Dion Ciccarelli's Holland Speedway Debut Yields 24th Place Finish (Holland, N.Y. - June 24, 2006) - Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Dion Ciccarelli had a lot of fun racing his Jamerson Motorsports/Star Sales Ford Taurus on one of the...
Dion Ciccarelli's Holland Speedway Debut Yields 24th Place Finish
(Holland, N.Y. - June 24, 2006) - Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Dion Ciccarelli had a lot of fun racing his Jamerson Motorsports/Star Sales Ford Taurus on one of the smallest tracks the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series races on, but his race at the 3/8ths mile Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway was interrupted by a pair of minor mechanical problems forced the Severn, Maryland driver onto pit road for extended stays, leaving him 24th in the final rundown.
Ciccarelli, racing at Holland for the first time, found the high-banked track challenging and entertaining. Following ninety minutes of practice, the Jamerson Motorsports team made final adjustments for qualifying and the race - cars were impounded after qualifying and no changes would be allowed before the race - and went out for time trials. The results weren't what the team was looking for, as they were twentieth fastest.
"We were really loose at first but we made a bunch of changes during practice," Ciccarelli said. "We thought those changes would help us qualify inside the top fifteen but they wound up hurting us. We're excited about the race, though. The car's tight, maybe too tight for qualifying and that might get worse as the night goes on. We're looking at coming in and making adjustments, giving up track position, but we're also concerned about getting back in the pack and getting caught up in someone else's mess."
While Ciccarelli thought the car would be tight for the race, it actually started out loose. And while the team hatched plans for adjusting on the car to fix that, a more serious problem developed.
"A plug wire came off and we lost a cylinder," he said afterwards. "We kept coming in the pits to figure out the motor issue, and we went back out and tried to do the best we could. At one point the throttle stuck wide open and that's not a good thing to have happen to you. We considered parking it for the night but the crew got it fixed and sent me back out there because we didn't want a DNF. We got the cylinder back, got the throttle right, and went out there and finished the race."
He was classified 24th at the finish, having completed 118 of 150 laps.
In a race where no car escaped without some signs of the rubbing and bumping that comes with short-track stock car racing, Ciccarelli's car, which is the only one equipped with the new NASCAR composite body, showed few ill effects.
"It took some pretty bad licks on both the front and back bumpers," he explained. "It bent up the metal support structure of the bumpers underneath, but the body has just one crack that we can fix pretty easily. Our car looks great, we won't have to spend hardly any time getting the body ready for the next race.
"We're disappointed with the finish, but it's a long season and we're going to keep digging. We'll rebound at Thompson. We had some little mechanical issues tonight but we'll get the car fixed up and get right back on the track."
Ciccarelli and the No. 84 team will run Thompson International Speedway's Thursday night, June 29th, Busch East Series race later this week.