Solid Run Cut Short For McGilton In Nashville LEBANON, Tennessee (August 15, 2006) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie Phillip McGilton didn't leave Nashville Superspeedway Saturday with the finish he wanted. After posting very respectable and ...
Solid Run Cut Short For McGilton In Nashville
LEBANON, Tennessee (August 15, 2006) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie Phillip McGilton didn't leave Nashville Superspeedway Saturday with the finish he wanted. After posting very respectable and competitive times in practice and a strong 15th place qualifying effort, McGilton had high hopes for his debut in the "Music City."
Early rain halted the first and only practice session of the weekend. Nonetheless, the track was dry nearly three hours later but a limited session was in store for the competitors. When the deducted session was concluded, the No. 42 was 14th on the charts with a time of 31.070 seconds at 154.451 mph. "The car is really good, we are consistent. The crew has prepared me a great car and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend."
With a limited practice session, The SI Performance team had a good feeling about qualifying, but Mother Nature had other plans. An hour before ARCA qualifying was set to begin; massive rain and storms invaded Nashville Superspeedway forcing the postponement of time trials until Saturday morning.
"This is a good thing for us," McGilton remarked. "If ARCA had washed out qualifying, we would have been on the truck going home, now we have a chance."
In time trials, McGilton guided his machine around the track with a time of 30.807 seconds equaling a speed of 155.770 mph. His effort was two-tenths of a second faster from practice. The final rundown put McGilton 15th on the starting grid. "It's a solid starting position for us, I'll take it. "We near the front and that's where we need to be. Hopefully we can progress forward smoothly, stay out of trouble and put a period to our weekend with a good finish."
41 drivers and teams started the ARCA 200 shortly after 2:00pm CST with McGilton quickly on the move. Under the guidance of crew chief and former driver Eric Jones, the No. 42 SI-Performance-Gould's Electric Ford Taurus began its charge towards the front.
As quickly as McGilton's day was heading towards a second top-ten finish of the 2005 season, McGilton reported a miss in the engine. Shortly after, McGilton was forced to bring his No. 42 to the garage with a disappointing 34th place finish.
"Obviously this isn't the kind of day we were looking for," said the dejected driver. "Our car was very good. Eric Jones (crew chief) and the entire SI Performance Team did a spectacular job preparing the car. I'm not really sure what happened to the engine, but we'll check it out and we'll bounce back."
When asked about his debut at the 1.333-mile speed plant, he commented "I really like Nashville Superspeedway. It's a very smooth but demanding racetrack. We had mechanical problems in April which kept me from making my ARCA debut, but I've have a good feel for the track and I know we'll have a better run next year."
McGilton and the SI Performance Team will have no time to reflect on Nashville's performance as the duo must prepare for their return to Michigan International Speedway for the running of the Hantz Group 200 this Friday. In June, McGilton qualified 30th and raced very competitively before experiencing a series of problems. He finished the race 34th.
"I'm looking forward to returning to Michigan," added McGilton, a successful businessman by trade. "We had a pretty good car and I thought we were going to have a good finish but circumstances beyond our control kept us from doing that. Hopefully our weekend runs smoothly from start to finish and we'll put our No. 42 back into the top-ten."
After Nashville, McGilton a native of Illinois has four ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his resume with a career best finish of ninth at Kansas Speedway (July 2006). He holds a career best superspeedway time trials effort of 15th at Kansas Speedway (July 2006) and Nashville Superspeedway (August 2006).
Following Michigan, the SI Performance Team is scheduled to run in two more ARCA RE/MAX Series events at Chicagoland Speedway (September) and Talladega Superspeedway (October). The team is utilizing the 2006 season to get their feet wet in ARCA competition before pulling together a more intense racing schedule in 2007.