Montgomery Smacked in Buckeye State Rookie Caught Up in Late Race Melee' May 18, 2004 (Mansfield, Ohio) - To say that Chase Montgomery feels like he has a black cloud hovering over him would be an understatement. Once again bitten by bad...
Montgomery Smacked in Buckeye State
Rookie Caught Up in Late Race Melee'
May 18, 2004 (Mansfield, Ohio) - To say that Chase Montgomery feels like he has a black cloud hovering over him would be an understatement. Once again bitten by bad luck, Montgomery finished 29th in the inaugural running of the UAW/GM Ohio 250 at the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway after being collected in a short track version of the "big one".
"I am not really sure what happened out there," stated Chase. "All I know is that I came off Turn 2 and there were trucks everywhere and I had no where to go. I think we had some guys out there racing like it was the last lap. This is very frustrating because we had a decent day going and were running inside the top 15. We just were taking our time all day and keeping our nose clean and then the mess happened."
A persistent rain system hung over the speedway on Saturday and resulted in the cancellation of all on-track activities including qualifying. As a result Chase and his #8 DODGE rolled off the starting grid on race day from the 15th position. With his race sponsors in attendance, Spitzer DODGE and Atlas Electric, the 22 year old was pumped for the 250 lap event and had a good feeling about the day ahead.
As the green flag fell a sell-out crowd of 21,000 people created a buzz in the air most deserving for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Chase quickly picked his way forward in the field and avoided any trouble that persisted on the .44 mile oval. After a pit stop for 4 tires and fuel on lap 71, Montgomery had moved his #8 DODGE inside the top 10 by the midpoint of the race. At this point he was running as fast as the leaders and had his sights set for the front.
The second half of the race saw Chase dealing with a tight race truck as well as a soft brake pedal. He fell back a little but maintained a solid top 15 position before the "big one" occurred on lap 229 - 21 laps from the finish.
"Even though I am very disappointed we had a very good truck today," said Chase. "We need to get rid of this black cloud and the bad luck it is bringing us. It is off to Charlotte and the race at Lowe's and maybe that will be where our fortunes make a turn for the better. We have had good runs each time out so far but we just need to stay away from the mess when it happens."
The 29th place finish kept Montgomery in the 23rd spot in the overall driver's standings while dropping him to 5th in the highly contested battle for the Rookie of the Year honor.
Chase and his BHR2 team have very little time to think about their misfortunes in Ohio as the series' heads to the Lowe's Motor Speedway for a under the lights show this Friday night. The running of the Infineon 200 is scheduled to begin at 8:55 p.m. with LIVE coverage on SPEED Channel.