BNS: Waterford: Don Wagner race notes

Don Wagner Fights Loose Car to Finish Eighteenth at Waterford Speedbowl (Waterford, Conn. - July 17, 2004) - Don Wagner made his second start at Waterford Speedbowl in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition on Saturday ...

Don Wagner Fights Loose Car to Finish Eighteenth at Waterford Speedbowl

(Waterford, Conn. - July 17, 2004) - Don Wagner made his second start at Waterford Speedbowl in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition on Saturday night with the running of the Kobyluck Corporations 150. Looking to improve on last year's fourteenth place finish, things looked good early for the driver of the Mannings USA Chevrolet when he got his best qualifying effort ever in series competition. But handling woes hampered the race efforts, and Wagner finished eighteenth.

The James Pritchard Motorsports crew was happy with how things were going in practice, making numerous changes to the car. Those changes paid off in qualifying as Wagner got his best time trial effort ever, fourteenth.

"We've only been together for ten or twelve races, so it's not that many," he said. "We're happy with it. We're going to run hard and try to stay on the lead lap, and try to win this thing. We've got a bunch of good guys starting all around us, so we'll be mixing it up right off the bat. I just have to keep them behind me and we'll have a good finish. The field will string out for sure, we'll run off as many laps as we can and then race the last twenty or thirty, a typical Busch North race."

Unfortunately, at the start of the race the handling of the car wasn't right. Wagner tried to cope, but in doing so, fell off the lead lap. The team decided to spend the rest of the race learning as much as they could, pitting under every subsequent opportunity to change the car and see how it reacted to each modification. In doing so, Wagner drove to an eighteenth place finish.

"The car wasn't handling all that good in the beginning, it was really loose to start the race," he said. "We made a bunch of changes because we pitted pretty much every opportunity we had to pit. After we went a lap down we shifted to R&D mode. We weren't racing for the win or even a decent finish, so we kept making adjustments and feeling the car out. It wasn't there tonight, so we'll get them next time.

"We learned a lot of stuff with all the changes we made tonight, we filled a whole notebook with information that we'll be reading. It's like a novel now."

Wagner and the rest of the James Pritchard Motorsports team will take some time away from the Busch North Series to gear up for its final two races of the year, which will be at New Hampshire International Speedway and Dover International Speedway, both races being in September. For more information, visit http://www.jamespritchardmotorsports.com.

-ajc-

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