ES: Mansfield: Dion Ciccarelli race notes

Flat Tire Ends Dion Ciccarelli's Mansfield Race Early Mansfield, Ohio (August 25, 2007) - While Dion Ciccarelli continues to show improved speed in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series competition with his No. 84 Star Sales/Scott's...

Flat Tire Ends Dion Ciccarelli's Mansfield Race Early

Mansfield, Ohio (August 25, 2007) - While Dion Ciccarelli continues to show improved speed in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series competition with his No. 84 Star Sales/Scott's Landscaping Chevrolet, but one thing he cannot control is racing luck. In Saturday's race at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park, Ciccarelli posted top-ten times in practice but only lasted 34 laps in the race before a tire blew, sending him into the turn two wall and out of the race far too early.

After a quick week of turning the No. 84 Jamerson Motorsports Chevrolet from a road course car to an oval track car, Ciccarelli raised eyebrows with the tenth-best practice time in the first session. Qualifying didn't reflect the earlier speed, though, as he timed in nineteenth quickest.

"Practice was a blast," he said. "We put stickers on for qualifying and the car got tight, so we'll have to run some laps on the tires and it'll free up. I think I overdrove it in qualifying because it was too tight, but I'm looking forward to the race. Jimmy Burns is back giving us some engineering help, and between him and the great bunch of guys we've got, things are pointing in the right direction."

Things were heading in the right direction for 34 of 150 laps on Saturday. But in turn two, the right front tire went flat, shooting the car up into the outside wall. Ciccarelli limped to the pits where the damage was deemed too severe to continue, and he was retired from the event.

"I was following the 99 car and I blew a right front tire," he said. "The car shot right into the wall. We're trying to figure out what happened first, since the brake rotor was broken: did the rotor break and puncture the tire, or did the rotor break when we hit the wall. I think the rotor broke first since I had no brakes when I was headed for the wall. I had no warning, just a pop and I was in the wall. I couldn't turn it and I couldn't stop. It bent the spindle, broke all the brake stuff, and broke the sway bar. Then it swung around and caught it with the back and broke all the body stuff back there."

Repairing the car will shorten the preparation time for the next race, which will be held September 14th at New Hampshire International Speedway.

"We were really hoping we'd get out of here in one piece so we wouldn't have to kill ourselves getting ready for New Hampshire, but I guess that wasn't meant to be," Ciccarelli said. "We have a new car that we want to bring to New Hampshire and Dover, but we'd like to keep our options open for those two races. All our sponsors will be at those races, so we're going to make sure we go to those as well-prepared as we can."

-credit: dc/ajc

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Series NASCAR