Coleman's Third Consecutive Top 5 Thwarted Late Race Accident Tags Rookie with 27th Place Finish St. Louis, MO (July 22, 2007) -- Joes Gibbs Racing rookie Brad Coleman met with late race misfortune Saturday night with only 45 laps remaining...
Coleman's Third Consecutive Top 5 Thwarted
Late Race Accident Tags Rookie with 27th Place Finish
St. Louis, MO (July 22, 2007) -- Joes Gibbs Racing rookie Brad Coleman met with late race misfortune Saturday night with only 45 laps remaining in the Busch Series 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Coleman and Nextel Cup driver JJ Yeley had been doing battle for sixth position for more than 20 laps when the two cars went into turn two and slid up the track. Both drivers were able to avoid contact but the loss of speed caused Coleman to be tagged from behind by the No. 37 which sent him spiraling into the wall to end his night.
"It is tough to spend two-thirds of the race working your way to the front and then have this happen," said Coleman. "We drew a very early qualifying number on a very slick track which put us back in the 20th spot and Gateway is a tough track to pass on. One by one we worked our way to the top 6 and had been battling JJ for quite a few laps. We didn't actually make contact but as we slid up the track together it reduced our speed and I got hit from behind. It was just tough racing."
It had been tough racing all night long as the 19 year-old battled his way to the front while avoiding numerous incidents that sent the race into nine caution flags for 44 laps out of 200. Coleman feels like avoiding this last one would have sent him to the front.
"My JGR team had the No. 18 Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet hooked up and I was headed to the front. If I would have successfully passed JJ I would have been challenging for the win. I feel bad for my guys because they flat stepped up for me again tonight and I let them down. I have had very few DNF's in my career and I want to keep it that way," quipped Coleman.
The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 team heads to Bristol Tuesday to test the new surface and get Coleman his first laps at the famed "Paper Clip' in preparation for the night race coming up in August. >From there it is off to O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis for the Kroger 200 this Saturday.