WS: Irwindale: Justin Lofton preview

Lofton Battles Back at Irwindale Irwindale Speedway on the Fourth of July guarantees fireworks, and the King Taco 200 certainly didn't disappoint the capacity crowd. The ...

Lofton Battles Back at Irwindale

Irwindale Speedway on the Fourth of July guarantees fireworks, and the King Taco 200 certainly didn't disappoint the capacity crowd. The #66 Lofton Cattle/Cometic Gasket/Klotz/Eibach Ford Fusion unloaded quick, remained in the top-5 during both practice sessions and turned a time of 18.80 to start eighth in the 30-car field.

The heat and anticipation built throughout the day, leading to an action-packed event for the Independence Day celebration. Justin Lofton showed patience in moving toward the front, with most competitors doing the same for the first half of the race. The Ford Fusion started losing power mid-way through the run, but Lofton managed to keep the car on track and out of trouble until the half-way break. The #66 Lofton Cattle team, headed by crew chief Rob Dixon, made the necessary adjustments during the break, including a battery change, and gave Lofton an opportunity to make a charge to the front. The driver, taking advantage of the lead lap restart, battled back to the top-5 before a late race incident relegated the #66 Lofton Cattle/Cometic Gasket/Klotz/Eibach Ford Fusion to a 12th place finish. Lofton maintained sixth place in the point's race, just two points out of the top-5 in the standings.

"We've had a rough couple of races with mechanical troubles," said Lofton. "We qualified well and ran in the top-5 during the first segment before we lost power. The crew was prepared and fixed the problem during the break. We were able to get back on the lead lap and work our way towards the front, but we ran out of time," concluded Lofton. The King Taco '200' will re-air August 1 at 9:00 AM (PST) on Speed Channel's Racing Across America.

The NASCAR Grand National Division West Series will head to Utah for the BIG O TIRES "150" at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele for its inaugural event on Saturday, July 14th. Lofton has never finished out of the top-5 on a road course and expects another solid run on the 3.06-mile track.

-credit: jl

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Justin Lofton