James Pritchard, Jr. Makes Busch East Debut At South Boston Speedway South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) - Eighteen year-old James Pritchard, Jr. made his NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series debut Saturday night at South Boston...
James Pritchard, Jr. Makes Busch East Debut At South Boston Speedway
South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) - Eighteen year-old James Pritchard, Jr. made his NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series debut Saturday night at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia. Pritchard started the 150-lap event from the 31st position and finished 28th driving the No. 41 Mannings USA Chevrolet for James Pritchard Motorsports.
Pritchard, whose last on-track activity was testing at New Hampshire International Speedway's test day, put the Mannings USA car through its paces with two hours of practice at the 4/10-mile oval. Following practice was Busch Pole qualifying to set the field, and Pritchard got into the field with the 31st starting spot.
In his first Busch East Series race, Pritchard was struggling with his car's handling throughout the event. Numerous pit stops were made to tweak the chassis and by the time the race was over, the car was significantly better and the rookie driver had 139 laps of experience to go with his 28th place finish.
"The car started off really bad, I could hardly drive it," he said after the race. "We came in and made some changes and I just got out of the pits when they took the green and that got us a lap down, and that didn't help us out. As the race went on we kept on stopping under yellows and making more changes, and the car finally started coming around and I could start running with these guys. There were a couple of real close calls that I barely missed, this car should have been wrecked but I brought it home unscathed aside from brushing the wall a couple times."
Keeping the car out of wrecks was important as the team can concentrate on getting the car's handling better rather than rebuilding it to the point where it started.
"We've got a whole car that we don't have to worry about fixing crash damage, we just have to work on getting it faster. I have a great crew and we all learned a lot today, and with a little work here and there we should be good," Pritchard said.
Pritchard will race next Friday night in the TSI Harley-Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
-credit: www.jpm41.com .