HATTORI HISTORIC DAY ENDS AFTER MULTI-TRUCK CRASH Daytona Beach, FL (February 20, 2005) Shige Hattori became the first Japanese-born driver to compete in a major NASCAR Touring Series event at Daytona International Speedway in the Florida Dodge...
HATTORI HISTORIC DAY ENDS AFTER MULTI-TRUCK CRASH
Daytona Beach, FL (February 20, 2005) Shige Hattori became the first Japanese-born driver to compete in a major NASCAR Touring Series event at Daytona International Speedway in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250. Hattori who had an outstanding qualifying run in the No. 9 AISIN/AISIN AW Toyota Tundra started the race in the 7th place position.
"We had a great truck and the handling was good," Hattori said. "In the beginning couple of laps the truck slid a little. Later on, after we pitted around 30 or 35 laps, the Germain/Arnold race truck was perfect and I really enjoyed driving it. The pit stop and tire change helped and the truck handled so well. Every lap was easy to drive and the engine from TRD was so fast. We were waiting for another caution to put us back on the lead lap."
Hattori who was caught a lap down after a green flag pit stop continued to race with the leaders trying to bring the AISIN/AISIN AW Tundra back on the lead lap. Hattori's historic day ended early after being tangled in the aftermath of Kerry Earnhardt's spin. Eight race trucks were caught in the wreck, Hattori's Germain/Arnold Tundra with fatal damage, ending his day with a disappointing 34th place finish.
"I had a lot of fun, but my goal today was to finish the race," Hattori said. "It was fun with the side-by-side racing. I had a really good truck and the engine was so strong. There was nothing I could do to avoid the wreck. It was sad after all the work the team put into the truck and we were running so well. It was fantastic to race at Daytona. I look forward to going home to California and race the AISIN/AISIN AW Toyota Tundra in Fontana."
Shige Hattori returns home to California and brings the rest of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to Fontana for the second race of the 2005 Season. The American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway will be broadcast live on SPEED, MRN and XM Satellite Radio at 9:15pm EST. For tickets or more information on the American Racing Wheels 200 visit www.CaliforniaSpeedway.com.