Late-Race Restart Costs CJM Racing a Top-10 Finish (October 3, 2009) Kansas City, Kan -- CJM Racing came into the Kansas Speedway riding a lot of positive energy after a runner-up finish last weekend at the Dover International Speedway. The team...
Late-Race Restart Costs CJM Racing a Top-10 Finish
(October 3, 2009) Kansas City, Kan -- CJM Racing came into the Kansas Speedway riding a lot of positive energy after a runner-up finish last weekend at the Dover International Speedway. The team was looking for another great race with driver Brian Scott getting behind the No. 11 RIDEMAKERZ Toyota.
Scott started Saturday off on a positive note after qualifying the RIDEMAKERZ Toyota in the eighth position -- the same position the team finished final practice on Friday. The team, led by crew chief Paul Wolfe, knew they had a fast car as they were the second fastest car at the end of the first practice session also on Friday. The team now turned their attention to the 200-lap, 300-mile race and how to make the best of their strategy.
The weather, windy, cloudy and cool, made it more difficult for teams to find the right setup on the wide, mile-and-a-half track. Teams had to make sure they communicated with their driver to keep them up to date on the changing track conditions and how to get the best out of their car. Scott, after starting eighth, completed the first 50 laps of the race barely outside the top 10 in the 12th position fighting a "tight"-handling car in the center of the turn. The team went to work on making adjustments on pit road when a caution flag flew, regrouping the field and sending Scott on a "wave around" -- moving past the pace car and restarting farther back.
Scott came to the restart in the 12th position as most other teams found themselves a lap down. CJM Racing, however, made a strong run to the halfway mark. A caution on lap 75 gave the team a chance to evaluate the car on a short run and to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and some chassis and tire pressure adjustments. They returned to the track and went back to green on lap 81 in the 11th spot. They came to the halfway mark in the eighth position and running the best they had since the opening laps.
The caution next flew on lap 108 and cars on the lead lap once again came down pit road. Scott and the RIDEMAKERZ crew made quick work getting four tires and advancing two positions to the sixth position. Scott was able to maintain his sixth position until lap 138 when the next caution flag flew. The team was able to come back down pit road and get four tires. They came back to the track in ninth with a restart on lap 142.
Meanwhile, the track conditions had continued to change with the sun coming out. Kyle Busch was having no problems pacing the field for the majority of the race. He eventually led a total of 173 laps, but not the final three. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Joey Logano, made the winning pass on lap 197 to go on to win his fifth Nationwide Series win.
Scott and the CJM Racing RIDEMAKERZ Toyota continued to race in the top 10 in the final run. A restart with 12 laps left log-jammed the field and Scott had to hang onto the car when it broke loose in a three-car battle for sixth position. Just one lap later, the caution came out and the team decided to come down and get four tires for a final 15-lap dash. Scott was able to race back to the 14th position.
"We really had a great day," said Scott after the race. "We were in the top 10 all afternoon and running right with the top-five. The restart we all just got jammed up and we slipped back a bit. The new tires were great, and I just wish we had a few more laps with them. We would have been right back up there. All in all, it was another good run for this team."