BES: Loudon: Dion Ciccarelli race notes

Dion Ciccarelli Gets Twenty-First At NHIS In Backup Car Loudon, N.H. (July 14, 2006) - The week-to-week grind caught up to the Jamerson Motorsports team, which is competing for Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Grand National Division,...

Dion Ciccarelli Gets Twenty-First At NHIS In Backup Car

Loudon, N.H. (July 14, 2006) - The week-to-week grind caught up to the Jamerson Motorsports team, which is competing for Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series with driver Dion Ciccarelli. After five straight weeks of racing, the team had to set its primary car aside and bring out a backup car to run at New Hampshire International Speedway, where the Severn, Maryland driver finished twenty-first.

The primary car, the only one equipped with the new composite body approved by NASCAR, has held up admirably well through the first five races of the season, all of which took place on short tracks. But the fifth race, at Lake Erie Speedway, saw Ciccarelli get turned around and tagged in the rear, and the repairs required more time than the three days available to the team between arriving home from the Pennsylvania track and their having to leave for New Hampshire. Because of this, a conventional steel-bodied car was pressed into service to showcase the Star Sales-sponsored effort at the one-mile track.

"Unfortunately we had tore up the composite-bodied car the week before so we came here with one of our older cars we've run here before. We really had to work hard to get the car to go faster," he said before the race.

Getting the backup car up to speed took the entire opening practice session, held Thursday afternoon. Ciccarelli was 31st fastest in that first session, and followed that up with the 28th-fastest qualifying performance.

The race proved to be a battle with a loose race car. Pit spots on laps 19, 67, and 74 allowed the crew to change tires, add fuel, and adjust on the chassis. Ciccarelli ran as high as sixteenth during the course of the event, but with the loose car he wound up falling to 21st at the finish.

"I was doing all I could just to hold on," he said. "We came in, made some more changes and I think we might have gone the wrong way a little bit. A couple times I got crossed up pretty good and I'm fortunate that I didn't get run over. I got crossed up one time and I bumped the kill switch on the steering wheel which shut the engine off.

"We'd definitely like to have a much better finish, but we had a good time at the track," Ciccarelli continued. "Now we've got some time off so we can work on getting the composite body car back together. That's the car we'd have rather had here, I think we would have run a lot better here with that car. The one we had here, it's been sitting as a backup and it probably needs some more work to get it up to speed."

Ciccarelli, running second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, gets a week off before returning to Busch East Series competition. The next race is Saturday, July 29th at Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y.

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