Ryan Seaman's Handling Woes Slow Columbia Home Loans Chevrolet At Stafford (Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 17, 2005) - Ryan Seaman was looking to put in a good performance for new sponsor Columbia Home Loans, but while an encouraging qualifying...
Ryan Seaman's Handling Woes Slow Columbia Home Loans Chevrolet At Stafford
(Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 17, 2005) - Ryan Seaman was looking to put in a good performance for new sponsor Columbia Home Loans, but while an encouraging qualifying effort put the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series team in good spirits before the Aubuchon Hardware 150, the series' season opener at Stafford Motor Speedway, a suspension problem that left them scratching their heads forced a green-flag pit stop and a 20th place finish.
After rainouts forced the postponements of the first two Busch North Series races of the season, practice and qualifying were held in brilliant sunshine. Seaman and the Greg Schaefer-led ERS Motorsports team made progress throughout practice, and in qualifying - done in race trim - saw the Toms River, N.J. driver take the fifteenth starting position.
"We were 16th fastest in practice and picked up one spot in qualifying," he said. "One of the things we're working on is getting our qualifying better than it was last year, and we accomplished that today. We're looking forward to getting out there in the race and getting a good run in for our first time out with Columbia Home Loans on the car. I just want to get a good finish, a top ten finish would be nice. We're starting in a good spot, we've got some good guys around us so hopefully things will go well for us."
The race was only two laps old when the first sign of trouble happened on the track. One driver caught the frontstretch wall, and Seaman had to take evasive action to avoid him. In doing that, he may have bent some front suspension components.
"We started out good but when Bryon Chew got sideways on the frontstretch I jerked it out of the way to miss him and I don't know if that messed something up in the front end or what, but it was pretty bad after that," Seaman explained.
With the car's handling going away, Seaman fell back in the field and he took the first opportunity to fix it in the pits under the race's second caution which fell on lap 27. But the work done on that stop wasn't enough, and after Seaman fell off the lead lap, he pitted under green for more work. He returned to the race and ran to its finish, though he was five laps down in 20th place.
"I'm not sure what happened with the car. We have to get it home and taken apart to find out what went wrong," he said after the race. "We thought maybe I ground part of the sway bar off or something like that because the car was extremely tight, it was really hard to drive. I'd have liked to start out our year a little bit better, and start our relationship with Columbia Home Loans on a better note. We made some changes on the pit stop and the car was better, but after about another sixty laps the car started going away again. It's a shame we got down so many laps so early, because we were pretty good in the middle. But we'll take it home and see what it needs to get better. We don't have any bodywork to do, just a couple little dings, so we'll concentrate on the suspension and come back next week and hope to have a better race at Holland."
Holland International Speedway hosts what will be the second Busch North Series race of the season next Saturday night, and it will be covered live on HDNet television.