Mechanical Failure Handicaps Theriault At South Boston "Strong Weekend Subsided With Poor Finish" MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (June 5, 2007) - - Michelle Theriault and her Spraker Racing Enterprises team were doing everything right. The ...
Mechanical Failure Handicaps Theriault At South Boston
"Strong Weekend Subsided With Poor Finish"
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (June 5, 2007) - - Michelle Theriault and her Spraker Racing Enterprises team were doing everything right. The team unloaded strong, practiced well, turned a solid lap in qualifying but a parts failure took the team from the hunt Saturday night at South Boston Speedway.
Theriault, the only full-time female NASCAR driver this season headed into South Boston on the heels of a successful test a week prior to Saturday's event. Based on her performance at SoBo, the testing paid off.
In the first practice of the day, Theriault bolted her No. 37 GLOCK, Inc. Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to the eighth quickest lap with a time of 16.080 seconds at 89.552 MPH just two-tenths of a second from leader Sean Caisse.
"We have a strong car," said Theriault, who was piloting the same automobile she tested with. "I have to thank Jeff Spraker and all the guys for their hard work. We came to South Boston looking to be a threat and so far, I think everyone knows not to exclude us from the picture."
Looking to maintain the pace she set in practice, the team felt confident about their chances in qualifying.
In time trials, Theriault mounted a lap of 15.950 seconds or 90.282 MPH, picking up just a little bit from her practice run. Her time was good enough for 13th on the starting grid.
"I will tell you one thing, this series is competitive," offered Theriault. "We made some changes to the car and found a little more speed, but so did a couple other teams. We're starting near the front, so I'm not going to complain, we just need to do the best we can."
At the start of the South Boston 150, Theriault hovered inside the top-15. She was doing what she had planned to do in the early stages, save her racecar and fight near the end.
Unfortunately, Theriault would never be a factor for the conclusion of the South Boston 150 as a parts failure with the rear sway bar forced the developmental driver to bring her Team GLOCK Racing machine to the attention of her crew chief and mentor Jeff Spraker.
Her crew fiercely went to work, but the repair was extensive and cost her several laps.
Knowing she was out of the thick for a top-10 finish, the team wanted to avoid a DNF (did not finish). After repairing the problem, Theriault returned to competition still turning times comparable to the leaders.
The team utilized the rest of the event to for the rookie driver to familiarize herself further with a NASCAR Busch East Series (NBES) race car.
It appeared that the team would walk away cleanly but an incident at the start-finish line on the last lap saw another competitor slam into the rear of the GLOCK, Inc. Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS causing sheet metal damage.
Theriault would be credited with a 32nd place finish, completing 117 of 150 laps.
"It was a tough day; this was really hard to swallow. We had a great racecar all weekend long. I cannot say enough about my guys. They want to win; they are giving me equipment capable of getting the job done. We were just taking it easy and then going to make a charge at the end. No one expected a parts failure to take us from another good finish. But that's racing. It happens; we'll bounce back at Stafford, that's a promise."
Craig Dutton, Director of Sales for GLOCK, Inc. added, "We cannot be disappointed with the team's results at South Boston. The team unloaded strong like they have all season long, they were competitive in the race and fell victim to a mechanical failure. Sometimes in racing, that's the nature of the beast. Everyone at GLOCK, Inc. is proud of the team and we're looking forward to returning to top-10 status at Stafford this Friday night."
Theriault slipped to 14th in the NBES championship standings from her finish, she will look to recover the points she lost with the series returns to action this Friday night from Stafford Motor Speedway. Theriault will make her debut at the Connecticut based track in the fifth race of the 2007 season.