LAMAR FINISHES 35TH AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY FORT WORTH, Texas (April 5, 2009) -- Burney Lamar drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to a 35th-place finish in the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway following a broken power steering ...
LAMAR FINISHES 35TH AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 5, 2009) -- Burney Lamar drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to a 35th-place finish in the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway following a broken power steering line.
"I was really looking forward to overcoming our starting position from the back of the field," said Lamar. "Unfortunately, our luck just didn't seem to go in that direction. The No. 32 Dollar General team worked really hard all day, making adjustments on the car to try to balance the handling throughout the runs. It was the power steering line that put us behind the wall for 12 laps and cost us a lot of positions. We will put this one behind us and look forward to Nashville next weekend. Nashville is very important to me and to the entire team because it is Dollar General's headquarters."
Lamar started the 200-lap event from the 28th position. He immediately jumped to the 20th position by lap 8 and appeared to be running to the front when he reported that the Toyota was "tight off of turn two and very loose on the throttle."
Throughout the long green runs, the Dollar General Toyota seemed to start out loose and tighten up toward the end. On lap 21, Lamar radioed to his team that he couldn't be aggressive on the throttle because the car was very loose. On lap 45, however, Lamar reported that the Camry was starting to "plow", another term drivers use when describing a car's tight handling or the inability to turn in the corners.
With no caution flags, teams began to make green-flag pit stops. Running one lap down to the leaders, the No. 32 came down pit road on lap 55. Crew chief, Trent Owens, called for air pressure adjustments, four tires and fuel. On lap 67, the first caution of the day came out. Owens called Lamar back to pit road for additional adjustments, this time going two rounds down on the right-side track bar and adding more fuel. The No. 32 restarted the race in the 15th position.
Throughout the next long, green-flag run, Lamar reported the car's handling to vary from tight to extremely loose. He tried to manage the handling by turning the rear break fans off, allowing the tires to gain heat and pressure.
The second caution flag of the day came on lap 120. Lamar brought the Dollar General Toyota to pit road on lap 121 for four tires and fuel. As he returned to the track, the spotter reported that there was smoke coming from the No. 32. Lamar radioed that it felt like the power steering was gone. With the race about to return to green-flag conditions, Owens told his driver to bring the car back to pit road.
The Dollar General crew quickly lifted the hood and confirmed that it was a broken power steering line. The team quickly pushed the car behind the wall and to the garage where they repaired the line. The repair time was costly, putting the No. 32 an additional 12 laps down to the leaders.
Lamar returned to the track on lap 136 in the 37th position and a total of 14 laps behind the lead pack. On lap 161, the caution flag came out once again. The No. 32 Camry came to pit road on lap 163 for four fresh tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 165.
The final caution of the day came on lap 189. With the additional attrition, the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota gained two more spots and finished the race in the 35th position.
Lamar will be behind the wheel of the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota for 18 races this season. He will pilot the No. 32 in the next two NASCAR Nationwide Series events (Nashville Superspeedway and Phoenix International Raceway).
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Nashville Superspeedway for the Pepsi 300.