Brad Coleman perseveres to no avail in St. Louis Driver, Joe Gibbs Racing team face numerous obstacles CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 18, 2010) - If there was a NASCAR Nationwide Series award for perseverance Saturday night at Gateway ...
Brad Coleman perseveres to no avail in St. Louis
Driver, Joe Gibbs Racing team face numerous obstacles
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 18, 2010) - If there was a NASCAR Nationwide Series award for perseverance Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway, Brad Coleman would have been in Victory Lane.
A myriad of issues plagued the vaunted No.18 team throughout the weekend, but the driver and team kept bouncing back before a crash involving teammate Matt DiBenedetto finally knocked Coleman out of the race.
Even then, Coleman was the kind of teammate Coach Gibbs admires, trying to climb into DiBedenedetto's damaged race car to finish the event and gain some team points for the No. 20. Ultimately, Coleman was simply too big for DiBenedetto's seat, and the night came to an early end.
"Man, that was a difficult night," Coleman said. "Where do I start? We struggled in the first practice Saturday morning, but (crew chief) Jason Ratcliff and the guys made the right adjustments, and we still qualified in the top 10."
"But the car was just too loose in the race. Still, we worked on it and got it better, and the car was actually running really well when things started happening."
First, Coleman reported that the engine was missing. Ratcliff suggested switching ignition boxes, but that didn't fix the problem. Ratcliff then wanted Coleman to switch to the backup battery, and the engine resumed normal performance.
From there, Coleman tried to rally, moving from 13th after the electrical issues to race in the Top 10.
But the problems weren't over for the No. 18 Toyota. Coleman's cool helmet stopped functioning, and it couldn't have happened at a worse time. Temperatures in the area reached into the 90s, with a heat index soaring well above 100.
Still, Coleman persevered, and after the team replaced a battery, the car came to life again. Again, Coleman came back and was working into the Top 10. But the night ended when DiBenedetto lost control of his Toyota in Turn 2 and slid down the track - right into the path of Coleman.
"I really had nowhere to go," Coleman said. "I was gaining some serious hope as we had battled through all of the problems and were making our way back up to the front, but I just have to thank God that Matt and myself are OK. Really, really tough day in owners points. I feel bad for Kyle Busch and the whole Joe Gibbs Racing team, but I promise you these guys always bounce back."