George Jr. makes best of short track troubles MANSFIELD, Ohio - Eddie Sharp Racing's Tim George Jr. saw the possibilities of a good run turn sour on Saturday night, suffering the consequences of tight racing quarters on the half-mile short track...
George Jr. makes best of short track troubles
MANSFIELD, Ohio - Eddie Sharp Racing's Tim George Jr. saw the possibilities of a good run turn sour on Saturday night, suffering the consequences of tight racing quarters on the half-mile short track at Mansfield Motorsports Park.
Driving the No. 2 Ruby Tuesday/Chrome Hearts Toyota, George Jr. first hit the track for a practice run, and though it was his first trip to Mansfield, George Jr. adapted quickly to the short track, settling into the 12th position on the speed chart out of 32 cars. With a consistent racecar underneath him, George Jr. next laid down the 13th fastest lap in qualifying in preparation for the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200.
After practicing and qualifying in the heat of the day, George Jr. shifted his focus on the nightfall and 100 miles of racing.
Once the green flag fell however, it didn't take long before the field unleashed the door-to-door contact short tracks are known to produce. With contact in all four corners around the track, racing was already on the edge but George Jr. had his hands full on his own, radioing crew chief Jon Wolfe that he was battling a loose condition on his No. 2 Ruby Tuesday/Chrome Hearts Toyota.
Before the race hit he halfway mark, George Jr.'s woes continued, getting caught up in a racing incident which also involved the Chris Buescher entry. George Jr.'s No. 2 Ruby Tuesday/Chrome Hearts Toyota suffered right side and rearend damage after contact with the outside retaining wall.
"The track had very little grip. I started out loose and then got turned around early. When I got hit I lost my rear wing, making it tougher," George Jr. said of the contact.
George Jr. returned to the race after spending some time on pitroad under the attention of Wolfe. The team assessed the damage and sent their hungry racer back on track.
Unfortunately, the Mansfield short track wasn't too kind to George Jr. and the tight racing continued until lap 128 when the No. 2 Ruby Tuesday/Chrome Hearts Toyota came to a stop on the racetrack.
George Jr. was unable to finish the event and was scored in the 22nd position.
"ARCA reminded us that the race was mostly a lot of take. They weren't giving much out there. Next time I won't be so nice. As it was, I was handling a loose car. Everyone ran real strong and hard. The cars lack of handling finally got to me, and I ran up in the marbles. I ended up hitting the exit of turn 4 pretty hard. That ended my day," he said.
"The crew worked hard. I appreciate them hanging in there, as I go through my growing pains. I'm just now looking forward to Iowa."
George Jr. will next hit the track in the No. 2 Ruby Tueday/Chrome Hearts Toyota on July 11th at Iowa Speedway for the Prairie Meadows 200.
George Jr. currently sits 10th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings in his rookie year of competition.