Brad Coleman showing he is still a top young contender in NASCAR CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 21, 2010) - Many young drivers would be satisfied with a pair of sixth-place finishes in a three-race stint in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. But Brad Coleman...
Brad Coleman showing he is still a top young contender in NASCAR
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 21, 2010) - Many young drivers would be satisfied with a pair of sixth-place finishes in a three-race stint in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. But Brad Coleman wanted more, and in many respects deserved more.
Coleman, 22, drove the last three Nationwide Series races for Joe Gibbs Racing, finishing sixth at Nashville Superspeedway and Road America and 13th at Kentucky Speedway. They were the first races for Coleman since last August, but the rust was not in evidence.
Coleman showed plenty of speed and talent in the No. 18 Toyota, qualifying second at Nashville and Kentucky and fourth at Road America.
And he was excellent in the races, too, running consistent lap times and avoiding mistakes that seem to plague most young drivers these days.
"These last three races have been great for me and the team," Coleman said. "I think I proved once again that I belong here in NASCAR, and I hope to continue this performance when I get back in the car at Gateway."
"But I'm not satisfied. I could easily have three top-five finishes and maybe even a victory or two. We were so close at Road America, until I got run over on a restart. And we got taken out of a top-five last week at Kentucky when the 12 missed a shift on a restart. Man, those were heartbreaking."
Coleman led seven laps in the inaugural Bucyrus 200 at the 4.048-mile Road America course until a late caution and restart. After getting clear at the green flag, Coleman was hit from behind by Sprint Cup regular Brad Keselowski. Coleman somehow managed to keep control of the car and rallied to a sixth-place finish.
"I was really mad after the race, and so was my crew," Coleman said. "I'm still mad, mainly because it shouldn't have happened. These guys on the SafeWay crew deserved better, that's for sure. Maybe we should've won, maybe not. We'll never know.
"But we were there. We were up front all day. Sooner or later, if we keep doing that, I'll get these guys a victory."
Coleman kept JGR's No. 18 team second in the Nationwide Series owners standings as Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch returns to the car.
Coleman, meanwhile, will continue training and focusing on his next race, the Nationwide Series event at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis next month.
"I can't wait," Coleman said. "Jason and the whole team has given me really fast cars, and we've run really well. But we can do better, and I feel like we will in St. Louis."