Rich Bickle Watkins Glen Review

HARRISBURG, NC (August 16, 1999) A solid run turned sour for Rich Bickle and the 10-10-345 Pontiac as a late-race spin netted the Tyler Jet Motorsports team a ...

HARRISBURG, NC (August 16, 1999) A solid run turned sour for Rich Bickle and the 10-10-345 Pontiac as a late-race spin netted the Tyler Jet Motorsports team a 36th-place finish in the Frontier At The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup race. Creative pit strategy had moved the sleek #45 purple racer into the Top 10 by Lap 20 of the 90-circuit race on the famed 11-turn Watkins Glen (NY) International road course. "Short stopping (pitting earlier than the competition) on our pit stops gained us a lot of positions early in the race," stated Tyler Jet crew chief James Ince. "It got us up in the Top 10 and we were able to run there for more than half the race. It kept us out of the cycle that everyone else was on and it looked like it was going to come to us in the end with a good finish. When you go to Watkins Glen, you have to gamble a lot. The key to a good finish there is not only outrunning them on the racetrack, but you also have to beat them on pit road. We did that Sunday." The solid strategy began to go south on lap 64 when Bickle executed a 360-degree spin exiting Turn 10. Despite the miscue, the 38-year-old driver lost just one position falling from fifth to sixth at the time. Two laps later, Bickle had another off-course excursion, this time in the car eating inner loop on the backstretch. Bickles Pontiac came to rest in the sand trap just outside the turn forcing a full course yellow caution flag. By the time safety crews were able to extract the 10-10-345 mount from the hazard, Bickle had lost two laps to the leaders. "Unfortunately, we had a problem at the end and this team didnt get the good finish it deserved," said Ince. "Everything were doing right now is to put ourselves in a position to win. We're real proud of our race team and were real proud of Rich Bickle as a driver. Weve got everything going right in the pits and the guys have been really busting back at the shop to give us the best cars possible when we get to the race track. Weve been taking advantage of mistakes made by other teams to get the finishes we deserve. We just had a little bad luck today." Next up for the 10-10-345 bunch will be the Pepsi 400 at Michigan Speedway, August 20-22. Qualifying on the 2-mile Michigan tri-oval will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, August 20 with the 200-lap Pepsi 400 taking the green flag at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, August 22. Sundays race will be telecast live on ESPN.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle