NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 16, 1998) Elton Sawyer, driver of the Barbasol Ford Taurus in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, overcame a poor qualifying position and difficult pit circumstances to earn his first top-10 finish...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 16, 1998) Elton Sawyer, driver of the Barbasol Ford Taurus in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, overcame a poor qualifying position and difficult pit circumstances to earn his first top-10 finish in 12 races at Sunday's BellSouth Mobility/Opryland 320 at Nashville Speedway USA.
Sawyer, who started from the 38th position on a provisional, methodically passed through the field and finished 10th in the No. 38 car, owned by Akins/Sutton Motorsports.
"This was the best car the Barbasol crew has put under me all year," Sawyer said. "If this is a sign of things to come, the rest of the field is in trouble."
Sawyer gained four positions on one lap (104), and by the lap 153 caution he was in 14th. He exited the pits in 17th, but climbed to 15th by lap 168. Sawyer cracked the top 10 at lap 180 and was running as fast as the leader at lap 221.
It took Sawyer 50 laps to warm the tires on the Barbasol Ford, and Sawyer began to steadily improve his position. By the yellow flag at lap 71, Sawyer was 23rd going into the pits.
But he came out of the pits in 28th, as he had to wait for Mike Dillon. Because he started from the 38th position and there was a shortage of stalls, Sawyer had to share a pit stall with Dillon. Dillon was running ahead of Sawyer, so Sawyer had to wait a lap to pit.
"The team was patient and everyone did an excellent job to make the top 10," said Sawyer, who has started 262 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division races, a record among active regular NASCAR Busch Series drivers.
Sawyer and the Barbasol Racing team will compete on Saturday in Darlington, S.C., where Sawyer finished 17th and 13th in 1997.
Source: NASCAR Online