Dotter scores third consecutive short track top-10 at South Boston. SOUTH BOSTON, VA Bobby Dotter scored a hard fought 8th place finish in the Hardee's 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at South Boston Speedway on Saturday. The finish...
Dotter scores third consecutive short track top-10 at South Boston.
SOUTH BOSTON, VA Bobby Dotter scored a hard fought 8th place finish in the Hardee's 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at South Boston Speedway on Saturday. The finish gives Dotter and the People Against Drugs/Puma Tools Chevrolet three consecutive top-10 finishes in NCTS short track races. Dotter had 9th place efforts at both Indianapolis Raceway Park in August and Richmond International Raceway earlier this month.
"We have a really good short track program right now," Dotter said. "The truck ran great all day, and the Doug (Howe, crew chief) made some really good calls in the pits. Our tires were never a question, and after we changed that last time we had better tires than most of the guys in front of us. We picked up about nine spots after that last stop, and if we didn't have all those cautions we probably could have picked up a couple more."
Dotter started the event from the 18th position, but wasted little time making his move to the front.
"The truck was good right off the get go," he said. "We made some pretty good moves through traffic, and Gene (Christensen, spotter and team owner) kept me out of those early spins and crashes that were right on front of us. We stayed out when some of the leaders came in and got some track position and just waited to make our stop."
Dotter ran as high as sixth when many of the leaders came in to get fresh rubber.
"We had our strategy and we wanted to stick to it," he said. "Getting up with the leaders is always nice because there tend to be fewer problems up there. Once we did get tires, you could see we picked a good time to come and get them because we passed some guys that had used their rubber up."
Dotter battled with David Starr for the eighth position for much of the last 30 laps of the event, and when the caution came out for Randy MacDonald's crash on lap 245, he knew he was going to have just a couple laps to try to make the move. When the race restarted with a green-white-checker finish, the duo picked up where they left off.
"We ran hard with David (Starr) there for a long time. It was good clean short track racing too. He did a good job defending the spot and we just could never get in position to get past him. When that caution came out, it meant we had two laps to get the job done, but as usual on these short tracks, there was a little excitement there at the end."
As the field came out of turn four to take the white flag, Dotter once again had to avoid a crash. In the last two short track races, Dotter avoided accidents on the last lap to gain positions, and he did it again at South Boston.
"Coming out of four there to get the white flag, I just saw a big plume of smoke. Gene said 'go low' and I dipped down and got passed it. It was pretty close. We never were able to get past Starr there for 8th, but we ended up there anyhow."
Dotter and the Green Light Racing team now have two off weekends before returning to action at The Orleans 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"It's nice to have a few weeks off to work on these things to get them ready for the final few races of the season," he said. "We had a test at Atlanta a few weeks ago and combined with the race in Texas, we think we learned some things that should help us in Vegas. Our speedway program is not quite where the short track program is, but we should be pretty good out there. We sure hope so. We are really working hard on closing the gap in points and getting up to 13th and maybe even 12th. The guys in front of us may need to have some bad luck, but if we keep doing what we have been doing, we'll make it close."
The Orleans 350 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, October 13 with the green flag scheduled for 5 pm ET. The race will be shown live on ESPN and can be heard live on NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio and on MRN Radio affiliates nationwide.