(March 10, 2001 - Atlanta, Ga) - Chad Chaffin, driver of the No. 25 Marines Chevrolet Monte Carlo finished 16th, two laps down, after qualifying 23rd for Saturdays running of the Aaron's 312 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Chaffin's qualifying lap...
(March 10, 2001 - Atlanta, Ga) - Chad Chaffin, driver of the No. 25 Marines Chevrolet Monte Carlo finished 16th, two laps down, after qualifying 23rd for Saturdays running of the Aaron's 312 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Chaffin's qualifying lap was 29.614 seconds, 187.209 mph.
"Atlanta is a very fast track, probably the fastest track the Busch cars run on. We tested here prior to the race and I think that helped us today." The car was good all day, the only thing was we weren't good on new tires, but I don't think a lot of the drivers were. The car danced around the track until more laps were run," explained Chaffin."
Chaffin has been consistent since the beginning of the season. Consistent in the sense that he has the tendency to run his fastest lap right off the truck and Friday mornings practice was no different. The driver of the Marines Chevrolet was pleased with the practice results. The car was good right from the get-go. Chaffin was quickest for a good portion of the morning practice, ending up in the neighborhood of 10th fastest. Chaffin and his Crew Chief, Greg Ely agreed they had a good car and were looking forward to qualifying that afternoon.
Chaffin laughed, "The minute we unloaded the Marines Chevrolet, the car really ran good. We were the fastest car out there for a long time. We seem to have developed a pattern and it's probably me more than it is the car, where I seem to get my best laps right out of the box."
Chaffin ran a good, clean race. Atlanta can come back to haunt you, but his spotter kept him out of trouble all day and if things had played out differently the No. 25 Marines Chevrolet may have finished in the top-ten. The car ran good, just minor air pressure adjustments were made during pit stops.
"I ran a 61, which we thought would be competitive and give us a top 15 at the start, but as the track changed we ended up starting 23rd. The track seemed to speed up as qualifying went on and some of the other guys found some speed. In happy hour I was really happy with the way the car ran, it was real drivable and competitive and that's what we're looking for. In the end, our goal is to be the best, but qualifying 17th is competitive, 43rd you need a lot of work. We aren't in the trunk, we're not bringing up the rear, we're in a position where we can work our way to the front quickly. We were able to do a bit of passing on the track.," Chaffin boasted.
Chaffin said, "We were 17th quickest in Fridays happy hour and we finished 16th, so at least we didn't slide backwards. We were able to take the car, run good and finish the race, which is an accomplishment in itself here at Atlanta. This track is fast and it gets pretty wild. We're still getting better as a team, we finished two laps down, but that's not bad at a track like Atlanta. Losing laps to the likes of Joe Nemechek, that's nothing to be ashamed of. The guys again, had awesome pit stops. I drove to the best of my ability."
The No. 25 Marines Chevrolet team will be racing at Darlington Raceway, Saturday March 17 at 1:00 pm on FX.
Thursday afternoon, Chad was a guest speaker at Mary Persons High School, which is the 2nd largest High School in the County. The Junior and Senior Class students filled the auditorium and listened as Chad discussed driver safety and the responsibility has when given a driver's license. Students then participated in a Q & A session, which they learned about safety in a race car and what it takes to be a part of a Busch Series Organization.