Lucky Race No. 13 Brings Top-Ten For Boca Bay Racing At Pocono Long Pond, Pennsylvania - - After securing their first top-ten finish of the season Saturday afternoon from Pocono Raceway, Johnny Leonard and his Boca Bay Racing team are looking ...
Lucky Race No. 13 Brings Top-Ten For Boca Bay Racing At Pocono
Long Pond, Pennsylvania - - After securing their first top-ten finish of the season Saturday afternoon from Pocono Raceway, Johnny Leonard and his Boca Bay Racing team are looking forward to a strong second half of the season.
Leonard drove the Boca Bay Builders Chevrolet started the 80-lap/200 mile event from the 16th place position after turning a lap of 56.582 seconds amounting to a speed of 159.061 MPH. Ironically, it is the same position that the Cape Coral, Florida native qualified for the first Pocono ARCA race just one month ago.
The team returned to the 2.5 mile track with the same car and setup that they used in July. Unfortunately, the setup didn't work this time forcing crew chief Ted Kennedy and the BBR crew to make major adjustments hoping to improve the handling of the racecar. It worked.
With Leonard now feeling better about his race car, he would join the remainder of the 40-car field for the start of the Pennsylvania 200 shortly after 3:00pm EST. While Joey Miller led the field to the green flag, it was the No. 13 of Leonard that deemed impressive on the initial start advancing several positions and quickly jumping into-the top fifthteen.
Patiently, the former late model veteran sliced his way through the field and it wasn't long before the scoring pylon showed the No. 13 into the top-ten.
Pit strategy proved effective early as the team elected to make just a chassis adjustment and to top of the fuel tank, sending the driver back into action. On the restart, Leonard was posted third which is where he would stay for a while. Leonard drove like a veteran and remained in the top-five until green flag pit stops would be forced just after halfway.
Leonard came down pit road for a routine pit stop.
A couple of laps later the yellow flag waived trapping the team one lap down. This wasn't the first time this situation bit the team. While running in the top-ten at Kentucky Speedway, Johnny made a green-flag pit stop only for the yellow flag to waive a few laps later putting the team off the lead lap.
Restarts were Leonard's strong points on Saturday and he used that against the rest of the competition passing the leaders and other lap machines down the frontstretch heading into turn one. However, several laps later, leader Frank Kimmel rolled in the No. 13 and passed the Florida native putting him back one lap down.
With seven cars on the lead lap, the race for the remainder of the top-ten began with eighth. In the final laps he drove a strong and conservative race including a brilliant last lap pass on Bill Eversole to claim the tenth position.
"Finally, we got a top-ten," said Leonard who completed 79 of the 80 circuits. "The car was tight all day, but we were solid. We raced really hard, but the cautions just don't seem to fall our way. I'm really happy for our race team, and our sponsors, they all deserve this. We had a career best finish at Kentucky, now another one at Pocono, we'll look to get another one at Gateway."
Car owner Rick Woodard echoed his driver's statements. "Again we didn't get the yellow flag when we needed it and it hurt us. We had a car capable of finishing in the top-five, but instead had to settle for tenth. Johnny did a good job behind the wheel and the crew did a good job, I hope this is the start to a positive second half of the season in ARCA."
Boca Bay Racing would like to thank their associate sponsors FansCrew.com, AMSOIL, and Russo's Tinting, for their support.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the Shop 'N' Save 150 from Gateway International Raceway. The 14th event on the 2005 schedule is set for Friday, July 29th with live coverage beginning at 8:00 pm on the SPEED channel.