September 20, 2004 (Loudon, New Hampshire) - The New England area was inundated with heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ivan on Saturday - and in turn the patience of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery and his BHR2 team were...
September 20, 2004 (Loudon, New Hampshire) - The New England area was inundated with heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ivan on Saturday - and in turn the patience of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chase Montgomery and his BHR2 team were put to the test. The 20-year old rookie and his team responded with a solid performance and a 17th place finish in the running of the Sylvania 200 presented by Lowe's at the New Hampshire International Speedway.
"Considering everything - this was not a bad day," said Chase. "We fought a tight off condition on this #8 DODGE early in the race but Randy Seals (crew chief) made some helpful adjustments and at the end of the race our truck was the best it had been all day. It was bizarre racing out there in the dark but it was nice to get the race in today. "
The 20-year-old rookie was solid the entire weekend in his debut run at the 1.0-mile oval at Loudon. He backed up his strong practice runs with a qualifying run of 30.134 seconds which was good enough for the 21st starting spot.
On raceday, the competitors were welcomed with the heavy rain and what looked like no chance of running the 200 lap event on Saturday. After nearly a four delay, NASCAR hurriedly put all 36 trucks onto the track with the first 35 laps being run under caution to help the track drying process.
Once under green flag racing on lap 36, Chase again used patience in letting the field sort out and feeling out the condition of the track. He settled into the 20th position when the "tight off" condition began to hurt the lap times of the #8 DODGE. On lap 67, the Mt. Juliet, Tennessee native came down pit road to the attention of his BHR2 crew where he received 4 fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Montgomery returned to the track and once again settled around the top 20 before pitting again on lap 84 for some further service. The crew and driver were slowly getting the handle on their DODGE truck and were sitting in the seventh position with a lap 109 restart. Chase held his own inside the top 10 before a lap 117 incident with another competitor, as they both battled for track position, resulted in him spinning out entering turn three. The loss of track position was a big blow as Montgomery was relegated to restarting at the end of the field.
The last 75 laps of the event saw the rookie slowly work his way up through the field as his #8 DODGE continued to improve. As darkness neared, Montgomery steered clear of any late race problems and safely came home with his ninth top 20 finish of the season.
"Once again I think we had a better truck than our finish indicates," stated Montgomery. "We had that spin out that really hurt us with track position and the truck just continued to get better as the race went on. I am very proud of this team as they continue to work hard and give me good trucks. I am just glad that we were able to get the race in today and not have to sit around here until Monday - we were running out of movies to watch in the lounge.
The 17th place finish kept Montgomery in the 22nd spot in the overall driver's standings and moved him up into fifth place in the highly contested rookie battle.
For more information on Chase and his team, please visit them at www.chasemontgomery.com