BUSCH: Pikes Peak Coinstar race review

Coinstar Team Perseveres to Finish 32nd at Pikes Peak Joe Bush and the ...

Coinstar Team Perseveres to Finish 32nd at Pikes Peak Joe Bush and the #94 Coinstar team went to Pikes Peak on Saturday in hopes of putting together a top-20 finish, and worked hard all weekend to make that happen.  The Coinstar crew used the first practice session to learn the track since it was their first visit to the 1-mile speedway.  The team felt confident heading into qualifying on Friday afternoon.  Bush brought the Coinstar Chevy around the track, but drove a little too hard into the corner and the #94 Coinstar Chevy slid up the racetrack costing him valuable time.  The team would be forced to take a provisional to start 42nd in Saturday's Napa Auto Care 250. The team picked up a great deal of speed in Friday's Happy Hour session, finishing 33rd out of the 43 competitors, and comfortable with the way the #94 Coinstar Chevy was running.  "We had an excellent Happy Hour session.  We were 33rd fastest, but we were running consistent laps the entire time.  Our car was not falling off much at all, so we felt like we were going to be able to hold a good pace through the race on Saturday," said team owner Fred Bickford.

Once the race started on Saturday, Bush quickly began moving through the field.  Bush had moved up to 29th by lap 65, but on lap 67 the rear end of the #94 Coinstar Chevy came around to send Bush backing into the outside wall.  "The groove was moving around the track, that is what surprised me the most.  When we ran on the very bottom of the track the car was loose, and when I ran high the car got really tight.  I was running in the middle of the track in the turns, and I just got down low enough to make the car loose.  I thought I had saved it, but it came around and sent me into the wall," said Bush.

Instead of parking the car, the Coinstar crew worked hard to get the #94 back onto the track as soon as possible.  "Joe (Bush) brought the car down pit road on several occasions.  We were trying to work around the pace car not to lose any more laps than we needed to.  Brian (Bass) and the crew had to bang out the truck lid, take off the right and left rear quarters, and the biggest item was to make sure the fuel cell filler neck and overflow were secure before we sent him back out to run.  We were just trying to stay out on the track to try to pick up as many points as possible and to keep Coinstar in front of everyone," said Bickford.  Bush and the #94 Coinstar team were able to finish 32nd despite the accident, keeping the car on the track to take the checkered flag.

The team plans to skip this weekend's Indianapolis race to prepare for Michigan.  "We are going to skip Indy so we can regroup and get ready for Michigan.  Derrike (Cope) will be back in the car for Michigan, and we want to make sure that we are a 110% when we show roll on the race track," said Bickford.


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