Rookie Continues Improving Ways July 5, 2004 (Kansas City, Kansas) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery enjoyed his visit to the heartland and the friendly confines of the Kansas Speedway. Montgomery wheeled his ...
Rookie Continues Improving Ways
July 5, 2004 (Kansas City, Kansas) - NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery enjoyed his visit to the heartland and the friendly confines of the Kansas Speedway. Montgomery wheeled his #8 DODGE to a career best finish of 13th at the 1.5-mile track on Saturday in the running of the O'Reilly 250.
"That was a lot of fun out there today," stated Chase. "The guys on the team worked hard again this week and once again the truck was good. We didn't have anything weird happen and we just kept digging and finished strong. I think I was still a little bit better than where we finished but this thing is about taking baby steps and improving each week out. Bobby (Hamilton) once again gave me a good talk before the race and that is always a big help in learning these trucks and what to expect."
Chase started the 250 mile event from the 25th position as a result of qualifying being rained out on Friday - and the field being set according to the 2004 owner's points. As a matter of fact, all track time was washed out on Friday and the teams were given a brief half hour practice session early on race morning. Montgomery and his BHR2 team worked quickly to get as much practice in as possible and the result was a confident atmosphere surrounding the team and its driver as they headed into the race.
The start of the 167 lap event, under bright sunny skies, saw the Mt. Juliet, TN native feel out his #8 DODGE and dart his way forward in the field. With some wild happenings in the early stages of the race, Chase kept his head about him and safely maneuvered his DODGE around the troubles. A lap 30 pit stop revealed a flat spotted and worn tire from some of those maneuvers. Back on the track with fresh Goodyear tires on the left side only, the #8 DODGE handled better for Montgomery as he continued to gain spots on the track. However, a long green flag run in the middle portion of the race did eventually see Chase go down a lap to the leaders. In displaying the determination that they have all year, the driver and his team battled with all that they had and finally earned a lucky break and their first "lucky dog" award of the year with a caution on lap 110.
The last 50 laps saw the #8 DODGE back on the lead lap as Chase hung around the top 10 and was running comfortable in the 9th spot on a restart with less than 15 laps to go. The 20-year-old rookie battled the veterans and lead trucks for those last 15 laps and with the encouragement of his team kept his nose clean and brought his #8 DODGE home to the career best finish.
"I would like to think that we can run like this each week out there," said Montgomery. "This team is growing more and more every week and I learn more each time out there. We just need to continue with our improvements and we will be in this situation every race. It is important to follow this strong run up with another next week at Kentucky - a track somewhat similar to here at Kansas."
The 13th place finish kept Montgomery in the 23rd spot in the drivers standings but moved him substantially closer to the drivers directly in from him. Also, the finish moved the team into the 24th position in the owners point standings.
Chase and his team will take their momentum with them into the Kentucky Speedway for the running of the Built Ford Tough 225 on Saturday night.
For more information on Chase and his team, please visit them at www.chasemontgomery.com