Rookie Sets New Track Record For Second Time This Season August 16, 2004 (Lebanon, Tennessee) - During the course of a race season, it is highly likely that a driver and team will experience the gamut of high and lows. ARCA RE/MAX Series ...
Rookie Sets New Track Record For Second Time This Season
August 16, 2004 (Lebanon, Tennessee) - During the course of a race season, it is highly likely that a driver and team will experience the gamut of high and lows. ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Ryan Hemphill suffered one of those lows this weekend with the first mechanical failure of the season for him and his #64 TRIMSPA DODGE. A rear-end gear failure on the second lap of the Waste Management 200 on Saturday relegated the "red-hot" rookie to his worst finish of the season as he came home in the 40th spot at the Nashville Superspeedway event.
"This was just one of those rare failures for this Braun Racing team," stated Hemphill. "We are not sure what caused the gear to fail but if you race long enough in this business these types of things are going to happen. It is disappointing but as a team we just need to hold our heads up high and head on to the next race. The guys gave me another incredible car and they all should be very proud of that - I sure am. It was fun while it lasted this week - but I really did want that Gibson guitar to add to my trophy case."
Hemphill and his TRIMSPA team showed just how good they were after working solely on race runs in the days only practice session and still posting the fourth fastest time of the session. With a few additional adjustments, Ryan went out in qualifying and shattered his previous track record set earlier this year as he posted a lap of 29.140 seconds for a speed of 164.681 mph - incredibly a half second faster than the next fastest qualifier.
"That was a great lap," said Hemphill. "We actually had a little miscommunication there and my crew chief (Greg Tester) wanted me to run the second lap but I shut it down - we may have been even better on that lap. With no Happy Hour scheduled we really focused on race runs there in the practice session and we got it really good there on old tires. We did our normal deal of putting the car into qualifying trim and it was awesome."
The car was also awesome from the drop of the green flag on race day as well - albeit for a short period of time. Ryan jumped out to a nice lead after the first lap of the race but coming off Turn 2 on the second lap the rear-end gear failure surfaced. This put the #64 TRIMSPA DODGE behind the wall and ended the hopes for a seventh win of the season and that ever coveted trophy of the Gibson guitar.
"The car was just as strong there at the drop of the flag as it was during qualifying," said Ryan. "I really believe that it was going to be a good day but unfortunately it was our turn to have a mechanical failure such as this. I am amazed by my guys and the awesome car they continue to give me and of course the strong horsepower supplied to us by Ernie Elliott Engines. Although we are all disappointed, more importantly we are proud of our efforts and the quality product we put out there on the track to represent ourselves and our sponsor - TRIMSPA.
Despite suffering the worst finish of the season, the Apollo, Pennsylvania native has accumulated six wins and six pole awards in the 12 ARCA races he has competed in this season. He now turns his attention to his next speedway race at Chicagoland Speedway on September 11th with a possible short track appearance at Toledo Speedway the week before.