BARRETT AND SKI MOTORSPORTS FASTEST OF PART-TIME, INDEPENDENT TEAMS IN QUALIFYING AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY Smith and Wesson team qualifies strong, races well despite rising water temperatures CONCORD, N.C. (October 12, 2007) --Stanton...
BARRETT AND SKI MOTORSPORTS FASTEST OF PART-TIME, INDEPENDENT TEAMS IN QUALIFYING AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Smith and Wesson team qualifies strong, races well despite rising water temperatures
CONCORD, N.C. (October 12, 2007) --Stanton Barrett and the SKI Motorsports team once again put forth a solid on-track effort in NASCAR Busch Series competition, this time at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Barrett qualified for the Dollar General 300 in an impressive 17th position, the best starting position for a part-time team without NEXTEL Cup Series affiliation. Barrett was in the midst of strong run, climbing as high as 13th in the running order, before rising water temperatures forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop costing the team valuable track position. Barrett continued in the race and secured a respectable 24th place finish.
With 46 competitors on the entry list, the Smith and Wesson team once again had to qualify on time. During qualifying, Barrett posted a fast lap time of 29.837 seconds at a speed of 180.983 miles per hour. The time placed Barrett securely in the field with a top-20 starting position for the second time in as many events.
As the field approached the green flag before an estimated crowd of 95,000 fans, Barrett thanked his team and sponsors.
"Good luck to everyone on pit road," radioed Barrett. "Thanks for your hard work and support. I'm going to do my best and we'll see what we can come up with here."
When the first caution of the evening came out on lap 28, Barrett was running in the 20th position. After reminding his crew to keep pit strategy in mind, Barrett came to pit road on for four tires and fuel, as well as a track bar and spring rubber adjustment. He restarted the race in 28th place and readied himself to advance in the running order.
By lap 40, Barrett was running in the 21st position and posting consistently fast lap times. However, on lap 55, he radioed that the water temperature on the Smith and Wesson Chevrolet was climbing. The team was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop to remove tape from the nose of the SKI Motorsports machine in order to prevent engine failure. He restarted the race in 35th place.
Luckily, the water temperature fell back to a normal range and Barrett continued in the race. Unfortunately, he was running in the 35th position two laps down to the leader at the mid-point of the race.
Barrett and team continued to monitor the Smith and Wesson machine and made minor repairs under caution in an attempt to further stabilize temperatures. The second half of the race saw 10 caution periods involving a total of 13 cars. Barrett was able to successfully avoid trouble on-track and pick up valuable position.
With just 20 laps to go, Barrett was running in the 25th position and was poised for another strong finish for the SKI Motorsports team. When the checkered flag waved, Barrett crossed the start/finish line in 24th place four laps down to race winner Jeff Burton.
"As we approach our last race of season, I couldn't be happier with our performance as a whole this year," said team owner Chris Lencheski. "We have consistently qualified well and have proven that we can race with the best in the series. This team remains competitive even in the face of adversity as we did this weekend at Charlotte. We have made a strong statement that we will be a force to contend with in 2008."
"We had a car capable of finishing solidly in the top-10," said Barrett. "There was little we could do once the water temperatures began to rise and we were forced to pit under green flag conditions. It cost us track position but we never gave up. In the end, we managed to finish in the top-25 despite our troubles."