Atlanta: Scott Wimmer race report

Scott Wimmer Brings Home Top-20 Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway It was a top-20 finish for Scott Wimmer and the StopRepairBills.com Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend. After struggling to find speed during practice and...

Scott Wimmer Brings Home Top-20 Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway

It was a top-20 finish for Scott Wimmer and the StopRepairBills.com Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend. After struggling to find speed during practice and qualifying, Wimmer fought his way through the field to score an 18th place finish in the Degree V12 300.

Hitting the track with a new paint scheme for the first practice session of the weekend, the black StopRepairBills.com Chevy looked good, but it failed to look fast. 28th on the speed charts, driver Scott Wimmer and the Key Motorsports crew struggled with a rubbing fender and a tight condition. After several adjustments between practices, Wimmer was comfortable with the setup of the No. 40 Chevrolet, improving to 26th fastest in the final session. Going out fourth for qualifying, Wimmer laid down a 32.717 second lap time, good enough for 29th on the starting grid.

With the sun down and the lights on, the No. 40 StopRepairBills.com Chevrolet came alive after the green flag waved. Wimmer skillfully navigated the 1.54-mile oval, working his way up to 23rd by the completion of the first lap. Continuing his charge through the field, Wimmer was running 15th when the first caution of the night came at lap 27. Relaying that the car was a little free off and through the center, Wimmer brought the No. 40 onto pit road for four tires, fuel, and a trackbar adjustment.

Restarting in the 19th position, Wimmer held his ground, working the StopRepairBills.com Chevy around the bottom line. When the field received the second yellow of the race on lap 40, Wimmer and crew chief Gary Showalter chose to stay out for track position. Taking the green in 18th, Wimmer had a strong restart, immediately nabbing the 16th spot.

Over the course of a long green flag run, Wimmer raced heatedly with his competitors. Though he was running 15th when it came time for green flag pit stops, the hard racing had allowed the leader to pass most of the field, leaving only 11 cars on the lead lap. Not feeling that the No. 40 was as competitive as it had been before their first pit stop, Wimmer had the Key crew undo the trackbar adjustment made earlier in the night and left pit road with four tires and fuel on lap 87, but the slow pit stop put the team in the 23rd position when they returned to the track.

As the green flag run continued, Wimmer had worked his way back up to 15th when the leader passed the field once again, putting the No. 40 two laps down on lap 122. Fortunately, the field would finally get a caution on lap 125 due to a spin in turn two. Though the team contemplated staying out for position, the No. 40 was way too free and difficult to turn, so Wimmer brought the car into the pits for an air pressure adjustment and fuel. After losing eight positions in their previous pit stop, Showalter coached the Key Motorsports pit crew. "We need to have a good stop," said Showalter. "We can't give up positions because it takes too long to get them back on the track." It was exactly what the team needed to hear, and after performing a smooth pit stop, the crew sent Wimmer back onto the track in the same position he'd left it.

Receiving the final green flag of the night, Wimmer battled hard, despite the fact that the No. 40 had lost all grip. As he worked his way up to 14th, the team calculated that Wimmer would be ten laps shy on fuel, which would force them pit one more time before the checkered flag. Wimmer conserved fuel for the next 50 laps, but Showalter called him onto pit road on lap 188 to top off. Returning to the track in 18th, the field was too spread out for Wimmer to gain another position before the checkered flag waved seven laps later.

Curtis Key's No. 40 remains 23rd in the NNS owner standings after Scott Wimmer's 18th place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Key Motorsports Chevrolet is now 263 points ahead of 31st place.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series races under the lights again this Friday at Richmond International Raceway. Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the No. 40 Chevy Impala SS for his first NNS start for Key Motorsports.

-credit: km

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Scott Wimmer , Mike Bliss