ES: Loudon II: John Salemi race notes

Vibration Causes John Salemi To Retire From NHMS Camping World Race Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Trying to repeat the success that John Salemi had at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World East Series race back in June, the...

Vibration Causes John Salemi To Retire From NHMS Camping World Race

Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Trying to repeat the success that John Salemi had at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World East Series race back in June, the Nashua, N.H. driver returned with a boldly decaled car and hopes of improvement on that eighth place finish. But an early bout with the wall left him with a vibration due to a bent wheel, and he elected to retire the car from the event rather than risk a wreck.

His No. 63 John Salemi Racing, LLC Chevrolet wore a vinyl wrap by Kustom Vinyl with bold flames wrapping around the front and up the sides when it came out of the trailer Thursday morning at the Magic Mile. In practice and in qualifying, he was eighteenth fastest.

"Today went well," he said. "We got to try out a lot of stuff in practice. We changed everything for qualifying and the car felt good, and it went faster too. We'll start in the top twenty and that's better than when we were here in the spring. The car feels better than it did in June as well. The whole field is so tight time-wise that I'll take what we had for a lap time and be happy with that. Tomorrow we'll get ready for the race and go to the front. The Kustom Vinyl flame car with EastSeries.com on the back looks good for the fans so we'll put on a good show with it tomorrow."

What had started as a promising race for Salemi took a turn for the worse just a few laps in. A brush with the wall bent a wheel on the car, causing a vibration. A number of pit stops were made to try and alleviate the problem, and finally a tire change was the call to fix it. But NASCAR said that the change was not approved.

"It started when we were trying to avoid an accident," he explained. "I went up high and ran out of room, and brushed the wall. We bent a wheel so we came in to change the right-side tires. We were then told to come back in and put the old tires back on because it was an unapproved tire change. I don't know exactly why. The car was vibrating so badly after that and I had no choice but park it. I was going to wreck the car if I stayed out there on those wheels."

Salemi was frustrated that he wasn't allowed to make that tire change since his being on the track with the bent wheels still on the car was a safety risk.

"When NASCAR tells you something, you have to listen to them," he said. "It was either stay on those wheels and possibly wreck the car, or take their penalty and go down a couple laps, and there's no point in doing that. We want to go to Dover, so we saved the car for that. Looking at the big picture, all we can say is that it wasn't our day, but we'll go racing next week.

"I'd have liked to have a better result for our sponsors and the guys who worked on this car this weekend," Salemi continued. "We never lost a lap even with all the adjustments we were making trying to fix the car. The guys did a great job in the pits, but I didn't do my job as the driver. I'll have to make sure I do a better job at Dover and we'll have a better result as a team."

Dover's Camping World race is next on the calendar, just a few days away as the teams have to be ready for practice on Thursday, September 18. On Friday, qualifying will be held in the early afternoon while the 150-lap race will be held later in the day, following NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at the Monster Mile.

-credit: ajc

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Series NASCAR
Drivers John Salemi