tennessee resident collected...
LAMAR LANDS TOP-15 FINISH IN HOMECOMING AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY
LEBANON, Tenn. (April 13, 2009) -- Burney Lamar didn't have far to travel for this weekend's Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The Brentwood, Tennessee resident collected his second top-15 finish in only three starts behind the wheel of the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota.
Lamar started from the 17th position and within 15 laps, moved the Dollar General Camry into the top-10. During the first green-flag run, he reported to crew chief, Trent Owens, that the car was "just a little tight through the center." Due to limited practice sessions on Friday afternoon, NASCAR scheduled a mandatory competition caution on lap 30.
Under the caution flag Lamar, running 12th, came on the radio to give the car's handling report to the team. "The car is great off of turn two but just a little bit tight through both centers," Lamar said. "If I could ask for one thing, it would be a little help through the center at both ends."
Lamar came to pit road on lap 32 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to aid the tight condition. The Dollar General crew delivered a solid pit stop and returned the No. 32 car to the track in the 12th position.
After only five laps under the green flag, Lamar reported feeling "a very slight vibration." Despite that, Lamar climbed back into the top-10 by lap 42. On lap 63, Lamar came back on the radio to tell Owens that the vibration was getting a little worse. "Hang on to it as best you can right now," replied his crew chief. "We should get a caution soon."
On lap 70, Lamar reported that the car was "bouncing pretty hard in the center and pushing me up the race track pretty good." He added that, "When I get to the straightaway, it's ok." Owens responded, "We are trying to catch a caution here. If it gets too bad and you want to come to pit road, let me know." Lamar was solidly running in the ninth position and did not want to give up the track position.
A spin in turn two on lap 81 provided the Dollar General team the pit opportunity that they were waiting for. On lap 83, Lamar came to the pits for his second stop of the day and the No. 32 crew put four fresh tires on the Camry and packed it full of fuel. The team made no adjustments to the car, confident that the new Goodyear tires would remedy the vibration that the driver had felt. Because some cars opted not to pit, the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota restarted in the 12th position.
The third caution of the day came only two laps later, when cars wrecked while exiting turn four and went spinning through the front stretch grass. Lamar had already moved up to the 10th position. Owens made the call to not pit and maintain the 10th spot. Following the restart, Lamar found himself dealing with lap-down cars while trying to protect his position against other lead-lap cars. The No. 32 Dollar General driver fought hard but slipped back to the 12th position.
On lap 124, debris on the track brought out the fourth caution flag of the afternoon. Lamar reported that the car was still tight in the center. This time, Owens called for a track bar adjustment to combat the condition. The Dollar General Toyota came to pit road on lap 125 and the crew put on four tires, filled the car with fuel and moved the track bar up a half round on the right side. Lamar restarted in the 15th spot.
Only 10 laps later, the Dollar General driver held his breath as the No. 66 snapped loose in front of the No. 32 car and went for a spin after Lamar had driven past. Lamar restarted from the 15th position and quickly moved up to the 13th spot.
The next caution came out on lap 145, when the No. 07 spun. The No. 32 was right behind No. 07 and had the No. 87 on the inside in very tight racing quarters. Lamar came on the radio immediately and told his team, "I was close to him but I don't think I got into him." The No. 32 remained on the track until the next caution at lap 185. Lamar reported that on the last run, his car was free for about 75% of the time and then became tight towards the end.
On lap 186, the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota came to pit road for the final pit stop of the day. The crew put on the last set of four tires, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment. Lamar restarted in the 13th position.
For the remainder of the race, Lamar battled to advance the No. 32 car through the field. He moved as high as 11th, but fell back to 13th. With only eight laps to go, a big wreck on the front stretch caused NASCAR to bring out the red flag. The cars parked on the back stretch for just over five minutes while cleanup crews removed the debris. Lamar restarted in the 13th position on lap 220 and remained there for the checkered flag, collecting his second top-15 finish for the 2009 season.
"We had a good Dollar General Toyota here today," commented Lamar following the 225-lap race at the Music City's 1.33-mile concrete track. "We are steadily improving, and I'm thankful for that. I am looking forward to doing a little more homework and getting a better finish when we come back here in June. I want to thank all the Dollar General employees and their families for coming out here today. It was a lot of fun to visit them at the hospitality tent and share today with them. I also want to add that those affected by Friday's storms here remain in the thoughts and prayers of the No. 32 Dollar General team."