Lofton, ESR team show championship form by making best of challenging day Justin Lofton entered the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds just three days removed from his win at Toledo Speedway. Lofton and the No. 6 Eddie Sharp...
Lofton, ESR team show championship form by making best of challenging day
Justin Lofton entered the Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds just three days removed from his win at Toledo Speedway. Lofton and the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing team entered DuQuoin after winning four of the last five races and rightfully holding the lead in the point standings. The mile dirt track however challenged the team but in the end, proved Lofton to be worthy of his current position atop the points after the 23-year-old notched a hard fought sixth place finish.
"It was definitely tough out there. My team worked so hard today and we fought for every position, that's for sure," Lofton said of the effort.
After the first practice session, Lofton led the way atop the speed chart in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Toyota. Qualifying however threw a curve at the team after Lofton spun his ride on the backstretch. The team got to work on the backup car and started the race from the 34th position.
Lofton buckled down and maneuvered his way through the field and by lap 35, impressively broke into the top 10.
After the mandatory round of pitstops as the race hit the halfway mark on lap 50, Lofton had moved into ninth.
As the laps clicked down, he continued his climb and it wasn't long before he was in contention, running in the sixth position.
Just when it appeared that the No. 6 crew had overcome all of the day's obstacles, one more was thrown at them on lap 74. The caution flag dropped after Lofton's Toyota spun off of turn 4. He skillfully maneuvered his machine, avoided the wall and oncoming traffic, and drove off, maintaining his position in sixth.
Two more caution flags slowed the race in the closing laps as Lofton held on to finish sixth, notching his 15th top 10 after 17 events.
"It was a rough day. The car was destroyed in qualifying. We pulled out the backup car. The entire crew did an awesome job changing it over before the race without much time. We had a solid run after all of that. We had a sixth place car and we finished sixth with it," Lofton said.
He continues to lead the point standings by 35 markers over Parker Kligerman.
Abandoning the unpredictable dirt, Lofton will next take to the road course New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 13th.