ES: Stafford: James Pritchard Jr race notes

Accident Mars James Pritchard Jr.'s Stafford Fall Final Stafford Springs, Conn. (Oct. 12, 2008) - The last chance to get a good finish in NASCAR Camping World East Series competition for James Pritchard Jr. and the Mannings USA-sponsored Dodge...

Accident Mars James Pritchard Jr.'s Stafford Fall Final

Stafford Springs, Conn. (Oct. 12, 2008) - The last chance to get a good finish in NASCAR Camping World East Series competition for James Pritchard Jr. and the Mannings USA-sponsored Dodge came to a premature end on lap 40 of Stafford Motor Speedway's Fall Final. Pritchard, from Wharton, N.J., was involved in an accident with another competitor that forced the Mannings USA Dodge behind the pit wall for repairs. He returned to competition to finish the race, finishing 25th.

The James Pritchard Motorsports team had to scramble to repair the car that was an innocent victim of a multi-car accident the last time out at Dover International Speedway. The team put a new nose on the car and came to Stafford looking for redemption. They would have an uphill battle, though, after qualifying 27th.

"We went out in practice and found the car was real tight," he said. "We went over what changes we needed to make to get it better and the car got looser, but we'd go from being way loose to way tight and couldn't find that middle ground. We've found some things to fix so I think we'll have a good piece for the race. It's important to stay out of trouble, make it to the last fifty laps, and then anything goes."

Staying out of trouble was easier said than done as Pritchard was still dealing with his car's loose condition through the early laps. He had gone down a lap, but got that lap back thanks to the 'lucky dog' rule. But the car was still a handful.

"We were fighting the car, it was bad loose," he said. "I was fighting it the entire time I was out there."

The handling issue came to a head forty laps into the 150-lap event.

"I was on the outside of another car, and my car just went up the banking coming out of turn four," he explained. "I got loose on the outside, bounced off the outside wall, and came down into the car that was inside us. He came across our nose, destroyed the nose, and that was it."

Pritchard, though, refused to quit.

"I told the guys that we were not dropping out of the race," he said. "I told them to cut the nose off and get me back out there so we could finish, and that's what we did."

Pritchard persevered to finish 25th.

"We wanted to end the year better than that since we didn't have a good year up to that point," he said. "My guys have worked so hard and never quit so I didn't want to quit on them. I have to thank them, they've put in an awful lot of work this year and I can't ask for anything more. I also have thank Mannings, because we wouldn't be able to go racing without them."

The team is already planning on a better 2009. For more information, visit www.jpm41.com.

-credit: ajc

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