KIRBY FINISHES HIS FIRST OUTING WITH MARATHON MOORESVILLE, NC (June 21, 2005) Rookie Stuart Kirby finished his first weekend piloting the Marathon ...
KIRBY FINISHES HIS FIRST OUTING WITH MARATHON
MOORESVILLE, NC (June 21, 2005) Rookie Stuart Kirby finished his first weekend piloting the Marathon #51 Chevy with all the ups and downs a rookie can handle. To start with, he broke a piston in the engine only six laps into the first practice session of the Batman Begins 400. This prevented them from taking advantage of the second practice. Therefore, expectations shifted from qualifying in the top 20, to simply making the race.
On qualifying day Stuart was scheduled to make his two laps 19th. The weather was cool and speeds were high. Stuart made a pretty good lap, but didn't see the gains most other teams experienced. Team members of the #51 car were very nervous and didn't get bumped into the race until the last car made their trip around the two-mile oval. Clearly at that point, things were back on the up-and-up and Sunday was on the midst.
Kirby did say before the race he was a little nervous although you never saw it. "I am excited for all the guys to finally get out here and especially for Marathon giving us this great opportunity." The Marathon #51 Chevy ran very well through the first pit stop at lap 31. About 20 laps later, the car started to get vibrations that were getting difficult to diagnose. Pit stop after pit stop the Marathon team tried to correct the problem. On lap 90, Kirby came across the radio saying the car is really loose, and 1 lap later hit the wall damaging suspension elements critical to staying safe on the track.
"It's good to get the first one behind us, it certainly isn't easy out there," Kirby said. The Marathon #51 team is currently scheduled next to race in Chicago on July 10 at the USG Sheetrock 400 on NBC at 3pm.