PJ Jones: "This was a different kind of race for Nazareth. Except for a handful of drivers, I don't think this was a good race for anybody. It took us awhile before we got any green flag racing, and when we did, tire wear became an immediate...
PJ Jones: "This was a different kind of race for Nazareth. Except for a handful of drivers, I don't think this was a good race for anybody. It took us awhile before we got any green flag racing, and when we did, tire wear became an immediate factor. The #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy was tight all day. The team kept digging, making significant adjustments, but the car didn't respond the way I would have liked. This car will go back to the shop and be torn apart and rebuilt before we bring it to another track. I know we can make it better and we will."
Performance Summary: Yet again, weather affected the race schedule for the NASCAR Busch Series. Abbreviated practice sessions both before and after qualifying didn't allow much time for adjustments. So, the #19 Yellow/Pameco team put it into high gear, being the first to get the car through tech and on line to make the most of the practice time they did receive.
Starting 23rd, Jones passed the #83 car within the first lap, but wouldn't get another chance to race until lap 20 due to three cautions in only 14 laps. Jones already knew the car was getting tight on the exit of the turns. By lap 46, the team spotter warned the leader was approaching and PJ would have to step it up a notch to get by those holding him back. At lap 55, Jones radioed that he had picked up a vibration - possibly a tire going down. Crew chief, George Church knew Jones had to stay out on the track as long as he could. Jones went a lap down at lap 60, and as the car's condition worsened, PJ was brought into the pits after going a second lap down by lap 78. The crew changed tires and added fuel before sending PJ back out. PJ was fortunate - the original right front tire was almost in shreds. Had the tire blown, an accident would have been imminent.
Jones returned to the track 39th, waiting to regain a lap and positions once another caution flew. He wasn't the only one. By lap 93, only 12 cars were on the lead lap. The caution came at lap 110 and Jones did get a lap back. Since the car was still tight, Jones returned to the pits for a new set of tires and a ½ rubber was added to the right rear. The car didn't respond to the adjustment, so Church brought PJ back in during another caution on lap 123. When the race returned to green at lap 127, Jones was 30th. Again, the yellow flew at lap 135 and the #19 Yellow/Pameco came back to the pits to go up another round on the track bar. The team did not want to give up, no matter how stubborn the car seemed to be. PJ didn't waste any time at the restart and moved up to 28th by lap 148.
The team thought their persistence had paid off and Jones would get a chance to move up the field. On lap 152, PJ radioed the motor was skipping and he needed to come back in. The team looked under the hood and tried to send PJ back out. The skipping continued and Jones was forced to bring the #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy behind the wall on lap 157. It was later learned a broken valve spring caused the engine to fail. Ron Hornaday took the win with only 13 cars finishing on the lead lap.
The next event in the NASCAR Busch Series takes place Saturday, July 22 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.