Bad Luck Strikes Down Rookie October 25, 2004 (Martinsville, Virginia) - Back in the spring, Chase Montgomery left the Martinsville Speedway after his career debut at the track and stated that "he could not wait to come back and race at ...
Bad Luck Strikes Down Rookie
October 25, 2004 (Martinsville, Virginia) - Back in the spring, Chase Montgomery left the Martinsville Speedway after his career debut at the track and stated that "he could not wait to come back and race at the track in the fall". Despite bad luck this time around, the rookie driver echoed the same thought as he left the .526 speedway on Saturday afternoon. A cut tire early in the running of the Kroger 200 cut short a strong run for Montgomery and relegated him and his #8 Alpine Engineered Products DODGE to a 19th place finish.
"We had an awesome truck today," said Montgomery. "There was no doubt that we would have had a top 10 finish and who knows how good it really could have been with a little luck. The 16 truck got into us on a restart and it cut down my left rear tire and we ended up in the wall as we tried to get it slowed down and to pit road. The guys on this BHR2 team did a fantastic job in repairing the damage to our #8 DODGE and keeping me focused so we could continue and finish the race."
With bad weather in the area canceling qualifying on Friday, Chase would start the 200 lap event from the 23rd position with the starting grid being set per the current owners point standings. The crew knew that Chase and the truck were strong based on the two practice sessions that were squeezed in on Friday. He posted the 14th fastest time in the final practice session of the day.
The cold and overcast weather continued on race day as Chase and his BHR2 team prepared for 200 laps of beating and banging. The drop of the green flag saw the 21-year-old rookie try the outside groove on the newly paved Martinsville Speedway and quickly found out that it was rough going up there. Once into his race rhythm, Montgomery charged through the field and raced his way into the 13th position by lap 50.
A pit stop under caution on lap 52 allowed for a small track bar adjustment along with 4 fresh Goodyear's and Sunoco fuel. On the subsequent restart, Montgomery was bumped from a fellow competitor trying to pass on the inside and it cut down the left rear tire on the #8 DODGE truck. As he tried to get down to pit road, the tire came apart on Chase and the result was heavy contact as the truck backed into the outside wall in Turn One.
"Once the tire was cut down, my spotter tried to clear me from traffic so I could get down to enter pit road," stated Chase. "Unfortunately I could not get down before the tire came apart and sent us into the wall."
The result was the loss of a few laps as the crew worked frantically to repair the damage and return Chase to the track. To the testament of the driver and the entire BHR2 team, they maintained their composure and battled the second half of the race for the solid finish. Despite the damage, the #8 DODGE truck was the fastest on the track the final 10 laps of the event.
"I highly commend the guys on my team for working hard to keep us on the track," stated Montgomery. "They gave me an awesome truck today and even with all of the damage it was still one of the fastest ones out there. All we can ask for is to have a competitive truck like this every week and when bad luck hits you there is not much you can do but hold your head up high and keep battling - which is just what this BHR2 team did."
The 19th place finish was the 12th top 20 finish of the season for Montgomery and kept him in the 21st position in the overall standings.
To learn more about Chase and his BHR2 team, visit them at www.chasemontgomery.com