BARRETT AND TEAM MAKE STRONG STATEMENT AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY Smith and Wesson team qualifies on speed; post fast lap times in season debut JOLIET, Ill. (July 14, 2007) -- SKI Motorsports and primary sponsor Smith and Wesson made their 2007...
BARRETT AND TEAM MAKE STRONG STATEMENT AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY
Smith and Wesson team qualifies on speed; post fast lap times in season debut
JOLIET, Ill. (July 14, 2007) -- SKI Motorsports and primary sponsor Smith and Wesson made their 2007 NASCAR Busch Series season debut with Stanton Barrett this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. After successfully facing the pressures of qualifying on time, the No. 30 Chevrolet started the USG Durock 300 in 30th place. After an early penalty, the team rebounded to post competitive lap times for most of the afternoon. Unfortunate contact with debris late in the race hampered the handling on the Smith and Wesson Chevrolet; however Barrett was able to secure a respectable 31st place finish for the team.
With 45 teams on the entry list, two teams did not qualify for the race on Saturday. The 21st competitor to take the track, Barrett posted a fast lap time of 30.946 seconds at a speed of 174.498 miles per hour. The effort secured Barrett and team a 30th place starting position.
As the field approached the green flag before an estimated crowd of 75,000 fans, Barrett thanked his team and sponsors for all their hard work. As racing action began, the No. 30 freecreditreport.com Ford missed a shift in front of Barrett and he was forced to pass cars on the right side before the line in order to avoid causing an accident. NASCAR posted Barrett for the move, which is against NASCAR rules, and he was forced to serve a pass through penalty.
Faced with the task of working his way up through the field, Barrett made steady progress during a long green flag run. When green flag pit stops began, Barrett brought the Smith and Wesson Chevrolet to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
Although not on the lead lap, the adjustments improved the racecar substantially and Barrett consistently posted top-20 lap times for much of the afternoon. He frequently passed lead lap cars with ease.
Unfortunately, long green flag runs made it difficult for Barrett to get back on the lead lap despite having a fast racecar.
As the final 50 laps of the race drew near, Barrett radioed that he had run over debris in turn-3. The next lap, he reported that he ran over the debris again with the right side of the racecar. The caution came out on lap 146 and Barrett brought the car to pit road so the team could check for damage.
No substantial damage was found to the Smith and Wesson Chevrolet but the handling of the racecar diminished. Barrett reported the car was tight for the remainder of the race. He finished the USG Durock 300 in the 31st position.
"I think to come to Chicago with 27 Cup Drivers and a very competitive Busch field, we showed very well for our first effort as our Qualifying demonstrated," said team owner Chris Lencheski. "I was disappointed that NASCAR did not see the first lap incident the same way we did but we look forward to improving on race results which will come with time."
"Overall, this was a successful weekend for our team," said Barrett. "We had a costly penalty at the beginning of the race but we ran consistent top-20 lap times for most of the race. Our car was competitive but we just couldn't get back on the lead lap in order to run up front."