Faulty Alternator Stops Don Wagner's Best Stafford Race Yet (Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 16 2006) - Don Wagner, making his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series start of the year for James Pritchard Motorsports, was looking...
Faulty Alternator Stops Don Wagner's Best Stafford Race Yet
(Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 16 2006) - Don Wagner, making his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series start of the year for James Pritchard Motorsports, was looking at a top ten run at Stafford Motor Speedway when a minor mechanical problem left his No. 41 Mannings USA/Snacketizers Chevrolet stranded with a dead battery. Repairs were made and Wagner finished the race, though he lost two laps while repairs were made, relegating him to an eighteenth place finish in Friday's TSI Harley-Davidson 150.
Wagner was eighteenth quickest during Friday afternoon's practice, and his qualifying effort was nineteenth fastest out of 32 cars.
"The car was good through practice though we didn't get out there that much," he said before the race. "We got faster every time, then we cut off another half a second in time trials so we're real happy. We know how the track changes at night because this team's been racing here forever, so we think the car will be great for feature time when the sun goes down."
Wagner was on the move early, improving to fifteenth place in the first 25 laps of the 150-lap event. He was challenging another car for position when the two made contact and both spun on lap 39. The alternator on Wagner's car had failed, and when he tried to refire the car after the spin it did not respond as its battery was dead. He was pushed to pit road where the James Pritchard Motorsports team changed the battery and sent him back into the race, although he lost a lap in the pits.
Wagner returned to the lead lap on the next caution, but the battery issue was still a problem. Caution on lap 93 allowed him to pit again but when the stop was over, the car wouldn't start. The team pushed the car the length of pit road to no avail, and it had to be pushed back to the pit stall. He returned to the track two laps down and ran to the finish, scored eighteenth in the final tally.
"This was the best car we've ever had here," Wagner said. "It was a hundred-dollar alternator that beat us tonight. The battery died on me. We were moving up, I don't know where we were when the alternator quit but we were going in the right direction. When the battery started dying I had to cut the radiator fan so the temperature was going up, and I couldn't run the brake blowers so the brakes were fading, but we still had the best car we ever had here, definitely at top-ten car.
"We're not racing for points, but we got the car going again so we could learn more about it. It's in one piece so we'll be ready for Thompson in a couple weeks," Wagner continued.