Lagasse Jr. Makes His Debut in the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet at Dover (September 20, 2008) Dover, Del. -- Dover marked the first time Lagasse Jr. would get behind the wheel of the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company...
Lagasse Jr. Makes His Debut in the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet at Dover
(September 20, 2008) Dover, Del. -- Dover marked the first time Lagasse Jr. would get behind the wheel of the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet. The inaugural race weekend started out promising with two strong practice sessions and a solid qualifying effort. Unfortunately the race results didn't not turn out as everyone had hoped as Lagasse Jr. cut a tire on lap 138 sending the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet into the wall and cutting the day short.
It was a whirlwind week for CJM Racing and newly named driver Scott Lagasse Jr. A week prior to the Dover race, Lagasse was called to pilot the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet. The new partnership guarantees Lagasse a permanent home at CJM Racing as he will be in the No. 11 machine for the remainder of 2008 and into the 2009 season.
Lagasse climbed behind the wheel of the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet for the first time Friday morning. As the first practice session got underway, the team worked on getting familiar with each other and Lagasse's driving style. Almost immediately it became apparent that the No. 11 was hitting the race track and was not drivable. The crew worked quickly to fix the problem and get him back out on the track. Lagasse's quickest lap was a 24.090 second run, 149.440 mph placing him 21st on the board. In final practice the crew worked on some handling concerns and Lagasse ran a 24.159 second lap, 149.013 mph in race trim.
Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series would follow the next day. 43-cars took to the track one-by-one just before lunch. Lagasse drew an early qualifying spot and headed out on the track eighth. He would turn a solid lap and place the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet in the 23rd position for Saturday afternoon's race.
All the anxiousness and anticipation quickly went away as Lagasse buckled in for 200-laps at the "Monster Mile". Within 10 laps, Lagasse reported in a loose handling race car. With no cautions occurring within the early laps, the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet remained out on track. Race leader Kyle Busch started putting cars a lap down on lap 26 and unfortunately Lagasse would become one of those victims while running in the 25th position.
A caution flag finally flew on lap 68 enabling the crew to make some much needed adjustments. The America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet received four fresh tires, fuel, an air pressure and track bar adjustment. Lagasse restarted the race in the 23rd position and began his quest to get a lap back.
On lap 87, Lagasse reported in that the loose in and tight center off condition persisted. Crew chief Todd Gordon made the quick decision to bring the No. 11 down pit road under caution just one lap later. The race car received four new tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Lagasse was displayed in the 25th position as green flag racing resumed on lap 91.
Lagasse fought hard to keep his position and ran mid-field up until lap 138 when the crew received some bad news. The caution flag that waved was for the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet. Lagasse was braking coming out of turn four in lapped traffic when he cut a tire. The No. 11 was sent flying into the wall. The damage was too severe to fix forcing the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet behind the wall. The team would finish out the day in the 31st position.
"Dover was one of the toughest places for us to start. I have always gotten around that track really well but I have some of the worst luck in the world there. We had problems right off the truck and the guys did an awesome job turning the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet around. In the end the results were not what we had hoped for but we have definitely learned a lot and are looking forward to Kansas next week," remarked Lagasse Jr.
The America's Incredible Pizza Company race team heads to Kansas next weekend to compete in the Kansas Lottery 300.