Rich Bickle Ponoco Preview

HARRISBURG, NC (July 20, 1999) It's hard to imagine a 24th-place finish as the defining moment for a race team, but that effort in the first race at Pocono Raceway earlier this season might have been just that for Rich Bickle and the ...

HARRISBURG, NC (July 20, 1999) It's hard to imagine a 24th-place finish as the defining moment for a race team, but that effort in the first race at Pocono Raceway earlier this season might have been just that for Rich Bickle and the 10-10-345 Pontiac. "We took a brand new car to the first Pocono race and handled great with a lot of sidebite," said Bickle of the first new car turned out by his Tyler Jet Motorsports team. "The guys at the shop did a heck of a job putting the car together in a short period of time. I could tell from the drop of the green that we had a Top-15 car." Bickle eventually made it into the Top-15 only to have a wheel vibrate loose in the late going. That forced the 38-year-old driver to pit road for repairs putting him two laps down to the leaders. Back on the track, Bickle ran with the frontrunners the rest of the afternoon only to be saddled with the 24th-place effort. "We didn't get the finish we wanted or deserved, but I think we proved something to ourselves that afternoon," said Bickle. "We showed we could run up front with the new cars we were turning out back at the shop. That gave everyone a boost of confidence." Since the Pocono event, Bickle has shown steady progress with a 21st-place showing at Sears Point, an 18th at Daytona and a 14th in the last race on the Winston Cup tour at New Hampshire. In each case, Bickle drove a new Tyler Jet mount. "The team has been turning out a new car about every 10 days," stated Bickle. "That pretty incredible. The new cars are great. We've moved up 11 positions in the owners point standings to 29th in the last nine races. At New Hampshire, we had the fastest car on the track late in the race, a car good enough to finish in the Top 5. Unfortunately, we had to stop for fuel with just a couple of laps left. Thats tough to take considering how hard everyone has worked to make that kind of finish possible. "I'm confident we can finish in the Top 10 at Pocono," Bickle continued. "We've been to the wind tunnel twice and made some improvements on our car since the last time we raced at Pocono. I know everyone is looking forward to going back there. That track owes us a good finish."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle