Promising Start at Charlotte Turns into Long Night for Schrader Ken Schrader, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry for Hall of Fame Racing, had a promising start to Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at...
Promising Start at Charlotte Turns into Long Night for Schrader
Ken Schrader, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry for Hall of Fame Racing, had a promising start to Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., but a lap-64 accident cost him and the DLP team 76 laps in the garage for repairs before they returned to the track to salvage a 38th-place finish.
Schrader started 39th on a grid set according to owner points after qualifying was rained out Thursday. He found the handling on his No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota to his liking from the very start of the 334-lap event, and he got the most out of it by picking off car after car until he found himself in 23rd place by lap 59.
But on lap 64, Schrader moved to the outside of Mike Skinner in the No. 84 Toyota heading into turn one, just as Michael Waltrip in the No. 55 Toyota slipped underneath Skinner. Waltrip bobbled and then slid up into Skinner, who in turn pinched Schrader up into wall, both making significant contact.
Several pit stops to try and repair Schrader's No. 96 car could not cure a severe vibration he continued to experience while making his way around the track under caution between pit stops. Immediately upon taking the green flag on the lap-70 restart, Schrader and the team decided to take the car to the garage to further investigate the vibration and found a severed motor mount that took nearly 40 minutes to repair.
Schrader rejoined the race on lap 145, 76 laps down and in 41st place. He made up three positions before the checkered flag fell for his final finishing position of 38th.
"I sure hated to see a good race car go to waste like that," said Schrader, who finished 16th last weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the DLP HDTV team's second-best finish of the season. "We started off feeling pretty good about what we had going on there in the early part of the race. As for the incident that took us out of it, it was simply a matter of three cars going where there was only room for two. Michael (Waltrip) just slid up into Skinner, who slid up into me, and that was all she wrote. But man, I felt good about our race car tonight. It's a shame, but we'll be back next week to give it another go."
"It wasn't the finish we were all hoping for and what we thought we might have, but we sure did have ourselves a good race car tonight," added crew chief Steve Boyer. "But we tried a lot of different things after we got back out on track with nothing to lose, and I think we have a good foundation to build on for the rest of the season."
With the 38th-place finish, the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing entry dropped one position and now sits 39th in the series' owner standings with 2,045 points, 342 markers behind the 35th-place No. 84 entry of Red Bull Racing.
Jeff Burton won the Bank of America 500 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his third at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne finished 0.946 of a second behind Burton in the runner-up spot, with Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray rounding out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and David Ragan comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were 10 caution periods for 49 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Oct. 19 Tums QuickPak 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live, high-definition coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.