McCumbee Seventh at Dover for New Sponsor Saturday, May 30th -- Dover International Speedway - Just two weeks ago, Chad McCumbee didn't think he would be racing at Dover International Speedway this weekend, as the SS Green Light team did not ...
McCumbee Seventh at Dover for New Sponsor
Saturday, May 30th -- Dover International Speedway - Just two weeks ago, Chad McCumbee didn't think he would be racing at Dover International Speedway this weekend, as the SS Green Light team did not have sponsorship for the AAA Insurance 200. NASCAR technology provider inthinc and it's tiwi brand stepped up to help the No 07 team and in their first race together, McCumbee drove to a solid seventh place finish at the Monster Mile behind first time winner Brian Scott.
The SS Green Light team unloaded on Thursday for practice with a very fast race truck, but a broken motor mount cost them most of the practice sessions so the SS Green Light team did not know how good of a truck they really had. When Chad qualified fifth during Friday mornings qualifying session, McCumbee felt they would have a good truck for Friday night's race. However, the rains came just as the race was about to start on Friday afternoon, postponing the 200-mile event until Saturday.
The field took the green flag Saturday evening and the changing track conditions left Chad with a very loose truck. Rather than take a chance early in the event, Chad wisely took care of his tiwi No 07 allowing several trucks to pass. After early pit stops, Chad emerged back in the top ten following a competition caution on lap forty-five. Chad ran solidly in the top ten until lap 71 when the No 07 lost several places, getting caught behind Brian Ickler who had a flat right front tire.
A dropped lug nut during a pit stop on lap 85 dropped the tiwi Chevy all the way back to the sixteenth spot. McCumbee didn't let the miscue effect him and quickly grabbed several positions following the restart before Crew Chief Bobby Dotter used a little pit strategy to move Chad back into the top ten following a caution on lap 102.
By this time, Dotter and the SS Green Light team had made numerous adjustments to Chad's tiwi truck and Chad reported his Chevy was handling much better and neutral in the corners. Chad was bottled-up behind a slower truck after the race resumed on lap 106 and fell from seventh to ninth position. He soon began charging to the front of the back to seventh by lap 115 and into the top-five on lap 120, reaching fourth when the caution flew on lap 134.
Tire wear was an issue all day on the Monster Mile's concrete surface so Dotter chose to take four fresh Goodyear's while several trucks only took two under the caution which dropped Chad back to eighth again. The fresh rubber allowed Chad to again race up to sixth and Chad was closing on the top-five when both Kyle Busch and Colin Braun got flat right front tires at the same time moving Chad into the top-five. Busch and Braun both bounced off the wall of the Monster Mile and the races final caution flew for debris with only fifteen laps remaining.
Dotter and the team were faced with a huge decision: stay out on the track for the race's final laps and hope that the tires would hold out, or give up several positions and put the last two fresh right side tires they had onto the McCumbee's black and green tiwi Chevy. Dotter took no chances with blowing out a tire and called Chad to pit road. Four trucks including winner Brian Scott, who was running in fourth position prior to the caution stayed on the track dropping the No.07 back to ninth for the dash to the finish.
Chad gave it everything he had over the last green run and moved up to seventh when the checkers flew with Scott still at the point. It was the SS Green Light teams fourth top-ten of the season. "I think we made the right call at the end, we were wearing the right front pretty bad and it was the safe thing to do." McCumbee said after the race, "It was just too big of a chance and after watching two of the trucks in front of us both hit the wall on the same lap. In hindsight, could we have made it? I don't know. I'm just proud to give our new friends at tiwi a top ten in our first race together."
"We were super loose at the start of this race, but the SS Green Light guys did a great job of making adjustments and working us back up toward the front," he added. "Texas should be good for us next week, tiwi is going to be back with us and I think we can better this finish for them next week."
"It was just too risky to take a chance at the end," explained Dotter. "I thought we might get back to the top five with the fresh tires, but we came up a little short. This was a solid run for our first race with tiwi; I can't thank them enough for coming on board. I hope this is a sign of bigger things for them the next few races. This truck is in one piece and we now we need to get back to the shop and finish up the truck for Texas."
McCumbee remains eighth in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, but he is now only 140 points behind leader Ron Hornaday. The NCWTS heads to Chad's favorite track, the Texas Motor Speedway next Friday, June 5th. Tiwi will again sponsor the SS Green Light team for the WinStar World Casino 400.