(March 24, 2001 - Bristol, Tenn.,) Chad Chaffin, driver of the No. 25 Team Marines Chevrolet Monte Carlo finished 34th in Saturdays running of the Cheez-It 250 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The team made its way to the high banks of Bristol...
(March 24, 2001 - Bristol, Tenn.,) Chad Chaffin, driver of the No. 25 Team Marines Chevrolet Monte Carlo finished 34th in Saturdays running of the Cheez-It 250 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
The team made its way to the high banks of Bristol this past weekend with a winning attitude and it showed all weekend long. The crew was extremely pumped up and during the first practice, made their mark on the .533-mile track as one of the fastest competitors.
"We really had a great car all weekend," Chaffin stated. "Qualifying farther back in the field did bite us a bit in the beginning but we didn't let it get us down. The team remained focused on the race."
"During the first few laps of the race I got bumped by another car. It didn't really do much damage, but it did ruin our first set of tires, which caused us to run the race on only two sets of tires. Despite that, the car was great. We held our own most of the day and made it into the top-ten on more than one occasion." Chaffin explained.
Despite being tagged early on in the race, the Team Marines Chevrolet ran well all day. It was clear that Chaffin had a strong car and slowly, but consistently, started gaining positions as the laps wound down. Strategic calls were made in the pits by Crew Chief, Greg Ely, to improve the Team Marines showing at Bristol.
Unfortunately, trouble found Chaffin. With 75 laps to go he got onto the apron of the track and spun, taking him out of contention for the remainder of the day. Spirits and moral remained high among team members and Team Marines continues to build a winning attitude by learning from its valuable runs at the circuits of the Busch Grand National series.
"I knew after practice on Friday that we had a car that could give us a good finish." Chaffin recalled. "We were really quick in practice, but when it was time to qualify we just missed it."
Chaffin stated that unlike the first few tracks of the BGN schedule, Bristol has some unique challenges. "There isn't a lot of time to pick your line. I was completing a lap every 15 seconds and this track is narrower than those we have been at the past few weeks."
According to Chaffin, a smaller track and more than 40 other competitors make it challenging to pass and improve one's position.
Chaffin took the opportunity to speak at a local high school regarding driver safety and the responsibilities a young adult has when driving a car. A number of juniors and seniors from Virginia High School in Bristol, Tenn. had the opportunity to meet the Team Marines representative. The group was very interested in the life of a NASCAR driver and had many questions for him and the Marine Recruiters present.
"There has been a tremendous benefit for Marine Corps recruiting," said Capt. Rob Winchester, public affairs officer at Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "The partnership we have developed with Team Rensi has created overwhelming interest in our Corps and the BGN series. Our team's fan-base is growing with every high school visit and appearance we make. Also Marines, whether active duty, reserve or former members, have quickly joined the ranks of loyal supporters for Team Marines Racing."
Chaffin and the Team Marines crew will make their way to the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. The Texas 300 will be run Saturday, March 31. The race will be aired at 1:00 pm on Fox.