Impressive Performance Drowned in Montreal Track melee soaks Coleman’s hopes for road course win Montreal, CA (August 31, 2009) - Running in the Top 5 for the first two thirds of the NAPA Auto Parts 200, Brad Coleman felt like he would ...
Impressive Performance Drowned in Montreal
Track melee soaks Coleman’s hopes for road course win
Montreal, CA (August 31, 2009) - Running in the Top 5 for the first two thirds of the NAPA Auto Parts 200, Brad Coleman felt like he would have the opportunity to win the race. After qualifying fifth and passing local legend, Indy 500 and Formula 1 World Champion, Jacques Villeneuve, to move into second on lap 13, Coleman knew it would be down to a select few cars at the end. But on lap 47, during Coleman's first green flag pit stop, a rare miscue on an uncontrolled tire in the pits resulted in a drive-through penalty sending the No. 20 BigSpot.com Toyota back to the 20th position.
After serving the penalty, Coleman meticulously worked back through a wild field of crashing cars and was knocking on the door of the Top 10 with a dozen laps to go. The rains came and the team shifted into a full rain set up knowing their young driver was very fast in wet conditions during both practice and qualifying. It appeared as if they were going to return to a successful Top 5 finish until Coleman was hit by a careening 66 car that ended his day on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
"This is a team sport and we gave it all we had," noted Coleman. "My guys worked ridiculously hard throughout a rain soaked weekend and just as we have done during all eight of my races this season, we never gave up. Despite all our challenges, we were still looking at a Top 5 finish until we got caught up in other people's problems. To tell you the truth, there were a large number of drivers out there this weekend not technically capable of driving that circuit, wet or dry. Once you got outside the Top 10, it was like ice skating with a herd of buffaloes."
The 28th place finish was not evident of the teams' capabilities but was a reflection of the uncharacteristic run of misfortune for both the driver and crew this summer.
"We have done everything it takes this summer to win and maximize our opportunity but have just had a strange run of misfortune," said Coleman. "Neither myself nor the guys on the 20 team are used to having the kind of tough luck we have experienced but I can promise you both of us will persevere. Dave Rogers, the crew and the spotters for our team were not Nationwide Champions by accident last season. They are a great group of guys that know how to put a winning effort together week in and week out and I would be honored to drive for them anytime."
This weekend's event marked Coleman's last scheduled race for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2009. While he is scheduled to test a COT for JGR at Arizona in September, his plans for 2010 are now officially open as the team will not run a third Nationwide car for the full season and Joey Logano and Kyle Busch will be returning to the No. 20 and No.18 respectively.