Solid Run Ends Early For Lofton At Martinsville Justin Lofton's results in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have yet to reflect the team's performance. After the first three events, Lofton and his Mark Rette led crew have run well, only to...
Solid Run Ends Early For Lofton At Martinsville
Justin Lofton's results in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have yet to reflect the team's performance. After the first three events, Lofton and his Mark Rette led crew have run well, only to see solid finishes elude them by the way of racing circumstance. At Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, it was much of the same for the No. 7 Red Horse Racing team. After starting 16th, Lofton wheeled his Toyota Tundra into the top-10 within the first 15 laps. On lap 25 however, a lapped truck got into the back of Lofton, spinning his truck into the retaining wall. Heavy front end damage forced Lofton behind the wall. After prolonged repairs, he got back on track, ending the race 31st.
"We started out really good. We went from like 16th to seventh in not very many laps. We definitely had something to contend for a top three. A lapped truck got into me, and spun me around, and I didn't do a good enough job keeping it off the wall myself," Lofton said of the incident, which ended his shot at contention.
Though the outcome was not as he had hoped, the weekend started out in the right direction for the 2009 ARCA Racing Series champion. There were two practice sessions on Friday afternoon, leaving crew chief Mark Rette plenty of time to dial in the No. 7 Toyota Tundra. Additionally, Lofton, who was making his debut on the Virginia track, watched Sprint Cup Series practice intently, in order to learn different racing lanes around the .526-mile track.
His observations paid off in between the two runs, as he moved from 17th following the first practice run to sixth following the final session. With a fast truck and a confident driver, the No. 7 crew was ready to notch a solid finish on Saturday.
Rain knocked out qualifying, lining Lofton up from the 16th position for the start of the Kroger 250, based on 2009 owner's points. Once the green flag waved, Lofton flexed his muscle, moving his white and blue visitPIT.com Tundra into the top-10 after just 15 of the event's 250 laps.
As he continued his climb however, timing and track position won out yet again, with Lofton falling victim to a lapped truck's brake problem. With nowhere to go, Lofton got turned, spinning hard into the wall. The damage to the front fender at first look, didn't appear to be much more than cosmetic. Unfortunately, the impact pierced a hole in the radiator, forcing the crew behind the wall in order to repair the damage.
The team hustled and repaired the truck, sending Lofton back on track on lap 107. Back atop the pitbox, Rette radioed to Lofton, "There's still a long way to go. We'll get some points out of it. Learn everything you can the rest of the day."
Though disappointed, Lofton stayed in the race, picking up as many positions and points as possible, ending the event in 31st.
"The truck was still actually pretty fast after (the wreck) but we were too many laps down to recover anything. We'll go on to Nashville. My guys on the No. 7 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra do an awesome job," Lofton added.
After the first three events, Lofton sits 19th in the point standings.
Next up, Lofton and the No. 7 crew will head to Nashville Superspeedway this Friday, April 2nd.
-source: lofton racing