USAR: Lakeland: Hunter Robbins race report

Nothing Keeps Hunter Robbins From Delivering Eighth In Pro Cup Debut Not Even Blown Engine nor Two On-Track Incidents Can Keep Hunter from Lakeland Success MONTGOMERY, AL (March 17, 2008) -- The United States Postal Service and its carriers...

Nothing Keeps Hunter Robbins From Delivering Eighth In Pro Cup Debut

Not Even Blown Engine nor Two On-Track Incidents Can Keep Hunter from Lakeland Success

MONTGOMERY, AL (March 17, 2008) -- The United States Postal Service and its carriers have, for years, stood by the oath that, "Neither rain, nor hail, nor sleet, nor snow, nor heat of day, nor dark of night" would keep packages and mail out of mailboxes across the country." No matter how brutal the elements may get, the carriers will make sure everything gets delivered.

While it may not have been weather-related, several elements tried keeping Hunter Robbins from scoring a strong finish in his first USAR Hooters Pro Cup start on March 15th at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida. Rather than letting a blown motor, contact with another car in a hot-lap session and a stack-up in the race keep him from a quality outing, Robbins persisted to score an impressive eighth-place finish as the race's highest-finishing Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Award competitor.

"Luckily we had tested there a while back and we were pretty good with all the things that happened to us," said Robbins. "We were just hoping to go out there Saturday and just shake the car down and feel it out to make sure nothing had really changed on it. It couldn't have been two laps, and the motor just grenaded. It's pretty rare for a Predator engine to do that, so there must have been a malfunction somewhere. But it wouldn't have been so bad if we had a spare motor. We had to pull the spare out of Benny's (Gordon, eventual race winner) car, then pull the blown one out of my car and put the good one in mine, so it took twice as long. We had just enough time to get everything done in time for the hot laps.

"Then we went out there to shake the car down and my spotter had a malfunction with the radio, so I didn't know that another car was right on me. We ended up getting together, but nothing really got messed up. Pit strategy worked out the way we wanted it to, and we got up front. We were just going to ride up there and let the laps count down. Then the guy in front of us missed a shift. We tore the right-front off. We came in and made as many repairs as we could, but the car just wasn't the same. It knocked the toe in and messed up the down force. The car just slowed down tremendously. We still were able to make it up to eighth. If we could've had a few more laps, we probably could've gotten another spot or two."

With all the things that could have spelled doom for Robbins in Lakeland, to come out with a solid top-10 finish in his first-ever Pro Cup race and leading the Rookie of the Year standings, Robbins left the track considering it a success.

"We didn't qualify where we wanted to, but I'm still learning the car. I figured we'd have a good racecar, though, and we did. We want to try to get top-10's. If we can't get top-fives, then we want to say top-10's are what we can fall back on. We were the highest-finishing rookie, so we came out of there leading the Rookie points, so that's a good start to things. It's a good momentum builder for the whole team to say we finished eight, but we all also know we were capable of finishing better than that. Everyone's outlook on the year is pretty bright now."

Next up for Robbins is the March 29th Pro Cup Southern Division event at South Georgia Motorsports Park.

-credit: HunterRobbins.com

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