Coleman Eyes Top Finish North of the Border; Joe Gibbs Racing driver heads to first road course race of his season Charlotte, NC (August 24, 2009) - 21 year-old Brad Coleman is going to Montreal to complete some unfinished business. In 2007, the...
Coleman Eyes Top Finish North of the Border; Joe Gibbs Racing driver heads to first road course race of his season
Charlotte, NC (August 24, 2009) - 21 year-old Brad Coleman is going to Montreal to complete some unfinished business. In 2007, the rookie was at Montreal for his first look at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He was running in the Top 5 towards the end of the race when the field exploded in turn one, taking a number of cars out. Coleman's Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 FedEx car was caught up in the melee and sat crumpled up in the pits with one lap to go. The team told him it was a great run but time to shut it down.
"I'll never forget that day," noted Coleman. "We had a Top 5, got caught up in someone elses mess, and then came back to the pits with the hood folded up in half so I could not see. Jason (Ratcliff/Crew Chief) said it was a great run but we were done. I asked them to hammer on it and get me back out before the field came around. They did a great job and we went back out 13th as they dropped the green-white-checkered. It was a single file restart but I was able to pass five cars on the last lap to bring home a Top 10 finish."
Coleman also has a Top 5 at Watkins Glen in a JGR machine and another Top 10 at Watkins Glen in a Baker Curb race car. He was running Top 10 at Mexico City twice, only to be taken out by a broken transmission on one run and spun out from behind by another driver in the 2008 race. In all, Coleman has been a known factor in every single road course race he has run under the NASCAR banner.
"I am not a "Road course specialist" insists Coleman, "but I am highly capable of running up front every time I set four wheels on one. Road courses take a technical know-how of driving that in my opinion only the best drivers have. Being a great driver in NASCAR requires you to run well at a road course as well as the ovals. You can't be a top level NASCAR driver and talk down either type of track. You have to love them all!"
Montreal will be Coleman's last scheduled run of the year in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 BigSpot.com Toyota but discussions are in place for additional race opportunities this season.
"The economy is tough for everyone,' said Coleman. "It affects teams, drivers, sponsors and fans alike. I want to run a full season in 2010 and know I can be competing for the championship. Until then, you do what you have to do to stay alive and run for the front. I have given up a few Top 10's in my eight races this year because Top 10 is not good enough when you are not running for points. And guess what, I am not running for a Top 10 at Montreal either. I'm running for the checkered flag."