STRONG START, SOLID FINISH FOR O'QUINN JR. IN NASHVILLE LEBANON, T.N. (April 15, 2006)- Danny O'Quinn Jr. had an impressive start to the weekend's event in Music City. A strong qualifying effort would put him third on the starting grid, best of...
STRONG START, SOLID FINISH FOR O'QUINN JR. IN NASHVILLE
LEBANON, T.N. (April 15, 2006)- Danny O'Quinn Jr. had an impressive start to the weekend's event in Music City. A strong qualifying effort would put him third on the starting grid, best of the Roush cars and best of the rookies. O'Quinn Jr. and the team predicted they might have a good weekend, since the 20-year-old Virginia native had a previous start and sixth place finish in the ARCA Re/Max series there in 2005.
The green flag flew over the No. 50 Stonebridge Life Ford Fusion with O'Quinn Jr. starting inside the top-five for the first time this season. Throughout the first 25 laps of the race, he maintained his top-five position, battling with cars in the lead pack. When the second caution came out on lap 25, O'Quinn Jr. made his first pit stop of the day. He had reported the car was feeling very tight, and when he brought the Fusion in for adjustments, the No. 50 crew went to work to make the car more free. Unfortunately, a problem on the pit stop would cost O'Quinn Jr. some time on pit road, resulting in a loss of positions on the racetrack. O'Quinn Jr. would restart in the 15th position.
That would be the last of his run inside the top-five, as for the rest of the day he would continue to fight an ill-handling race car. On both lap 46 and 70 following the lap 26 pit stop, O'Quinn Jr. would report an extremely tight race car. Between those laps, he would continue to run solidly in the top-15, hoping to catch a caution and make some adjustments to free the car. Despite the tight condition, he worked his way all the way to the 11th position before the caution flag flew again. This time a flawless pit stop would maintain his 11th place position for the restart on lap 95, and adjustments would be made once again to try and free the car.
Two pit stops later, after making adjustments for what had become a super loose race car and maintaining his top-15 position, O'Quinn Jr. reported a vibration. Luckily, he caught a caution just in time to save him from what would have been a costly green flag pit stop. On lap 173, the Stonebridge crew pitted the No. 50 Ford again, and found that the front wheel had been loose. O'Quinn Jr. restarted 18th, and picked off positions until the final lap. He crossed the finish line in the 14th position, ending the weekend with a solid run.
"Definitely a little bit disappointed with our run today because we had such a good car. We just kind of got behind the eight ball there, made some changes to the car that didn't work, but by the end of the race we were really good," said O'Quinn Jr. after the race. "We had some issues on one of our last pit stops, we had a wheel loose and had to pit again and put old tires on, so we lost some time there, but we still had a fast car. But not the fresh rubber we needed to pass cars. But overall, we still came out of here with a top-15, which is definitely a big improvement form where we were last week."
Next week, World Financial Group colors return to the No. 50 for the season's first night race at the Phoenix International Raceway.