CRA: Lakeland: Shane Huffman race report

Shane Huffman Gives One Away at Lakeland Champion driver dominates early until rear end problems, finishes 11th Mooresville, NC- Shane Huffman appeared to be on his way to serving notice to the rest of the Southern Division of the USAR Hooters...

Shane Huffman Gives One Away at Lakeland
Champion driver dominates early until rear end problems, finishes 11th

Mooresville, NC- Shane Huffman appeared to be on his way to serving notice to the rest of the Southern Division of the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series during Saturday night's Naturally Fresh 250 at USA International Speedway that he would be the man to beat once again this season. However, rear-end problems would cost him his first victory of the season as he would settle for an 11th-place finish, one-lap down.

Huffman's No. 88 Champion/Navy/Snap-On Chevrolet was among the fastest throughout the practice sessions and he also garnered his first Advance Auto Parts Pole Award of 2006. On the surface it appeared he would pick back up with his new Dale Earnhardt, Jr.-owned team where he left off in 2005.

However, after leading a race-high 155 laps as well as picking up the halfway bonus, Huffman was called down pit road on lap 161 as other competitors radioed that the No. 88 was laying down fluid. It turned out to be rear-end fluid coming from a loose filter line.

"It was like everything had been going too well," sounded Huffman. "I was as prepared as I have ever been to start a season, and we were really happy with the car during practice, but something in my mind told me not to rest easy."

"There is nothing I hate more than giving away a race and we gave one away tonight. Congratulations to Mardy, he had a great car too, but I think everyone knew we had the car to beat."

The JR Motorsports crew made quick repairs and got Huffman out only one lap down. But in the end none of the caution flags would fall Huffman's way to enable him to race the leaders for his lap back.

"Mark (McFarland) had a real fast car down here last year in this race and blew a motor, maybe these cars just need a break-in race," said Huffman. "But he went on to give me a heck of a run for the Southern championship, so I expect to be able to put together the same kind of blistering run myself."

No. 88 Champion Chevrolet Race Report

"We showed a glimpse of how good of a team we have put together over here at JR Motorsports. All of our sponsors: Champion, Navy, Snap-On, R&B Transport Refinishing, are great and we'll get them in Victory Lane soon enough. I can promise you that."

The next race for the Southern Division of the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series will be on Saturday, March 11th at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cecil, Ga. Catch all the excitement from the Naturally Fresh 250 on Wednesday, March 1 at 5:00 pm on the Speed Channel.

-jrm-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Shane Huffman
Teams JR Motorsports