LAMAR BRINGS THE NO. 32 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA HOME WITH TOP-15 FINISH IN SEASON DEBUT AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2009) -- Under a sunny sky and with chilly air, Burney Lamar drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to a...
LAMAR BRINGS THE NO. 32 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA HOME WITH TOP-15 FINISH IN SEASON DEBUT AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2009) -- Under a sunny sky and with chilly air, Burney Lamar drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to a 15th-place finish in the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in his season debut with Braun Racing.
"We had a pretty good race today," said Lamar. "Trent gave us a good car. My goal was at least a top-10 finish, but this is a good starting point for our team. It was my first time back in the car since Phoenix [November 2008]. The Dollar General Toyota ran really well. It was my first race with Toyota horsepower. The motors are solid and I look forward to having that at Texas in a couple of weeks."
Lamar qualified in the 16th position for Saturday's event. After taking the green flag, he immediately got to the low side of the track and settled in for 300 laps. During the first caution on lap 8, Lamar reported that his Camry was a "tick tight getting to the throttle." It was agreed that the No. 32 would come to pit road for adjustments at the same time as the leaders.
"It's going to be like this all day," Crew Chief, Trent Owens reported over the radio. "If the caution comes out just be ready." With each caution flag, the Dollar General crew jumped onto the wall, ready to work if the lead cars and the No. 32 came down pit road.
On lap 86 the fourth caution of the day occurred, bringing about the first round of pit stops for the leaders. Running in the 17th position, Lamar brought the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and the crew pulled a left rear rubber out.
The adjustments worked well as Lamar reported during the next caution, on lap 136, that the Dollar General Toyota was a little too free as he got on the gas at both ends of the half mile track. Owens made the call to have Lamar return to pit road and the team quickly put on four tires, fuel and made wedge and air pressure adjustments.
On lap 155, Lamar went low on the track, trying to get to the inside of the 36 car and, inadvertently made contact. Both Owens and spotter, Bob Jeffries, reported that the fenders of the Dollar General Toyota looked good and didn't appear to be rubbing the front tires.
The No. 32 Dollar General took the green flag for the restart on lap 172 in the 17th position. The caution came out one lap later. Owens made a last-minute call to have Lamar come to pit road for four scuffed tires and fuel.
"Good job guys! Sorry about the late call on tires but good stop," Owens told his crew.
Lamar restarted the Dollar General Toyota in the 15th position. One caution and 17 laps later, he drove the No. 32 up to the 12th position. Lamar held the Camry steady while racing three-wide at times!
On lap 252, the ninth caution of the day occurred. Running in the 14th position, Lamar reported to the team that other than being a little tight through the center of Turns 1 and 2, the car was good. With track position secure, Owens had Lamar bring the Dollar General Toyota to pit road for four tires with air pressure adjustments.
With only 39 laps to go, the inevitable "big one" at Bristol occurred, collecting several cars. Though avoiding major damage, the No. 32 had some to the fenders as he darted around the wrecking cars, and forcing him to pit. The Dollar General crew quickly ascertained the damage and made adjustments on the fenders in order to protect the tires in the closing laps.
Lamar stayed on the lead lap and took the final restart in the 15th position on lap 274. He held his position for the final 26 laps, finishing his first race with Braun Racing and Dollar General with a top-15 finish.
Lamar will be behind the wheel of the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota for 18 races this season. He will pilot the No. 32 in the next three NASCAR Nationwide Series events (Texas Motor Speedway, Nashville Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway).
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series has a one week hiatus before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly 300.