Don Wagner Runs In Top Ten At NHIS, Finishes Seventeenth (Loudon, N.H. - July 15, 2005) - The entire James Pritchard Motorsports team, which fields the Mannings USA/Snacketizers Chevrolet Monte Carlo for driver Don Wagner in the NASCAR Grand ...
Don Wagner Runs In Top Ten At NHIS, Finishes Seventeenth
(Loudon, N.H. - July 15, 2005) - The entire James Pritchard Motorsports team, which fields the Mannings USA/Snacketizers Chevrolet Monte Carlo for driver Don Wagner in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, was excited to see their number 41 displayed in third place on the scoreboard at New Hampshire International Speedway during the early running of Friday's New England 125. Pit strategy got Wagner there, but a good car kept Wagner in the top ten until he made his pit stop, which set him up to finish the race in the seventeenth position.
Wagner, racing for only his second time at the 1.058-mile track, was 27th on the time charts after the first practice. He also received the 27th starting position for the race, though that was earned by his points position since qualifying was cancelled due to thunderstorms that shut down the track for the scheduled qualifying time.
Approaching the top twenty during the race's opening laps, Wagner moved up significantly when many cars in front of him pitted under a lap 17 caution, and he moved up to seventh. Following another caution and more pit stops, Wagner was up to third. And while many of those cars that were ahead of him were coming back through when the race resumed, Wagner held his ground against them and during the next 30 laps run under green, he only fell back to tenth.
When caution came out on lap 61, crew chief Mark Durgin made the call to pit and Wagner got enough gas to finish the race along with new right-side tires. Returning to the race in sixteenth, he brushed the outside wall and that allowed fumes to get inside the car. Despite this, Wagner toughed it out to the race's finish where he was seventeenth, the first car a lap down.
"We weren't going to pit until around halfway if we didn't need to," he said of the team's pit strategy. "Mark Durgin made some great calls and he got us up to the front. I slapped the wall on the backstraight around halfway through the race and that opened up the crush panels, and I was breathing fumes and they were starting to affect me bad near the end, but I was able to finish it out. I wish I could have got a better finish for the guys, though. The car's in one piece so we can go out to Waterford next week and see if we can improve on this."
Wagner, who says he's more in his element at third-mile tracks like the host of next Saturday night's Busch North race, Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, will be there in hopes of bettering last year's finish of 18th.
The New England 125 will be broadcast on SpeedTV at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 29th. Waterford's race will be broadcast on Friday, Aug. 5 at 3:00 p.m.