Last lap motor problem foils Compton's bid for win St. Louis, MO (May 11, 2003) -- Everything has to go perfectly to win a NASCAR Busch Series Race, and for Stacy Compton everything did on Saturday. Well, almost everything went perfectly. A...
Last lap motor problem foils Compton's bid for win
St. Louis, MO (May 11, 2003) -- Everything has to go perfectly to win a NASCAR Busch Series Race, and for Stacy Compton everything did on Saturday. Well, almost everything went perfectly.
A strong car off the truck and good communication with the crew helped Compton qualify fourth. He ran strong from the start of the race, and on lap 45 he took the lead. He settled into a comfortable rhythm in the top four cars for most of the race, saving his equipment and waiting to make his final push for the win. As the final thirty laps wound down, Compton moved to third place. With two laps remaining he was preparing to pass for second place. Just as leader Mike Bliss ran out of gas, and Compton was preparing for the pass that would give him his first career Busch win, he radioed in to tell the crew that the engine had lost a cylinder. A frustrated Compton was forced to idle for the final lap and one half as he watched his first Busch win get smaller and smaller through the front windshield.
"I can't believe that we broke with just two laps left," commented Compton after the race. "We were definitely going to catch the 10 car for second place. We didn't have anything for Bliss, but as it turned out, the 10 car would have been the only car we needed to pass to win. Our motor program is awesome and I'm sure that it was some small part that failed after a hard weekend of racing -- it's really no one's fault. I'm excited by the momentum we're building, and if we keep running like this, the wins will come."
Crew Chief Steve Plattenberger echoed Compton's sentiments, "Everyone did an outstanding job this weekend -- our pit stops were awesome, our race strategy was playing out, and the only car that we were going to have trouble passing ran out of gas. I don't know what else we can do to win a race. I'm glad that if we were going to have a motor problem, that it happened at the end of the race rather than at the beginning. We gained on the points lead this week and we'll just keep working hard every week."
Compton ended up with a 6th place finish and moved forward another spot in the points standings to 13th.