Coleman Finishes 16th in First Phoenix Race Phoenix, AZ (November 12, 2007) -- In his first appearance at Phoenix International Raceway, 19 year-old Brad Coleman finished 16th in the Arizona Travel 200 this weekend. The finish once again put...
Coleman Finishes 16th in First Phoenix Race
Phoenix, AZ (November 12, 2007) -- In his first appearance at Phoenix International Raceway, 19 year-old Brad Coleman finished 16th in the Arizona Travel 200 this weekend. The finish once again put him among the top Non-Cup drivers in the race and wrapped up his 17 race commitment to Joe Gibbs Racing and the No.18 Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet team.
"We came out here with a new car and new Phoenix driver and could not find the groove in the first practice session," said Coleman. "By the time we hit qualifying the next morning we put it in 11th position and finished 16th. The car was challenging on the restarts but excellent on the long runs. It seemed like every time we were close to cracking the top 10 a yellow would come out and get us. Overall it was a good finish under the circumstances but I wanted a win for my team."
In 17 races for JGR in 2007, the impressive youngster posted three Top 5's, five Top 10's, seven Top 15's and 10 Top 20's along with winning the Pole at Talladega and outside Pole at Bristol. These numbers came against the odds for Coleman who was seeing most of the tracks for the very first time, not able to be in the car every weekend, running against a host of Nextel Cup drivers, and being the youngest driver in the series for most of the year.
Coleman paid compliment to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates.
"From top to bottom, the Joe Gibbs Racing organization is a first class group of people with a high standard of values," stated Coleman. "It was a blessing to have the opportunity to be a part of this team for 2007 and I will always be thankful for the friendships I have developed here."
He echoed the same sentiments to his primary sponsor, Carino's Italian Grill.
"I eat at Carino's anytime there is one nearby because I love their fresh Italian food," explained Coleman. "I also represent them because I believe in their people. It doesn't matter whether it's a server, a bus boy or the Chairman of the company, they have awesome people throughout their organization and I am honored to be a part of it. I really believe in what they are all about and am thankful for all they have done for me."
Coleman will now focus on preparing for 2008 as he has recently made headlines by signing two independent driver agreements in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He will run the No. 27 Kleenex Ford Fusion for new Brewco Motorsports owner Gary Baker in the Nationwide Series and begin his Cup career by testing and running his inaugural Cup races for Hall of Fame Racing.