Team Marines Racing had high hopes for Saturday's Outback Steakhouse 300 at Kentucky Speedway, but expectations of a good finish were lost on lap one of the inaugural race. Donohue's No.25 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the best car the team had ...
Team Marines Racing had high hopes for Saturday's Outback Steakhouse 300 at Kentucky Speedway, but expectations of a good finish were lost on lap one of the inaugural race.
Donohue's No.25 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the best car the team had brought to the track so far this season. It had performed well in practice and during the mock-qualifying runs. Team Marines clearly thought this was the car that would have the best finish of the year.
Unfortunately, when it came time to qualify, Team Marines experienced a turn of events. During his qualifying attempt, Donohue held on to the steering wheel as the car got loose in Turn 1 and 2, posting him 32nd on the starting grid.
Things didn't improve as the race began. On the first lap, the No. 25 car scuffed the outside wall when it got loose in Turn 4. There wasn't much exterior damage, but Donohue knew he had problems with the steering and was forced to pull into the garage. The contact with the wall resulted in the rear truck arm bending in the middle, making it nearly impossible for Donohue to drive. The crew scrambled to get the car back in the race. After repairs were made, Donohue returned to the track 31 laps down.
Donohue, many laps down and frustrated, never flinched and continued his mission - to finish the race. Many cars had retired from the race, leaving Donohue with the opportunity to gain positions, but on lap 134 the No. 25 Chevy became a victim once again. The No. 54 car driven by Kelly Denton got into Donohue, causing his to hit the wall.
The Team Marines crew was put to the test again, changing the rear truck arm for the second time. Once again the team worked together to get their driver back on the track. The second truck arm was changed in less time than the first one. When the work was complete, Donohue was once again on track, this time 53 laps down.
Donohue comments: "I really hate it for the guys. The car was great all weekend. I got loose during qualifying and ended up starting at the back. I thought we had a really good shot at finishing well here tonight, but that wasn't the case. It's my fault that didn't happen. Scuffing the wall on the first lap was bad enough, then Kelly Denton getting into us later really put us to the test."
"I know how frustrated the guys must be, but they did a heck of a job tonight. They never quit and fought back, conquering all that was thrown at them. I'm really proud of their determination and ability to continue our fight to succeed. Team Rensi has great people on this team and I am proud to be a part of it."
<pre> Next Race: Race Date/Time: July 1, 2001 at 1:00 p.m. EST Track: The Milwaukee Mile Race Name: Sears DieHard 250 Broadcast: Live on FX 1:00 p.m. EST and MRN 12:30 p.m. EST