Jason White Delivers 27th In Michigan "Hooter's Energy Drink Showing Improvement With New Crew Chief" BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 17, 2007) - - Pennington Motorsports primary goal heading into Saturday's Michigan 200 was to qualify. They did...
Jason White Delivers 27th In Michigan
"Hooter's Energy Drink Showing Improvement With New Crew Chief"
BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 17, 2007) - - Pennington Motorsports primary goal heading into Saturday's Michigan 200 was to qualify. They did that solidly with a 31st place qualifying effort Saturday morning. Unfortunately, driver Jason White battled a loose condition on his No. 7 Hooter's Energy Drink Chevrolet Silverado throughout the 100 lap/200 mile event to hinder a potential top-20 finish. Instead the team netted a 27th place finish at Michigan International Speedway.
After struggling in practice, White and crew chief Barry Dodson locked their heads together hoping to find an ideal setup that would benefit the rookie team in the 10th NCTS race of the 2007 season.
With a starting position not guaranteed for the Virginia native, White knew he had to deliver. In qualifying, he maneuvered his No. 7 Hooter's Energy Drink truck around the two-mile oval capturing a time of 42.029 seconds or 171.310 MPH, clinching the 31st starting position.
At the start of the event, White settled in trying to maneuver himself in the top-30. White reported to his crew early on that his truck was extremely loose in the center of the corner.
Dodson acknowledged his driver's concern and offered White confidence that they would make an adjustment to his Pennington Motorsports automobile. Leader Mark Martin was setting a blistering pace early on during the event overtaking White approaching lap 20.
Despite falling off the lead pace, White continued to dig, hoping to benefit from the "Lucky Dog" pass offered by NASCAR. The caution would fly on lap 28 for debris, but White would not be the beneficiary of the free pass. Little did he know, his break would come later in the race.
White brought his truck to the attention of his Hooter's Energy Drink racing team where they changed four tires, added Sunoco racing fuel and a made a chassis adjustment hoping to help his loose condition.
Back to green flag racing, the changes seemed to work as his lap times improved considerably. White however would report 15 laps later that the looseness would return and that the truck was very difficult to drive.
Dodson informed his driver that on the next round of pit stops, they would make another chassis adjustment by adding a spring rubber. That caution would waive on lap 55 when AJ Allmendinger pounded the wall in turns one and two.
The Pennington Motorsports team raised the bar and performed a solid pit stop even with the insertion of the spring rubber. White would return to competition hovering just inside the top-30.
White's main objective was to return to the lead lap and vowed to his North Carolina-based team that he would hold nothing back and try to retain the lap he lost in the first quarter of the race.
The hard work paid off. When Jack Sprague wrecked, the caution flag flew with the Aaron's Lucky Dog pass being awarded to the 27-year old White.
"Boys, we're back on the lead lap, good work," he offered during the brief break.
With his return to the lead lap coming with less than 20 circuits remaining, White would improve two positions advancing from 29th to 27th in the final rundown.
"Our main goal coming into the race was to qualify. We did that. Then we came into the race with a picture of finishing. We did that. I know it's not the finish we hoped to walk away with but we're making great strides," said White. "Our truck was really loose most of the day. I know a lot of the teams were dealing with the same issue, Unfortunately, we just couldn't get it where we needed to."
"We are improving each and every week. The addition of Barry Dodson has been great for Pennington Motorsports. A lot of good things are in the future for us, I think you'll only see our 2007 season get better from here," concluded White.
Next up for Pennington Motorsports and the rest of the NCTS clan is the TOYOTA Tundra 200 from The Milwaukee Mile on Friday, June 22.