Eddie Sharp Racing Starts Off 2010 Season with Tough Breaks; Finishes 27TH, 34TH DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 10, 2010) - Eddie Sharp Racing ran the No. 6, driven by Nelson Piquet Jr., and No. 81, driven by Craig Goess, in the season opener of...
Eddie Sharp Racing Starts Off 2010 Season with Tough Breaks; Finishes 27TH, 34TH
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 10, 2010) - Eddie Sharp Racing ran the No. 6, driven by Nelson Piquet Jr., and No. 81, driven by Craig Goess, in the season opener of the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway proved to be eventful for the ESR team.
Craig Goess, running the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of NC Toyota, found it tough to fight to the front after starting 33rd, due to numerous car problems in qualifying. "I wish that our team had better luck at Daytona," Goess said. "Bad luck just seemed to follow us all weekend."
The No. 81 Greenville Toyota of NC Toyota escaped a wreck early in the race, and Goess breathed a sigh of relief when he got through several other cautions in the first 15 laps. Unfortunately on lap 16, another car blew a tire, and Goess had a hard time navigating through the wall of smoke. He collided with Dakota Armstrong, causing significant damage to the No. 81 Greenville Toyota of NC Toyota. Unfortunately, the damage was too substantial to fix, and Goess had to settle for a 34th place finish. [ESRlogo.jpg] "Everyone on the No. 81 team worked as hard as they could," Goess said. "Our finish was not for a lack of effort. I am looking forward to the race at Palm Beach International Speedway. I'm new to road courses, so I will be a sponge learning all that I can."
Piquet Jr., a former Formula One driver, made his first oval start with an impressive qualifying position of seventh.
"Running the ARCA race was a great educational experience for me," Piquet Jr. said. "There are very few similarities between open-wheel and stock cars, and that was evident to me during the first practice. Unfortunately, drafting practice was rained out, so my first experience running side by side was in the race."
Piquet Jr. ran in the top-five or just outside for much of the race. Cautions flooded the 200-mile race as Piquet Jr. avoided many incidents. As the race wore on, the Brazilian driver was involved in contact with the nine-time series champion, Frank Kimmel. He was also involved in a late-race incident with Danica Patrick, who recovered from the infield spin and finished seventh. The damage to the No. 6 ESR Toyota caused Piquet Jr. to lose 13 laps and finish the race in 27th.
Piquet reflected on his experience saying, "I apologize to anyone I made contact with this weekend. I learned a lot, and I will take that knowledge back to Daytona for the Truck Series race this weekend."
The eventful race included six cautions and a 21-minute, 40 second red flag on lap 27, following an incident between Jill George and Jesse Smith, which forced the track safety officials to repair the speedway's fencing.
Bobby Gerhart recorded his sixth ARCA Racing Series victory at Daytona International Speedway. The rest of the top-five included Mark Thompson, John Wes Townley, James Buescher and Patrick Sheltra.
"I am proud of the effort of the No. 6 and No. 81 teams," said Eddie Sharp, owner and founder of ESR. "ESR tends to have bad luck at superspeedways, but I think it was a decent start to the season for Craig and a good showing for Nelson's first stock car race. I am looking forward to moving on to our next race at Palm Beach International Speedway. I know that we will have a great showing."
The next race for ESR and the ARCA Racing Series is the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace at Palm Beach International Raceway on February 27, 2010.