Montgomery Strong in Martinsville Debut "Rookie Earns Career Best Finish in Craftsman Truck Series" April 19, 2004 (Martinsville, Virginia) -- After racing on two of the fastest tracks on the Craftsman Truck Series circuit and a month...
Montgomery Strong in Martinsville Debut
"Rookie Earns Career Best Finish in Craftsman Truck Series"
April 19, 2004 (Martinsville, Virginia) -- After racing on two of the fastest tracks on the Craftsman Truck Series circuit and a month off between the races, Chase Montgomery was really looking forward to some short track racing. In his first appearance at the difficult paper-clip shaped Martinsville Speedway, Montgomery put on an impressive performance as he piloted his #8 Dodge to a 16th place finish in the running of the Kroger 250.
"I had a blast out there today," said Montgomery. "In addition to having some fun, I sure did learn a lot this weekend. We definitely had a top 10 truck today but that last set of tires was not the best for us and that hurt us a little with our finishing spot. It took me some time to find the best line around here but I think we had it figured out pretty well on race day. My BHR2 crew worked hard all weekend and this team continues to improve with each race -- including the driver."
Chase started the 250 lap battle from the 34th position as a result of his qualifying effort on Friday. "I just plain messed up in qualifying," stated Chase. "The guys gave me a great truck and we were in the top 20 during the practice session. I guess it is part of the learning process for me but I definitely want to minimize these types of mistakes as the season progresses. I would have qualified in the top 10 if I had just backed up my practice time."
As the green flag dropped on race day, it was clearly evident that the #8 Dodge was one of the strongest in the field. So strong, that the 20-year-old Montgomery passed half the field before the halfway point of the race. By lap 150, Montgomery was running inside the top 10 and reporting that the truck was awesome. The team made their second and final pit stop of the day on lap 162 for 4 tires and fuel. The aforementioned final set of tires was not as good as the previous set and resulted in the #8 Dodge fighting with a tight condition. Chase battled with what he had to the end and brought the truck home safely to a 16th place finish.
The career best finish in his 4th career start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series moved Montgomery up 5 spots in the drivers point standings to the 23rd position. It also moved him into the 4th spot in the highly contested Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle.
Chase and his BHR2 team will have a few weeks off before heading to another short track battle for the inaugural Ohio 250 at the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on May 16th.