Andy Lally and TRG Finish Tenth In Busch At Watkins Glen Lally Top Finishing Road Race Specialist Watkins Glen, New York, -- Andy Lally drove the No. 47 TRG/Clorox/Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford Fusion to a tenth place finish yesterday in ...
Andy Lally and TRG Finish Tenth In Busch At Watkins Glen
Lally Top Finishing Road Race Specialist
Watkins Glen, New York, -- Andy Lally drove the No. 47 TRG/Clorox/Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford Fusion to a tenth place finish yesterday in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen. Lally was the top finishing "road racing" specialist.
With limited practice time, a total of 18-laps, Lally managed to qualify the No. 47 Ford in 17th place with a time of 1:13.683 in only his second Busch Series start. The practice time was abbreviated due to off-and-on rain showers Friday. Precipitation washed the rubber off of the track affecting track conditions and all of the top runners in the 42 car Busch field.
"I lost a little time in the esses in qualifying, which is one of the fastest parts of the track," Lally said. "Friday we were a little better. I think it had something to do with the changes we made before the race and some to the changing track conditions. It is a lot hotter and the track temperature is a lot higher as well. I have more laps than anyone else in the field having run in Friday's Grand-Am Daytona Prototype race, so I should be fine for the race."
At the start of the 82 lap race, Lally sped away from the ninth row at the drop of the green flag. The Georgia resident was able to make it up to ninth place before pitting on lap 12. With fresh tires and a full load of fuel he returned to the race in 34th position. On lap 37 another caution flew and the crew brought the 47 to pit road for tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Just six laps later, crew chief Scott Zippadelli, brought Lally back in for a splash of fuel so that he could go the rest of the race distance.In the waning laps a couple of caution flags saved the front runners from having to pit again and splash for fuel. Without those yellows the TRG/Wood Brothers/JTG Racing crew would have easily had Lally in the top five.
Half-way through the race, Lally had a terrific battle with Former F-1 driver and NASCAR star Juan Pablo Montoya, trading equal or better lap times, and riding his bumper all around the circuit until a full course yellow was displayed for an accident in the inner loop. In the last five laps, Lally was locked into a battle with Ryan Newman and got by the NASCAR veteran on lap 80 by using a little of the Fusion's bumper, knowing full well that he would come back and try to pass again.
"It was great to dice with Newman. I was able to move by him with a little help from the front of my car. I didn't think he would stand still for that and he made a really aggressive move by me at the end. I could have defended, but I didn't want to jeopardize a top ten finish for the team. It was a good day for us. The car was great the strategy was on and the pit stops were flawless. We just needed a little more green running at the end to truly make an impact here today."
JKevin Buckler, TRG Racing team owner, is proud of his driver and is ready to take stock for the group's future in NASCAR."That is the kind of performance that we know our team can put in every week," Buckler said. "We had that type of run going last week and the transmission let us down. Andy proved he can run with the top NASCAR Cup and Busch drivers on a road course. He beat all of the usual road racing guys that were in the race, so it was a great day for TRG Motorsports. The Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team prepared a strong car that ran flawlessly all weekend. Scott had the strategy down and had Andy in a great position for success at the end of the race. Had the last two full course cautions not come out at the very end, we would have been in position for a win. What a fantastic Watkins Glen NASCAR debut."
Bucker and his group of TRG Racing partners will ponder their future at the highest level of racing in the United States over the next few months exploring all the options available before committing for next year.
"First we will take a moment to celebrate and then on Monday we will take stock in what we accomplished and what we have to do to take the next step in our growth as a team and a racing organization. This will include TRG's potential progress in NASCAR's various series and of course the wishes of our partners. This has been an excellent first step in the expansion of the TRG racing portfolio and we look forward to more in the future."