Pit Road Miscues Relegate Logan Ruffin to a 12th-Place Finish at Rockingham
The 15-Year-Old Led for a Total of 11 Laps, His First in the USARacing Pro Cup Series
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 13, 2009) -- Making their second USARacing Pro Cup Series start together, Logan Ruffin and Turner Motorsports, LLC were determined to better their 13th-place debut at Iowa Speedway and capture a solid top-five finish at the legendary Rockingham Speedway. This past Saturday afternoon under sunny skies, Ruffin started the Aaron's 150 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service from the eighth position and went on to lead a total of 11 laps, before a pit stop sequence caused the 15-year-old to fall one lap down and finish in the 12th position.
Beginning the 150-mile race from eighth-place, Ruffin reported to his crew that his No. 31s Wolfpack Rentals Chevrolet was a little tight in the center of the corner, as the first caution of the event came out on lap five. After another quick caution slowed the pace, the field resumed to green-flag conditions on lap 22. During the run, the Brentwood, Tennessee native was facing a loose off handling condition, which caused the youngster to fall back to the 10th position. As the third caution came out on lap 41, Ruffin came to pit road for right-side tires and a track bar adjustment.
The adjustments made during the stop helped the handling condition, as Ruffin moved into eighth-place when another caution came out. As the team made the decision to stay on the racetrack, Ruffin inherited the second position when the field returned to green-flag racing on lap 62. Three short laps later, Ruffin took the lead and led his first laps in the USARacing Pro Cup Series. After crossing the start-finish line first for 11 laps, the No. 31s Chevrolet fell one position, to second-place as he started to save his tires and equipment for later in the run.
When the fifth caution came on lap 87, Ruffin was running in the third position and was once again called to the attention of his pit crew for a fuel stop. The following lap, the teenager returned for four fresh tires, but as Ruffin started to pull out of his stall, a lug nut was dropped, forcing the Wolfpack Rentals Monte Carlo to stop. In this process, the car stalled and valuable time was lost as the crew quickly pushed the car before it could be restarted. Unfortunately, the bad luck didn't stop there, as Ruffin ran the stop-and-go light as he exited the pits. The penalty enforced was a stop-and-go pit stop and during the entire sequence, Ruffin fell one lap down.
Ruffin battled hard to regain his position on the lead lap, but was unable to do so as laps quickly ticked by. Cautions filled the final 25 laps of the race and Ruffin was able to dodge all incidents to capture a 12th-place finish, his second top-15 finish in as many starts.
"Today was definitely a learning experience," said Ruffin after the race. "The guys on this Turner Motorsports team gave me a good Wolfpack Rentals Chevrolet and it's a little disappointing that we didn't get a better finish. It was great to lead those laps there at halfway, but that pit stop sequence definitely messed up our chances at getting to Victory Lane. We will just put this one behind us, learn from our mistakes, and head to South Boston. I'm really looking forward to going there, as I've grown up racing on small tracks like that. Hopefully, we'll be able to end our season on a positive note heading into the off-season."
After their 12th-place finish, Logan Ruffin and Turner Motorsports will take a few weeks off before returning to racing action at South Boston Speedway as the USARacing Pro Cup Series concludes their 2009 season on Saturday, October 31st for the running of the Strutmasters 250. The green flag will drop shortly after 2:00 P.M. Eastern and updates throughout the weekend can be found on www.usarprocup.com. In addition, for more information about Logan Ruffin, please visit www.loganruffin.com.
Media Contact: Samantha Jones
Director of Communications
Turner Motorsports, LLC James Buescher Racing
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