BNS: Stafford III: Don Wagner race notes

Don Wagner Seventeenth In Stafford Motor Speedway Busch North Finale Don Wagner capped off his limited NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season with a seventeenth place performance in Sunday's Carquest Fall Final. Wagner,...

Don Wagner Seventeenth In Stafford Motor Speedway Busch North Finale

Don Wagner capped off his limited NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season with a seventeenth place performance in Sunday's Carquest Fall Final. Wagner, driving James Pritchard Motorsports' Mannings USA Chevrolet, moved up from his 21st starting position to run the entire race without a pit stop, earning his second best result in the six BNS races he ran this year.

Wagner's qualifying time of 20.829 (86.418 MPH) was only good enough for 21st, but the car was handling better than it had in either of the two previous times it had been to Stafford with Wagner behind the wheel. Rain forced the race to be rescheduled to the next weekend, and Wagner returned ready to race.

He raced on the lead lap through the race's first third, running as high as fourteenth, but a quick spin high in turn two cost Wagner his lead lap status and he had to get going again quickly as no yellow flag was thrown for the spin. In the race, eight caution periods gave the team, led by crew chief Jim Matalenas, opportunities to pit and adjust on the car, but Wagner elected to stay on the track, picking up track position and experience.

"I made the call not to pit," Wagner said after the race. "Jim wanted to make some adjustments, I'm sure they would have made the car a little bit better, but I just wanted to get experience. I didn't want to sit on pit road and maybe miss a lap or two, I wanted to stay on the racetrack and stay with what I had."

Wagner lined up at the front of the field for the last four restarts after he went down a lap, and tried to earn his lap back, but couldn't. He raced hard with those cars also down a lap, and brought home a seventeenth-place finish.

"The car was consistent the whole race, maybe just a little loose," he said. "That's the opposite of what we had the last time we were here. The car was very driveable, even though it wasn't a top five car. We got in there and mixed it up with guys, got in the thick of things, and put some marks on the side of it from racing hard. We're moving in the right direction."

For more information on the No. 41 Busch North team, visit its website at www.jamespritchardmotorsports.com.

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