USAR: Mansfield: Mike Hampton race report

12th Place at Mansfield Motorsports Park and 10th in Northern Division Points: Mike Hampton maintained his 10th place standing in the Sears Auto Center Northern Division points after the running of the Greased Lightning 250 at Mansfield ...

12th Place at Mansfield Motorsports Park and 10th in Northern Division Points:

Mike Hampton maintained his 10th place standing in the Sears Auto Center Northern Division points after the running of the Greased Lightning 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park. At the end of the day, Mike recorded a 12th place finish in the #31n Ford Fusion sponsored by Eaton Corporation. Once again, the event had many highs and lows for "Buggy" Pletcher's DLP Motorsports team.

As practice began under sunny skies on June 14th, Mike worked on finding the fast line around MMP and "Buggy" made numerous changes to refine the setup. Each time the car looked faster and the stopwatch confirmed that the #31n was a fast hot rod. With about 10 minutes left in the extended practice session, Mike's lap of 16.586 was the fastest among the 32 cars practicing for the event. Just as the session ended, Jeff Agnew bettered that lap by .013 seconds to pace the practice session. The sun continued to shine and the track temperature increased. The track was very different as the qualifying session began. Mike was the first car to qualify and the result was a disappointing qualifying effort of 21st as the car slipped out of the turn one grove. The roller coaster ride of highs and lows was in high gear for the DLP team.

As the spectators entered the front straight for the on track autograph session, a lot of wonderful race fans spent time talking with Mike and wishing him good luck for the race. The green flag waved and Mike began moving up from his 21st starting spot. When the caution flagged waved on lap 32, Mike joined others on pit road for fuel and by lap 51 the #31n Ford sponsored by Eaton was running in the 6th position. At lap 153, Mike attempted to move into 5th position when the close racing resulted in a spin that flat spotted the tires and damaged the front end. The DLP crew changed tires and worked to repair the damage by taping up the front end of the car. A lead lap position was maintained but the desire for a career best finish were gone. A late race incident with a lapped car added more front end damage and created a green white checked flag situation and the end result was a 12th place finish.

Mike Hampton and David "Buggy" Pletcher are focused on the 200 lap event at Salem Speedway on June 28th. Mike Hampton said from the DLP race shop in Mooresville, NC, "We plan to be fast at Salem and run up front".

-credit: dlp

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jeff Agnew