Tough Night Finds Don Wagner Finishing Thompson Twenty-First Thompson, Conn. (June 29, 2006) - Two weeks ago at Stafford Motor Speedway, Don Wagner drove an encouraging race where he steered the Mannings USA Chevrolet towards a top ten until a...
Tough Night Finds Don Wagner Finishing Thompson Twenty-First
Thompson, Conn. (June 29, 2006) - Two weeks ago at Stafford Motor Speedway, Don Wagner drove an encouraging race where he steered the Mannings USA Chevrolet towards a top ten until a faulty alternator forced him to lose laps. With that performance in mind, the James Pritchard Motorsports team returned to action at Thompson International Speedway with optimism. Handling problems and a pair of minor accidents forced a number of pit stops, though, and he wound up finishing the race 21st.
Practice put the team through its paces as mechanical problems forced repairs after each of two sessions. In the first, Wagner turned in the twelfth-fastest time even though a spark plug wire had burned through and the car was running on seven cylinders. An electrical problem forced Wagner to coast to a halt at the end of the second practice session, but that was repaired in time for qualifying.
In time trials, Wagner was twentieth fastest.
Early on in the race, it was apparent that the Mannings USA/Snacketizers Chevrolet was going to need some work to move up in the field. Wagner pitted for a chassis adjustment under the second caution of the race, returning to action at the tail end of the field. Things got worse, though, as a pair of cars tangled ahead of him and he made slight contact with them on lap 46. More pit stops were needed to clear the fenders from the tires, though Wagner remained on the lead lap. A second accident caused more nose damage and needed more pit stops on lap 46.
Back under green, Wagner discovered more work was needed at the nose of the car and on lap 58 he pitted under green for that attention. He was no longer on the lead lap but still drove hard to get laps under his belt. He finished 21st.
"The car started out OK, we were up to twelfth," he said after the race. "But whatever we would do, we just kept working ourselves backwards. It wasn't the greatest car, but we kept working on it and chasing it, but we never got it quite right. When you're not running well and running in the back you're going to get into wrecks and we got into a couple."
James Pritchard Motorsports will next race at New Hampshire International Speedway, with the 125-lap Busch East Series race going green on HDNet television live at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 14th.
"There's a lot of work to do before we can be ready for Loudon, but we'll work on it, we'll be there," Wagner said.