BUSCH: Craven Phoenix notes

Ricky Craven: "For each practice session we had been working on getting the car to handle a little better in turns one and two because the car was great in three and four. Sure enough, like so many others during the race, the car got...

Ricky Craven: "For each practice session we had been working on getting the car to handle a little better in turns one and two because the car was great in three and four. Sure enough, like so many others during the race, the car got really tight and we were losing positions. After our pit stop though, the car definitely felt better and I was starting to make my way back through the field. Then, before I know it, I'm behind the wall, done for the day. We were really showing some potential for this race and it's very frustrating to end early. We want to do everything we can to end at Homestead on a high note."

The team was definitely looking forward to the race at Phoenix. Crew chief, George Church, has an outstanding record at PIR, and driver, Ricky Craven is known for strong performances on flat, one-mile tracks. Qualifying confirmed it was a good combination - Craven locked-in the 24th starting position during first-round qualifying. When the race began, Craven was on the outside quickly trying to find a space on the inside groove. He would lose a few spots in the process, dropping to 27th, but making the necessary move to the inside by lap seven. By lap 27, Craven radioed to describe the car was loose getting into the turn, and very tight in the middle. The team would need to be ready to make adjustments during the pit stop. Craven had fallen back to 31st by lap 35, and the leader was closing in. Relief came in the form of a caution on lap 50, saving Craven from being lapped by the leader. Craven brought the #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy into the pits twice during the caution, receiving four new tires, fuel and an adjustment - raising the track bar ¼ inch. He would return to the track 35th before the race returned green on lap 55. There was a noticeable difference in the performance of the car. Craven was on the move, passing a car on almost every lap. By lap 66, he was 32nd and on lap 70, he passed the #63 car to take 31st. It only took eight laps to grab the 31st position, and by lap 90, Craven was 28th. Yet, the leader was closing in and forced Craven to go a lap down at lap 105. Then unexpectedly, on lap 114, Craven tells the team he's heading into the pits. The team checks under the hood and under the car only to find the ratchet in the rear end gear has broken. The car is taken behind the wall, done for the day. Craven would record a 39th place finish, with Jeff Burton taking the win. The final event of the season takes place next Saturday, November 11 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Ricky Craven