Millville: Scott Speed race report

Rain Ends Day Early; Speed Finishes 8th at New Jersey Motorsports Park MILLVILLE, N.J. (September 28, 2008) -- Scott Speed and his No. 2 Red Bull team had very high hopes and expectations of success this weekend as the ARCA RE/MAX Series ...

Rain Ends Day Early; Speed Finishes 8th at New Jersey Motorsports Park

MILLVILLE, N.J. (September 28, 2008) -- Scott Speed and his No. 2 Red Bull team had very high hopes and expectations of success this weekend as the ARCA RE/MAX Series returned to road course racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park. A pit road penalty and early checkered flag due to anticipated inclement weather were both costly and forced the team to take an eighth-place finish.

"Obviously I am disappointed with the result, but I have to be happy with my performance because I did the best I could," said Speed. "We have two races left, so hopefully we can stay ahead of Ricky [Stenhouse, Jr.] at these last two races and pull this thing off."

The "thing" that Speed references is the heated battle between he and fellow SunTrust Rookie of the Year candidate, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. for the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship title. The controversial finish to Sunday's event narrowed the margin between the two talented drivers to only 65 points.

The weekend at NJMP was plagued with intermittent showers, causing one practice to be cancelled on Friday afternoon. Qualifying went off without a hitch on Saturday and Sunday morning the sun played hide and seek. The race went green on schedule and Speed jumped into the second position behind pole-sitter, Andy Lally. Rain began to sprinkle on lap 18 however the race remained under the green flag.

The No. 2 Red Bull Toyota came to pit road on lap 26 for fuel and four tires. The Camry ran over the front air hose on its way out of the pit stall and was penalized. Speed restarted the race in the 18th position and systematically picked his way through the field. On lap 37, the final caution of the day came for debris in turn 2. As the rain began to fall, the cars stayed on track under caution to keep the track as dry as possible. Despite a break in the weather, on lap 48 the checkered flag was waved, 19 laps short of the original scheduled 67.

Unable to make up the lost track positions, Scott Speed and the No. 2 Red Bull team were scored in the eighth-position. A respectable finish to some, but not acceptable to a team that has the bar set as high as possible and Championship aspirations on the line.

Next Stop: Speed and the Red Bull team make a quick 36-hour turn-around this week and head to Talladega Superspeedway for the 20th event on the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Schedule.

-credit: esr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Lally , Scott Speed