ACCIDENT ENDS RACE FOR ANDRETTI AND TEAM AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY Andretti qualifies on time once again; Battles tirelessly for "lucky dog" position before accident CONCORD, N.C. (October 13, 2007) -- This weekend, NASCAR returned to the ...
ACCIDENT ENDS RACE FOR ANDRETTI AND TEAM AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Andretti qualifies on time once again; Battles tirelessly for "lucky dog" position before accident
CONCORD, N.C. (October 13, 2007) -- This weekend, NASCAR returned to the heart of stock car country for the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Home to the majority of race teams, there is a certain element of pride that accompanies races held at the track. For John Andretti and BAM Racing, the focus was once again on qualifying for Saturday's race and running well for all of the employees at the shop. Andretti qualified for the race in the 43rd position and was intent on capturing a solid finish until he was involved in an accident on lap 208. He finished the race in a disappointing 42nd place.
Before an estimated crowd of 165,000 fans, drivers were introduced in LeMans fashion on the track and under the lights of the 1.5-mile quad-oval. Fans and teams alike wondered what the race would hold following the caution-filled NASCAR Busch Series event the night before.
The first of 15 cautions came out on lap two for an accident in turn four. Unable to get a feel for the Paralyzed Veterans Dodge, it wasn't until the next caution on lap 22 that Andretti reported that the racecar was tight in the center of the turns.
Andretti came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments in preparation to work his way up through the running order. As racing action resumed, Andretti began consistently gaining position on track running as high as 33rd even though the Paralyzed Veterans Dodge remained tight.
The BAM Racing team used a series of cautions in the first half of the race to make improvements to the No. 49 Dodge Charger. Finally hitting the mark, Andretti reported the car was the best it had been all night as the mid-point of the race approached under caution. He was running in the 31st position.
With the car dialed-in, Andretti battled feverishly for the "lucky dog" position which would return him to the lead lap if he were the first car one lap down to the leader. At one point, he was within laps of passing Kasey Kahne to be in position for the free pass before an untimely caution came out thwarting his effort.
Unfortunately, Andretti was caught in an accident on lap 208 when the No. 55 machine of Michael Waltrip spun on the frontstretch. With nowhere to go, Andretti hit the outside wall damaging the BAM Racing Dodge beyond repair. Forced to retire early, the team ultimately finished the race in the 42nd position.
"We were certainly disappointed that the race ended early for us," commented team owner Beth Ann Morgenthau. "Everyone in the shop and on the road works so hard to prepare the racecars each week. We gave the employees of BAM Racing a good show up until the accident. Hopefully, they are as proud of our effort as we are of them."
Andretti and the BAM Racing team head to Martinsville Speedway for the excitement of the Subway 500. The race will air live on ABC at 1:00 p.m. EDT and broadcast live on MRN.
-credit: bam racing