Montgomery Rebounds in Fontana Rookie Nets Much Needed Top 20 October 4, 2004 (Fontana, California) - A very long and weary week on the west coast was capped off by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery with a much needed...
Montgomery Rebounds in Fontana
Rookie Nets Much Needed Top 20
October 4, 2004 (Fontana, California) - A very long and weary week on the west coast was capped off by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery with a much needed strong performance. The newly turned 21-year-old rookie finished 16th in the running of the American Racing Wheels 200 at the California Speedway.
"We really needed a run like this tonight," stated Montgomery. We had a strong truck and it was better than our finish indicated. Track position was so important out there and I think that hurt us a little bit with our finishing spot. We had a mechanical failure (clutch) right there in qualifying and we did not get much track time in the final practice last night but my crew chief (Randy Seals) and crew worked hard and made the right adjustments on this #8 Dodge. That was the most competitive we have been in a while and that makes you feel good for sure."
Montgomery and his #8 Alpine Engineered Products DODGE were strong right off the trailer. Despite never getting a full blow qualifying run in, Chase posted the 17th fastest time of the practice session. The entire BHR2 team entered qualifying with high hopes - but those were dashed quickly as Chase and his #8 DODGE experienced a clutch failure upon leaving pit road for their qualifying effort. The end result was no qualifying time and thus the need to take a provisional for the race.
As the sun set in the west, the green flag flew on Saturday evening for the 200 mile event. Montgomery darted forward in the early stages of the race and reported a very neutral handling condition on his #8 DODGE. An early pit stop on lap 11 allowed for a minor adjustment and fuel. Once back to green flag racing, Chase moved inside the top 20 and ran there comfortable until another pit stop on lap 29 for 4 tires, fuel and a small air pressure adjustment.
The second half of the 100 lap event saw the Mt. Juliet, Tennessee native battle inside the top 20 and begin to inch toward the top 10. Chase came down pit road one last time on lap 58 for once again tires, fuel and a small adjustment. He returned to the track in the 19th position and battled his way inside the top 15 with less than 20 laps remaining. A tight handling condition began to hamper the #8 DODGE towards the end as Montgomery settled in for the 16th place finish.
"That was a lot of fun out there tonight," stated Montgomery. "The guys did a great job adjusting on this #8 DODGE and their pit stops were great. That made it a little easier for me to pilot this DODGE around this place and be pretty competitive. Hopefully we got this bad luck thing behind us and we can string together a group of strong runs here to finish out the season."
The 16th place finish kept Montgomery in the 22nd spot in the overall driver's standings.