Frustration Best Way To Describe ASA Opener For Pyle Veteran Caught in Early Accident, Forced Behind Wall CHICAGO, IL (March 31, 2004) -- American Speed Association veteran Robbie Pyle had high hopes for the season opener in Lakeland (FL) on ...
Frustration Best Way To Describe ASA Opener For Pyle
Veteran Caught in Early Accident, Forced Behind Wall
CHICAGO, IL (March 31, 2004) -- American Speed Association veteran Robbie Pyle had high hopes for the season opener in Lakeland (FL) on Saturday, but all of those hopes were dashed just 20 laps into the SK Hand Tools 200. The three-time ASA winner was swept up in a mid-pack accident with seven other cars; that put the CITGO #63 car behind the wall and a number of laps down. The team did a phenomenal job fixing the car and got Pyle back out to pick up a 23rd-place finish.
"It was just one of those days," said a dejected Pyle after the race. "We practiced good; the car was very good, but we got a bad qualifying draw and we started pretty far back because the track really cooled down later in the qualifying session. ASA announced that new double-file restart rule and that really hurt us tonight. None of us are good enough to do restarts like that so many times per race. We just got caught up in a wreck. I just thought I was through it and I got tagged by someone; then I blocked the track even more and got run into again.
"The crew did an awesome job fixing the car and we wound up as quick as the leaders even though the car was wrecked. I was really surprised on how good the car ran when we got back out there. It would have been a really fun race for us had we not had all of that happen.
"On top of that, we didn't have radio communication all night. My microphone wasn't working, so they couldn't hear me. It was just one of those days. We pulled off when there weren't any more positions to get. We just wanted to get out of the way."
Pyle wasn't very happy with the new restart rules and pointed out that ASA will need to look it over. The rules state that all drivers, both lead lap and lapped cars, have the right to choose whether they start on the inside or outside groove, making every restart double file. In years past, ASA has always done single file restarts.
"That can't happen anymore," said Pyle of the restart rule. "That was a mess out there. That is a way to get someone hurt. There isn't any of us good enough to do restarts like that every single time. That is all there is to it. I don't see how it can happen. There were 100 laps of caution in a 200-lap race. They'll start weeding the cars out that way pretty quickly."
Pyle, who finished third in the 2003 ASA point standings, is one of the favorites for the 2004 title. He is now 23rd in points, 100 behind leader Travis Kittleson after the first of 16 races.
The next event for Pyle and the WalTom team will be May 1st at Lanier National Speedway (GA).
WalTom Racing, with Robbie Pyle and rookie Stephen Leicht, are competing full-time with the American Speed Association in 2004. For more information on the team, please visit .