Derrike Cope enjoys another stellar run; Jason White suffers ill-handling machine. Dover, DE (Saturday May 31st, 2003) - - Jay Robinson Racing walked out of Dover on Saturday afternoon all smiles after both Derrike Cope and Jason White were able...
Derrike Cope enjoys another stellar run; Jason White suffers ill-handling machine.
Dover, DE (Saturday May 31st, 2003) - - Jay Robinson Racing walked out of Dover on Saturday afternoon all smiles after both Derrike Cope and Jason White were able to improve on their starting positions.
While, Cope the NASCAR Winston Cup series veteran had the better of the two runs, both drivers were able to load their machines on the haulers without being bitten by the "Monster Mile".
The series took the green flag shortly after 1:00pm EST under cloudy skies. It did not take long for the first caution to wave when on lap eight Donnie Neuenberger in the No. 77 Ford looped his car into the wall. Both Cope and White were beginning to gain ground on the rest of the field as soon as the green flag dropped.
While Derrike, driving the No. 49 Fans Motorsports.com had a neutral handling, it was the total opposite for Jason. White, who also competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from Dover on Friday was dealing with a very ill-handling Three Stooges Beer Ford.
Racing quickly resumed on lap 15 with Cope again making ground and taking positions one at a time, with White battling to stay out of the leaders way and contender with his competitors.
With the field filled with a shattering of Winston Cup veterans, it would not be long before Jason and Derrike fell a lap off the pace to leader Matt Kenseth.
Problems would surface on lap 55, for the Virginia native of White. A mechanical failure would force the second car out of the JRR stable to head to the garage and be done for the day. "It's a shame that we were not able to finish the race", said White. "The Three Stooges Beer Ford was getting better, we were off, but we were improving", he said.
The NASCAR Busch series rookie would be credited with a 34th place finish. "It's a shame that we ended were we did, but we'll have to pick up the pieces and head to Nashville."
Meanwhile, back on the track Derrike Cope was continuing to battle his way towards the front. While the team knew th at they had nothing for the "bushwhackers", the team knew that a solid finish was still possible.
Derrike pitted the Choice Marketing machine near the half-way point, adding four new tires and fuel to his car. The team made a slight chassis adjustment hoping that a few rounds would do the trick.
Attrition was quickly developing on the track, and Cope was avoiding all the trouble. While the handling was fading away in the end, Cope was able to keep his nose clean and cross the line 20th four circuits behind pole sitter and race winner Joe Nemechek.
"It's a good run for the Jay Robinson Racing team", said Cope. "While, we knew that we had nothing for the leaders, we did some hard racing with the guys in the middle of the field and we walked out of here with a top twenty finish", he said.
"I'm happy" stated Cope, who unfortunley failed to qualify for Sunday's Winston Cup Event.
Jason remains 38th in the NASCAR Busch Series standings completing in only eight of the fourteen events so far in 2003. Derrike jumped five positions in the standings with him only driving in three events (Daytona, Talladega, Dover) thus far this season.
The NASCAR Busch Series heads back to "Music City" of Nashville Tennessee next Saturday for the running of the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. NSS (Nashville Superspeedway) is another concrete race track, and the series will race under the lights for the second time this season. JRR heads to the track hoping to improve on their results from April, where an accident (Chris Bingham) and an engine problem (Shane Hall) left the team with disappointing finishes.