ES: Dover: John Salemi race notes

Accident Stops John Salemi's TW Racing Debut Dover, Del. (June 19, 2008) - John Salemi's debut performance with Troy Williams Racing did not go as well as both parties expected. Salemi, whose deal to drive Williams' car under Salemi's No. 63 was...

Accident Stops John Salemi's TW Racing Debut

Dover, Del. (June 19, 2008) - John Salemi's debut performance with Troy Williams Racing did not go as well as both parties expected. Salemi, whose deal to drive Williams' car under Salemi's No. 63 was hatched just a few days before the NASCAR Camping World East Series raced at Dover International Speedway, was on his way to giving TW Racing With Sean Watts its best oval-track finish of the year before he was nudged exiting turn two on the 120th lap, ending his race against the inside backstretch wall.

Salemi and Williams agreed to team up after last Saturday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Salemi went to Williams' Buffalo, New York shop to finish preparing the car. At Dover, the effort looked to be paying off with a thirteenth-place qualifying effort.

"We never made a mock qualifying run in practice so we didn't really know what we had," he said. "We decided to make some adjustments before we went out to qualify and I didn't know what we were going to have underneath us, and the car's definitely better than what we had yesterday. I just drove it in a little too hard. I didn't roll out of it going into turn one and I should have, since I had to roll out of it in the center due to the car being loose. I'm happy with the lap but I'm disappointed in myself for not going faster.

"All in all, we've picked up about two seconds since we started practice," Salemi continued. "These guys put this car together starting Tuesday morning, and that says a lot since we had to leave for the track on Wednesday night. That's not much time to get a car together, get a motor in it, and get a setup under it. And they weren't just doing my car, they also had the 21 car and the 12 car to finish up. I owe it to Troy Williams to put in the best 150 laps that I can. We have a great thing put together here with Diamond Resorts, Aqua Pure, Williams Online Printing, and GPS Footprints. There are a lot of sponsors on this car that we need to run good for. The team needs it, we need it, and I'm going to go out there and show them what we can do together."

For the first third of the race, Salemi worked to remain on the lead lap, but the car became loose and the leaders, setting a fast pace, put him a lap down along with numerous other competitors. Salemi continued to diagnose the car, and adjustments were made during mid-race pit stops. After stops for gas and tires, Salemi was ready to race to the finish, and was racing to stay in the 'lucky dog' position of the first car a lap down, so he could get back on the lead lap on the next caution. What he didn't expect was to become the cause of the next caution.

A tap to the left rear coming out of turn two sent Salemi into the outside wall with slight contact, then spun down to the inside wall where race-ending contact was made. He was done for the event with 120 laps completed.

"I don't know what happened," he said. "I know we got turned, but I don't know why, and on into the inside wall we went. It was a hard wreck.

"It's awful for Troy Williams, Diamond Resorts, Aqua Pure Health, and Williams Online Printing," Salemi continued. "Troy Williams Racing does not need a wrecked race car. I was really hoping to bring something good home for him. I probably had a sixth-place car, and I was just hanging there and running laps until I could get a chance to get back on the lead lap and we would have been set."

-credit: ajc

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers John Salemi
Teams Williams