ES: South Boston: Dion Ciccarelli race notes

Dion Ciccarelli Overcomes Late-Race Spin to Finish South Boston Seventeenth South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) - Dion Ciccarelli was having a good NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway on Saturday ...

Dion Ciccarelli Overcomes Late-Race Spin to Finish South Boston Seventeenth

South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) - Dion Ciccarelli was having a good NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway on Saturday night, running in the top fifteen with just a handful of laps to go when he was turned around by another competitor and sent to the rear of the field. With only four laps to make up that ground, he worked his way up to finish seventeenth in the fourth series race of the year.

After having troubles in the first two races of the 2007 Busch East season, Ciccarelli is now back in the series' top twenty in points after four of thirteen regular-season races.

Coming off a midwest swing that saw him record a best finish of 24th, Ciccarelli, driving the No.84 Star Sales/Operation Gratitude Chevrolet for Jamerson Motorsports, returned east to the .400-mile short track in southern Virginia. After setting the 19th fastest time in practice, he made his qualifying run and timed in an impressive twelfth. A little help in the team's pit was paying off.

"After struggling as badly as we did out west, missing that one race, we went out and got somebody to help us out and he's been consulting us throughout the day," Ciccarelli said. "It's definitely helped us out a lot. We qualified twelfth, and there are a lot of good cars starting behind me. We're definitely improving our program. I think this is my best Busch East qualifying run, and I can't wait to go racing."

When Ciccarelli did go racing, he started out strong, moving right up to eleventh on the start. But after a lap 31 restart he was forced into the upper groove and by the time he got back in line he was nineteenth. Adjustments were necessary, and a chassis adjustment in the pits under a lap 74 caution was made.

"We had a great start, the car was great for the first twenty laps or so but it faded pretty bad after that," the Severn, Maryland driver explained. "We made the call to pit and made some changes because we were struggling in the middle of the race, and by the end we were coming on strong. I was able to race and pass cars and I wound up having a great race with the 22 car."

With just seven laps left to run, Ciccarelli was hit and spun by another competitor, bringing out the final caution flag of the event. He had to restart as the last lead-lap car and, with just four green-flag laps to work with, he battled his way back to seventeenth.

"I got turned sideways and I was fortunate that nobody else got caught up in that," he said. "I'm a little unhappy about that but it's a part of racing. We missed four or five big messes, got banged up on the side, but the composite body will save us a lot of work while we get ready for Stafford. I was racing like a madman but I still brought it home in one piece so we're in good shape."

-credit: ajc

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