After several weeks filled with misfortune, lady luck finally smiled down on Ricky Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet team at Kentucky Speedway as skillful driving, combined with a gusty call on fuel mileage, landed the driver in ...
After several weeks filled with misfortune, lady luck finally smiled down on Ricky Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet team at Kentucky Speedway as skillful driving, combined with a gusty call on fuel mileage, landed the driver in fifth-place at the checkered flag in the Built Ford Tough 225.
Carmichael, whose highest finish of 2009 (seventh) came at Kentucky Speedway, was very optimistic regarding his return to the 1.5-mile track. The team had two successful practice sessions to get Carmichael comfortable in his truck and, with a strong qualifying effort, began the race in the ninth-position, poised to race 150 laps.
In his first run of the night, Carmichael reported to crew chief Doug Randolph that he was "loose on entry" -- a condition he battled until the first caution flag flew on lap 19. Randolph immediately began calculating fuel mileage and called Carmichael down pit road for fuel only and sent him back out for another 20-lap run.
When the second caution flag of the race was displayed on lap 46, Carmichael was still "free in the center" and came to the attention of his Monster Energy crew to have his track bar lowered two rounds, four fresh tires, an air pressure adjustment and a tank full of Sunoco race fuel.
Carmichael hovered between 12th and 15th-position for the next 24 laps when the field was slowed to a caution pace for the third time. He felt that he was "pretty good at the beginning of the run," but shortly into it, his truck got "aero-tight." Randolph called him down pit road for four tires and fuel before re-starting the race on lap 80. Less than one full lap after the re-start, the fourth caution of the race was displayed and Carmichael, who was running in the eighth-position, was immediately instructed to start conserving as much fuel as he could under the caution period.
The Monster Energy team was put to work once more on lap 91, when the No. 4 returned to pit road after the fifth caution of the night. The crew worked feverishly to completely fill the fuel tank and drop the track bar down one round before sending Carmichael back out for the final time.
Carmichael made his way into the eighth-position and, despite conserving fuel under green, was running lap times faster than half of the competitors ahead of him. His conservation efforts paid off when he took the checkered flag in the fifth-position to secure his second top-five of the 2010 season.
Todd Bodine was the race winner at Kentucky. Johnny Sauter, Aric Almirola and Jason White joined Carmichael to round out the top-five.
RICKY CARMICHAEL: "I can't begin to describe how good it feels to get another top-five finish. The run of bad luck we've had the last few weeks has just been such a bummer for the entire team and I think the performance we've had this weekend is exactly what we need to build everyone back up and hopefully get some good momentum goings. We've been running really good and it feels great to finally have a finish that reflects that. "
-source: turner motorsports