Lindley Takes Another Top-5 Greenville, SC-On Saturday, June 11, the Hooters Air Ford Race Team went to Mansfield Motorsports Speedway for the fifth race of the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Northern Division schedule. Mardy Lindley has been running very...
Lindley Takes Another Top-5
Greenville, SC-On Saturday, June 11, the Hooters Air Ford Race Team went to Mansfield Motorsports Speedway for the fifth race of the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Northern Division schedule. Mardy Lindley has been running very well all season finishing in the top ten in all the races held this year and was looking to gain the team's first victory of the season.
During practice for the Mansfield 250, the team experimented with different chassis setups to determine what would work best for the car under race conditions. After practice was completed, the team posted the ninth quickest time of the day out of 48 cars. The Hooters Air Team then prepared the car for qualifying and ran a 17.115-sec. lap around the 1/2 mile oval which put Mardy in the 11th-starting position.
Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has proven to be a difficult track for passing and Saturday night was no exception. Mardy spent most of the first 75 laps trying to improve his 11th-place starting position, but found it difficult to pass with the lapped traffic.
Mardy's Ford would take about four laps to get going and when it did, he was faster than the cars in front of him. However, with not much room to pass and it being early in the race, Mardy chose to be patient and not force the issue.
A caution came out on lap 88 and the Hooters Air Team decided it was time to pit and put on four tires and fuel. Mardy gained some positions during this pit stop due to some great pit work by the team. During the next 75 laps, Mardy began passing cars and was able to work his way to the fourth position.
While racing Shelby Howard for the third position, Mardy was able to get inside of him and passed him, but the caution came out putting Mardy back into the fourth position. After the restart, Mardy tried to pass him again and they got together in Turn 2, causing Howard to spin and bringing out the caution flag. Mardy had to slow down to avoid spinning himself and this allowed Joey Logano to get by Mardy to take over the third position.
After the restart on lap 175, Mardy would fall back a few car lengths until the car would come in and he would chase down the leaders. Mardy was working on Joey Logano for third on Lap 227 when Shane Huffman spun the leader Jeff Agnew. USAR Officials decided to put Huffman to the back of the lead lap for rough driving and this put the Hooters Air Ford into second place behind Logano.
They restarted with 20 laps to go and Mardy was following close behind him and was looking for a way around him for the lead. On lap 248, another caution came out to set up a green-white-checkerd finish and one last chance for Mardy to overtake him for the victory. On the restart, Mardy looked inside of Logano for the lead going into Turn 1, but Mardy slid up the track. Laughlin got inside of him in Turns 3 and 4 and they raced side-by-side to the white flag. Laughlin Jr. pushed up again in Turns 1 and 2 causing Mardy to get sideways. Because of this, Laughlin Jr. and Glen Gault were able to get by Mardy. Mardy was able to bring the Hooters Air Ford home in fourth place.
Lindley was hoping that Logano would crack on the late-race restart, but that didn't happen. "I wasn't going to hit the boy to win," said Lindley. "I got into Shelby Howard earlier, and I didn't mean to do that. When I had that deal with Shelby, Logano was able to get around us, and it ended up being track position after that. We were running the same times. I think the deal with Shelby cost me the race."
Mardy is third in the USAR Pro Cup Northern Division point standings and is closing in on the leader. The next race is Saturday, June 18, at Lake Erie Speedway. Shotime Motorsports and Mardy Lindley would like to thank all of our sponsors for their effort this season. Without them, none of this would be possible.