BUSCH: Charlotte: Chad Blount race notes

Blount and New Team's Impressive Debut Cut Short with Blown Tire Concord, North Carolina (May 31, 2004) -- Chad Blount and the new Hirschfeld Motorsports team made a very successful debut on Saturday in the NASCAR Busch Series despite a finish...

Blount and New Team's Impressive Debut Cut Short with Blown Tire

Concord, North Carolina (May 31, 2004) -- Chad Blount and the new Hirschfeld Motorsports team made a very successful debut on Saturday in the NASCAR Busch Series despite a finish that was not indicative of the effort. A blow right front tire on Lap 125 sent Blount and his #78 iDialDirect.com/IDT DODGE hard into the wall and ended the day for the driver and team. The result was a 34th place finish in the running of the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"That was one of the best Busch cars I have ever driven," said Blount. "The guys on this team worked very hard to put this deal together in really a short period of time. With the help of the guys at Braun Racing we had a real good hot rod out there today. I think we had a top 10 car and that is an incredible accomplishment for this new team."

Blount started the 200 lap event from the 20th position as a result of his qualifying effort on Friday. Once the green flag flew on race day, it was pretty obvious that the #78 DODGE was a car to contend with. Blount quickly piloted his way inside the top 15 in the first 20 laps and inside the top 10 by lap 50. A few problems on pit road hurt the 24-year-old driver with track position as he lost those valuable spots in the pits and had to regain them on the track.

Despite the setbacks, Blount and his new team were running inside the top 15 at the halfway point of the race and had their sights set on the leaders. Then disaster struck on lap 125 with the right front tire problems.

"I am not sure how it happened," stated Chad. "I just drove it down in there like I had all day and then I heard the pop. At that point I was just along for the ride. We think that we ran over something on the track that cut down the tire as we had just put a fresh set of 4 tires under the previous caution. This was really a shame because we had a great car out there today and to come out of the box for a new team like we did is very impressive. I had a lot of fun out there today and I want to thank Todd Hirschfeld and the Hirschfeld Motorsports team for this opportunity and hopefully we can do some more races this season yet."

The Hirschfeld Motorsports team is headed up by owner Todd Hirschfeld with its sights on full time competition within NASCAR. The team has formed a valuable joint venture with current NASCAR Busch Series team Braun Racing.

"Overall I would say that we had a pretty successful debut," said Hirschfeld. "Chad and the guys on the team did a very good job. We had a very strong car today and that is very positive for a new team right out of the box. I want to thank our 2 sponsors for this race -- iDialDirect and IDT -- without their support we could not have done this. We are going to see what we can work out with everyone and hopefully attempt a few more races here soon."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Chad Blount