LOUDON, N.H. - Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team endured an emotional weekend to notch a third place finish in the thatlook.com 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The No. 25 team has been deeply effected...
LOUDON, N.H. - Randy Tolsma and the No. 25 CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team endured an emotional weekend to notch a third place finish in the thatlook.com 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
The No. 25 team has been deeply effected by the untimely passing of Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin, due to a practice session accident on Friday July 7.
Tolsma and Irwin were fellow competitors during their open wheel, USAC, and Midget racing days.
Tolsma and wife Tiffanie were saddened by the tragedy. "We consider ourselves very lucky to have known Kenny and were fortunate enough to see what a big heart he had. We did charity work with Kenny while we lived in Indianapolis. He gave so much back to the community and touched the lives of many. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Irwin family, and to the No. 42 team."
There are other close ties to Irwin on the No. 25 team. Crew chief Gary Showalter was also Irwin's crew chief during his 1997 Rookie of the Year season on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Showalter's son, Chris was a member of Irwin's crew. The Showalters were able to celebrate two wins with Irwin on the truck series before he moved on to Winston Cup.
Despite heavy hearts, Tolsma and the team qualified for the event in the 10th position. The team was 14th fast before a short rain shower fell on the New Hampshire International Speedway in the closing moments of final practice. A full rainbow, displaying colors similar to those of Irwin's No. 42, seemingly touched down on the track in turn three. The sight brought comfort to the CITGO-SUPERGARD Motor Oil Dodge team, as they moved forward, focusing on the reason they came to New Hampshire - winning the race.
It didn't take long after the green flag dropped on the thatlook.com 200 for Tolsma to make his way into the top five. Taking the lead on lap 126, Tolsma stayed in front until lap 152. He then ran in third place until a caution came out with only a few laps to go. On a green-white checkered restart, a fierce battle for the victory ensued between Tolsma, the No. 2 truck of Mike Wallace, and the No. 99 truck of Kurt Busch. Tolsma had his hands full, as he was successfully fending off the No. 50 of Greg Biffle from behind, and challenging Wallace and Busch for the lead. When the three trucks rounded turn four to the checkered flag, Tolsma was third across the finish line.
The finish marks the sixth straight top-10 for Tolsma and the fifth top-3 of the season. Tolsma remains the highest-ranking Dodge in the series point standings. Next weekend, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania.