McCumbee Scores Top Ten at Chicago Friday, August 28th, Chicagoland Speedway -- In a return to Crew Chief Bobby Dotter's hometown, Chad McCumbee and the SS Green Light Racing team again showed substantial on-track performance gains as the team...
McCumbee Scores Top Ten at Chicago
Friday, August 28th, Chicagoland Speedway -- In a return to Crew Chief Bobby Dotter's hometown, Chad McCumbee and the SS Green Light Racing team again showed substantial on-track performance gains as the team scored it's fifth top-ten of the 2009 NCWTS season.
McCumbee was strong in his ASA Limited Chevy posting top-six speeds in all four of the practice sessions including the quickest speed in Thursday's final session. The 24-year old truck series veteran nearly scored his first-ever pole position posting the second fastest qualifying lap on Friday afternoon earning a starting spot on the outside of the front row. It was the fifth time in McCumbee's career he started on the outside pole.
At the drop of the green flag, Chad settled into the second spot behind Crafton and let Kyle Busch take the second place a few laps later. McCumbee cruised through the early sages of the race running in third place. The team topped the ASI Limited Chevy off with Sunoco racing gas on a lap 21 caution and resumed in the fourth position where Chad stayed until green-flag stops started around lap 70. Chad reported to Dotter than the truck was getting increasingly tight as the tires long run continued. "I'm trying to save the right front. We're pretty tight," he radioed on lap 48.
Chad came to the attention of the SS Green Light Crew on lap 73 for fuel and again on lap 79 for four fresh tires as he was getting a vibration and feared the right front tire was wearing out. The SS Green Light team made two great stops, but many of the lead lap trucks only made one stop for, placing the No.07 two laps down in 22nd.
The fresh rubber was just what Chad needed as he consistently turned the quickest laps on track and un-lapped himself on lap 95 moving up to 16th place when the next caution flew on lap 97 for a spin by Ricky Carmichael. Chad would restart the race at the tail of the lead-lap in front of then leader Todd Bodine. Chad and Mike Skinner had a 20-lap battle for the lucky dog position; the two made contact during the fight damaging the right rear quarter panel of McCumbee mount. Chad finally prevailed on lap 122 when the caution flew for debris.
Dotter called McCumbee into the pits for four fresh Goodyear's, restarting 12th with 25 laps remaining. In two laps Chad quickly moved to tenth and had a very close call narrowly missing a spinning TJ Bell on lap 127. Following a single-file restart on 130, Chad darted up to 8th on 132 and charged into 7th on lap 134 and looked poised to continue to charge to the front. "I'm super tight," he radioed on 136. "It will not turn, something doesn't feel right."
Another caution for a multi truck incident bunched the field on lap 139 and setup a showdown to the finish. McCumbee made several attempts to pass Johnny Sauter on laps 143 and 144 before making a daring three-wide pass all the way up to 5th on lap 145. The side-by-side battle bunched together Sauter, Dennis Setzer, Timothy Peters and Chad as scrambled for positions five through eight. Chad emerged from the melee in seventh, where he finished the 150-lap race behind winner Kyle Busch.
"Overall, this was a pretty good race for us. We had a lot of guests and old friends here in Bobby's hometown. I'm disappointed we could not come out of that battle with a top-five. We certainly had a truck capable of a top-five before we got the damage on the rear. I think that is what caused us getting tight as the race went on. I hate that we got together with Mike, it certainly was not intentional." McCumbee said following the race. "We got a little out of sync on the green flag stops and we raced hard to get back on the lead lap."
"That was pretty wild at the end, we got three wide a couple of times. I just wish we could have picked-up a few more spots at the end for the guys on the ASI team, they had good stops tonight." McCumbee added. "This is a good truck and we have something to work with for our next race with it."