Rockingham: Kevin Swindell race report

Kevin Swindell Earns Second-Place Finish at Rockingham Speedway Nabs Career-High ARCA Racing Series Finish Rockingham, N.C. (October 11, 2010) - Kevin Swindell drove the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) Toyota to a second-place finish in the ...

Kevin Swindell Earns Second-Place Finish at Rockingham Speedway
Nabs Career-High ARCA Racing Series Finish

Rockingham, N.C. (October 11, 2010) - Kevin Swindell drove the No. 6 Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) Toyota to a second-place finish in the American 200 presented by Black's Tire & Auto Service at Rockingham Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards.

The 21-year-old driver started the weekend off grabbing the top spot in the practice session with a time of 24.605 seconds (146.312 mph). Swindell continued to impress the competition by earning his first Menards Pole award presented by Ansell when he laid down a lap of 24.763 seconds (145.378 mph).

The No. 6 ESR Toyota took the green flag for the final race of the ARCA Racing Series season on Saturday afternoon for the 200-lap event. Starting from the pole position, Swindell quickly gained a substantial lead on the field. The first caution of the day flew on lap 11 for a single car spin off turn two, and Swindell radioed to the crew that the car was free, especially going into the turn. The team stayed out to keep their valuable track position.

The race went back to green on lap 15, and the No. 6 continued to dominate up front. By lap 21, Swindell gained a half-straightaway lead on the rest of the field, which extended to a straightaway lead by lap 33. The young driver radioed to his crew that the car was really good in turns three and four but not as good in turns one and two. He also mentioned a concern for the brakes and told the crew he would back off a little since he had a big lead.

The yellow flag flew for a second time on lap 51 for a single car spin in turn one. The ESR team took this opportunity to call the No. 6 down pit road for service. The team changed four tires, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment. Swindell went back on the track in the fifth position. Swindell took the green flag on lap 60, and by lap 71, he radioed his hot brakes were beginning to stick.

The third caution came on lap 76 for a single car spin in turn four, and Swindell radioed to his crew that the car was a little snug early in the run. Hodges suggested he take out some of the rear brakes, as he restarted in the fifth position. By lap 78, Swindell moved up to the fourth position and held steady until lap 95 when he worked up to third and mirrored the leader's lap times. At the halfway point, he held the third position, and Hodges encouraged his driver to save the big push until the end of the race.

Swindell fell back to fourth on lap 131 and battled the No. 55 of Steve Arpin. The No. 6 fell to the seventh position, but a caution on lap 147 allowed the ESR team to come to pit road to make their last pit stop of the day. The team changed four tires and made another air pressure adjustment to help with handling. The No. 6 came off pit road in the ninth position.

When the field took the final green flag, the team coached Swindell to save his car until the last 20 laps. He worked his way to the seventh position and began to battle Buescher on lap 167. He took over the fifth spot one lap later. On the 172nd lap, Hodges radioed to his driver to go ahead and race hard for the win. Four laps later, Swindell raced with the No. 44 of Frank Kimmel and took the fourth position from Kimmel by lap 176. He quickly worked passed the No. 60 of Patrick Sheltra and took over the third spot.

As they looked ahead, the team realized it would take a caution for Swindell to make up the distance between the No. 6 and the leader, No. 41 of Ty Dillion. Luck did not fall in their favor as the final 24 laps were run under green-flag conditions. Swindell settled for the second position as Dillon crossed the finish line first.

"It was an overall good day," said Swindell. "The first half of the race, we were strong. The first pit stop was a little rough, and we lost a few spots. We were able to get back but just couldn't overcome the track position on the last run. It was a pretty good day. I would have liked to have had another caution at the end for the opportunity to go for the win, but I'm happy with the day."

The race served as Swindell's fifth-career ARCA Racing Series event and his highest finish in the series. The second-place position topped his 11th-place finish in 2006 at Toledo Speedway.

-source: esr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Kevin Swindell , Patrick Sheltra