Damon Lusk; Woodard Racing Rally For Another Top-20 Finish In Texas JUSTIN, Texas (Monday, November 6, 2006) - - After finishing a solid 17th a week earlier at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), Woodard Racing with new driver Damon Lusk headed to...
Damon Lusk; Woodard Racing Rally For Another Top-20 Finish In Texas
JUSTIN, Texas (Monday, November 6, 2006) - - After finishing a solid 17th a week earlier at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), Woodard Racing with new driver Damon Lusk headed to Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend looking to award the team with their first top-ten finish.
After turning in the 32nd and 25th fastest efforts in practice, Woodard Racing made several changes to their No. 25 Boca Bay Builders Dodge with hopes of finding more speed and a reasonable starting position.
In Bud pole qualifying, Lusk who was guaranteed to make his second NCTS start at TMS (Texas Motor Speedway) soared his back and blue machine around the 1.5-mile speed plant posting a time of 30.189 seconds equaling a speed of 178.873 mph good enough for 32nd on the starting grid.
"We found some speed in the final practice, but had some issues with our cooling system in qualifying which put a hinder on us, but we'll look to make it up in race trim."
Woodard Racing was forced to give up their qualifying position, as the team switched out theentire cooling systemfollowing time trials, which is an unapproved adjustment per NASCAR guidelines, putting Lusk shotgun on the field.
36 teams took the green flag for the Silverado 350K with Lusk immediately trying to head towards the top of the field. While battling a tight Dodge, the team reminded Lusk to stay focused and changes would be made at the first opportunity.
With the leaders setting a blistering pace, Lusk was overtaken early on during the race. The Kennewick, Washington native tried to stay in position for NASCAR's "lucky dog" pass, but the cards didn't fall into the team's hands.
The team overcame the handling issues during the final stages of the race giving Lusk a neutral truck meaning lap times fast enough to race inside the top-10. Lusk battled hard with the Toyota of Justin Labonte and fellow Dodge competitor Brendan Gaughan for the lucky dog, but came up short settling with a 18th place finish, the second consecutive top-20 finish in a row for the team.
"We had a good truck today, the cautions just didn't fall our way," said Lusk, who made his fourth NCTS start Friday evening. "The Woodard Racing team worked their butts off this weekend and I'm proud of them. Wayne (Setterington, crew chief) made some great calls which benefited us. Towards the end of the race, we made some significant gains to the truck became which made it very neutral towards the end of the race, but the track position bit us. We've been able to overcome the disappointment from Martinsville and bounced back with decent finishes at Atlanta and Texas. We're looking to improve our performance even more at Phoenix next week."
Lusk continued, "I want to thank Rick Woodard for this opportunity. I am having a blast and we are really starting to turn the corner. I'm racing for a ride for the 2007 season; hopefully everything can be worked out where I call Woodard Racing my home in 2007. We're heading to Phoenix next and I've run well there in the past in the Southwest Series and I'm planning to back up those performances."
Car owner Rick Woodard was upbeat about the team's performance at Texas. "Again, our mile-and-a-half tracks have proven to be our stomping ground in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. We have run well all season long, just haven't had the finishes we deserved. Damon did a good job for the team, and the crew was on top of their game, we'll head to Phoenix and hope for a top-ten finish."
Leaving Texas Motor Speedway, Woodard Racing who shared partnership in an ARCA RE/MAX Series program in 2005 has 23 NCTS starts to its credit. The team has amassed nine top-20 finishes including a career best qualifying effort of 18th at Nashville Superspeedway (August 2006). The team will make their debut at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this Friday night.