No Lady Luck For Montgomery Tire Problems Once Again Haunt Rookie November 15, 2004 (Darlington, South Carolina) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie Chase Montgomery welcomed the opportunity to race at the historic Darlington Raceway - the...
No Lady Luck For Montgomery
Tire Problems Once Again Haunt Rookie
November 15, 2004 (Darlington, South Carolina) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie Chase Montgomery welcomed the opportunity to race at the historic Darlington Raceway - the track that he had watched so many times on TV as a youngster. Finally on Saturday night, the 21-year-old was given his opportunity and an eventful evening involving a freak tire failure evolved into a disappointing 29th place finish at the 1.33-mile oval in the running of the Darlington 200.
"I just don't know what we need to do to get some good breaks," said Montgomery. "I got stuck three wide coming off turn four with no where to go and the truck underneath me pushed me up into the truck on the outside. It ended up cutting the valve stem off the tire and I was forced to pit under green. I am not sure I have had a tire failure like that before but this is the type of year it has been for us. Other than the tire, I had a blast racing out there tonight - this old track is a lot of fun."
The inaugural visit to the track for Montgomery started with a 21st place qualifying effort on Thursday as he posted a lap of 29.959 seconds for a speed of 164.144 mph. Chase and the BHR2 team made the #8 DODGE a little better in the Happy Hour session later in the evening and posted the 16th best time in the session.
With the hopes of the rookie driver and his team high for the first race under the lights in the history of Darlington, their focus would be interrupted as a heavy downpour just minutes before the scheduled race time forced postponement of the scheduled 147 lap event until Saturday evening.
With cool, but dry, conditions greeting the teams on Saturday evening, the flag flew with Montgomery methodically and patiently slicing his way through the field. When the third caution of the evening flew on lap 34, Chase and his #8 DODGE had moved into the 15th position. A pit stop on lap 36 allowed for four fresh tires and fuel with the Mt. Juliet, Tennessee native returning to the field in the 28th spot. Once again, he patiently moved his way through the field and was running in the 22nd spot when the next yellow flag flew on lap 61. With the #8 DODGE fighting a tight condition off the corners; Montgomery brought his truck down pit road for service of tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment on lap 63.
Back under green flag racing, Montgomery reported back to his crew that the #8 DODGE truck was really good and he quickly moved inside the top 20. On lap 82, the rookie was caught in the center of the dreaded three wide off turn four and contact with the outside truck cut the valve stem off the right rear tire. The result was Montgomery being forced to pit under green and the loss of the two laps.
The last 60 laps of the event saw Montgomery carefully maneuver around the track while at the same time hoping for the opportunity to possibly earn back a lap or even two. In the end, the rookie came home with a few infamous Darlington stripes on his #8 DODGE - but yet fully intact.
"I think we have had just about every type of failure imaginable happen to us this year," stated Chase. "In all, I did have a great time running around this historic track. My guys gave me a solid truck as usual and we would have had a very respectable finish in our first visit here if not for the freak tire problem - but there is not much we can do about that but get ready for the final race of the season next week in Homestead."
The unfortunate finish dropped Montgomery one spot down to 22nd in the overall driver's standings.