Charlotte, NC (Wednesday, August 6th, 2003) - - Despite having a few setbacks during the course of the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night, Jay Robinson Racing walked out of the track satisfied. Tammy Jo Kirk, who is ...
Charlotte, NC (Wednesday, August 6th, 2003) - - Despite having a few setbacks during the course of the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night, Jay Robinson Racing walked out of the track satisfied.
Tammy Jo Kirk, who is returning to NASCAR Racing after a four-year hiatus is quickly adapting to the NASCAR Busch Series and had her first taste of short track racing last weekend.
While, veteran late model driver Jerry Reary was poised to make his NASCAR Busch Series debut.
IRP marked the one and only one-day show for the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003, and it began with an early practice session for the team.
Tammy Jo Kirk in her No. 49 Advil Liqui-Gels Ford Taurus was solid after she posted the 31st quickest lap in 23.567 seconds amounting to a speed of 104.791 MPH. "I'm pretty happy with the car right now, but there is always room for improvement, this is my first short track in Busch, so I'm just trying to adapt," she added.
Jerry Reary, a resident of North Carolina had a disappointing session as he posted the 46th fastest lap, unfortunately the slowest of the field. In his No. 39 Holiday Inn/FANS Motorsports Ford Taurus, Reary clocked around the track in 24.712 seconds equaling a speed of 99.935 MPH.
"This is my first NASCAR Busch Series race, and it's all about learning, we're struggling a little bit, but I think if we keep our nose clean and get in the show, we'll have a decent night."
In time trials, it was not what the team was looking for, as both entries were forced to take a provisional to make the Kroger 200. Kirk posted a lap time of 23.760 seconds, or 103.939 MPH, and placed her 38th on the grid.
Reary, in his Black & White Ford Taurus lost some ground from the practice session and had a lap of 24.750 seconds, a speed of 99.782 MPH, placing him 39th in the starting field.
"It wasn't the lap that we were looking for," said Tammy. "We were looking for something quick enough to get us in on speed, however we just couldn't pull it off, but we're in the field and that's important for our team and sponsor," she mentioned.
"We're in the show, and that's the most important," said Jerry. "The NASCAR Busch Series is a tough division, and I'm lucky that I have the opportunity to run tonight."
When the NASCAR Busch Series took the green flag shortly after 8:00pm EST, both drivers had begun pacing their way towards the front of the field, with Tammy Jo leading the way in her Advil/FANS Motorsports car.
Her car was strong and she was feeling comfortable behind the wheel and had moved into the top twenty by lap 22, when engine problems erupted for the JRR (Jay Robinson Racing) team as she reported to the crew that she was only running on seven cylinders.
Despite the problem, Tammy was able to keep control of her vehicle, pace her way with the leaders and collect as many laps on the track as possible, which was the goal heading into the weekend.
While, who knows what would have happened to the former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver if the engine did not develop problems, the team was pleased with her 29th place finish completing 192 of the scheduled 200 laps.
"It's a shame that we had motor problems right from the beginning, we really had a good car, and I was hoping that we were going to have a good run, but it just was not meant to be," she said. "I have to give a huge plug to the entire Jay Robinson Racing team, the pit stops were good, we worked hard and we're going home with a clean car."
"We'll go get them at Michigan," Tammy added.
For Reary, it was also another clean night of racing, however Reary's night ended on lap 146 with brake problems finally sending him to the garage for the night. "I was just out there learning, staying out of the way, and gaining experience, we didn't have the run that we wanted, but sometimes you don't get what you ask for, I'm just thrilled to have had the opportunity to race here at IRP," the rookie said, who finished 31st.
"I'm proud of both drivers this weekend," said car owner Jay Robinson. "Both Tammy and Jerry had a good weekend, they both learned a lot and were able to stay out of trouble on the racetrack, if we did not have the mechanical problems with the machines, who knows where our drivers would have placed."
The NASCAR Busch Series will take a rare weekend off from the tour, but will quickly spring back into action next weekend from Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Tammy Jo Kirk will be back in her No. 49, while Jay Robinson Racing welcomes back Jamie Mosley to the No. 39.