Wood Brothers Racing Under The Lights At Chicagoland Speedway Joliet, IL (July 12, 2008)-Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott were faced with a new challenge of racing under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night, July 12th for the...
Wood Brothers Racing Under The Lights At Chicagoland Speedway
Joliet, IL (July 12, 2008)-Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott were faced with a new challenge of racing under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night, July 12th for the LifeLock.com 400. The 21 team worked tenaciously on the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion and completed the 267 lap event in 35th position.
Bill Elliott began the 400 mile race in the 37th position after the starting grid was set on owner's points and past champion status due to NASCAR cancelling qualifying for rain on Thursday evening. Since the teams never practiced or raced during the night time's cooler conditions, the 21 team could only speculate on how the car would perform in the inaugural night race at the 1.5 D shaped track. Within 5 laps of drop of the green flag, Elliott reported a very loose condition that was hard to control. He held on to see if putting laps on the tires would help. Despite the loose condition, Bill's lap times were decent as he kept pace with the leaders.
On lap 36, NASCAR called a competition yellow flag to check tire wear since the track conditions were unknown. The 21 team took the opportunity to make some adjustments to help with the loose handling and to prepare for cooler track temperatures as dusk set in. They also put on four fresh tires and added fuel.
The race restarted on lap 39 and Elliott was scored in the 38th position.On lap 48, the second caution came out and Bill reported that the U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion seemed to be better. Crew Chief Mike Smith decided to bring the no. 21 down pit road for four tires, fuel and to add a little more to the previous adjustments. The green flag waved on lap 52 and Bill restarted in the 37th position.
The darkened sky brought in cooler temperatures by lap 85 andBill reported that the no. 21 was pretty good in turn three, but tight after. The 21 team decided to make a green flag pit stop on lap 101 where they made a slight air pressure adjustment and chassis adjustment along with four tires and fuel. The 21 team pit crew finished the task in 14.4 seconds and sent the no. 21 back to the track in 40th position. Elliott quickly gained the lost ground and moved up to 37th within 5 laps but went one lap down to the leaders.
After several laps and another caution, the 21 team made more adjustments to help with the persisting tight condition. Elliott radioed into the team that on longer, green flag runs, the car seemed to get tight, but was loose at the start of a run. Shortly past the halfway mark of the 267 lap race, caution flew on lap 141 for debris. Crew Chief Mike Smith called for more adjustments to help the loose condition at the start of the green flag runs. Elliott restarted on lap 146 in 38th.
By lap 190, the adjustments appeared to be doing the job as Elliott moved up to 35th. On lap 207, Bill reported that the car was better. As the race laps wound down, the no. 21 raced in and around the 35th position as the team made more adjustments on the last two cautions of the evening. Bill took the checkered flag on lap 267 and finished in 35th place.