Nesbitt Scores Career Best Second At New River Valley Speedway (July 20,2001) Mart Nesbitt and his Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia / GlaxoSmithKline / Coca-Cola race team scored a career best second place finish in the Hooter's ProCup, Kroger...
Nesbitt Scores Career Best Second At New River Valley Speedway
(July 20,2001) Mart Nesbitt and his Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia / GlaxoSmithKline / Coca-Cola race team scored a career best second place finish in the Hooter's ProCup, Kroger 250. This was the third top 5 and fifth top 10 of 2001 for the talented team from Asheville, NC.
Mart indicated, "We were very confident going into this weekend at New River Valley. We had strong cars at both Hickory and Lonesome Pine Raceway earlier in the year, and felt this track was similar enough to use much of what we learned at those previous races to give us a good competitive race car capable of winning the race". The team practiced all morning on old tires and concentrated on getting the car to be consistent and run the preferred line versus running a quick one or two laps. As a result, they were officially around mid-pack after practice.
"I felt like we had a good handling race car after practice, but when we looked at the time sheets, I was a little concerned about qualifying. I knew track position would be a premium and I desperately wanted to get a good starting position", stated Nesbitt. The team accomplished that goal with a solid 6th place starting position.
At the start of the race, the field went green for nearly 75 laps. The number 30 car stayed in the top 5 during this run, but began to get loose the longer the race went. They then decided track position was too valuable to pit early and decided to stay out until past the halfway point. They remained in the top 10 until pitting during a caution just past the halfway point of the race.
The crew did an excellent job pitting the car and making the necessary adjustments to the car. "The car started off very good, but as we went, I began to loose forward bite. We made some wedge and air pressure changes during the pit stop and the car was awesome for the rest of the race", replied the driver of car #30.
The team steadily worked its way back into the fourth position with about 40 laps to go. The then leaders of the race, Jeff Agnew and Jay Fogleman, made contact and both spun on lap 247. That put Bobby Gill in the lead with Nesbitt in second followed by Toby Robertson for a Green, White, Checker finish. On the restart, Nesbitt got a good jump on Gill and attempted to pass him on the inside in turn 1, however, Gill was strong enough to regain the lead and went on to win the race by one car length. After the race, Mart said, "We had a great car and we made the most of our chances tonight. Bobby was better than us for a few laps, then we would run him down. I might could have gotten him if I had more than two laps, but that's racing. Hopefully, we can get our first win at Hickory in two weeks."