No Breaks for Compton and Team ...
No Breaks for Compton and Team #59 at "The Rock"
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (February 25, 2002) -- Having one of the fastest cars on the track doesn't guarantee a top finish at "The Rock." This was the case for Stacy Compton and the Kingsford/Johnsonville Chevrolet team at the NASCAR Busch Series RBCterm.com 200 on Saturday. Even though they were faster than most of the cars finishing in the top 10, pit strategy played a big role in the outcome of the race.
During the race's second caution on lap 25, about a dozen cars chose to pit, while the rest of the field, including the #59 team, felt it was too early to use up one of their three allotted sets of tires. Unfortunately, a long caution free period forced them to pit later under the green flag, leaving them a lap down to the teams who had pitted on lap 25. As fate would have it, the third caution flag flew shortly thereafter, leaving only 11 cars on the lead lap.
"We may have missed the chassis setup a bit today," commented Compton after the race. "We could hold our own, but we weren't fast enough to mount a charge from one lap down. Rockingham always comes down to tire management, and we wish we had come in during that early caution."
Compton went on to say, "we had a chance to win Daytona last week and we were fast enough to finish in the top 10 today if the breaks had gone our way, so I'm encouraged about what we'll do in Vegas next week."
Starting 28th in the 43-car field, Compton and his team finished the race in 22nd place. Jason Keller won the race, scoring his sixth career win and his first at Rockingham.