Strader Victim of 13 Car Crash DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (July 6, 2001) Cam Strader went into the DAYTONAUSA.com 150 with one thing in mind - avoid the big crash. He also wanted to win the pole, and the race in a Mercury. He wasn't fortunate enough to...
Strader Victim of 13 Car Crash DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (July 6, 2001) Cam Strader went into the DAYTONAUSA.com 150 with one thing in mind - avoid the big crash. He also wanted to win the pole, and the race in a Mercury. He wasn't fortunate enough to miss the big crash, which dashed any hope of a win on the sultry afternoon in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Strader did start on the pole for the event, when qualifying was rained out. The starting line up was set by car owner's points, but the other two dreams were lost in an event that was marred by a 13-car pileup on lap 48 that red-flagged the race for 17 minutes.
Kelly Sutton was running in the fourth position, when the car she was driving was spun by rookie driver, Tim Nichols. "He said the sun was in his eyes and he just didn't realize he had gotten that close to me," she said.
That spin triggered a 13-car crash that also involved the machines of Strader, Angie Wilson, Scott Redmond, Jimmy Britts, Joey Miller, and others. None of the 13 drivers involved in the turn four incident were injured.
"We wanted this one bad," said Strader with great emotion. "We wanted it bad for our sponsors, and all the hard working employees at Wesson and Peter Pan Peanut Butter. David Pearson was the last Mercury driver to win a pole in July of `74 here at the Daytona International Speedway; and Bobby Allison was the last driver to win the race in a Mercury in 1980 - we wanted it to happen again for Mercury," he said. "We pitted twice when we had those cautions close together in hopes we could go all the way to the finish on fuel. The car was coming up through traffic well when some cars got together at the front of the field. I had no where to go. One minute I was in a tight draft behind Angie Wilson, and the next thing I knew, I was spinning up against the wall then backwards off the banking of turn four," he explained.
"I am so proud of the way my guys performed tonight," Strader said. "They know how important this championship is, and they worked together like a finely tuned machine. They couldn't touch the car during the red flag, but they rebuilt the right front suspension of the Wesson car and got me back on the track for the last two laps. It helped us gain eight positions at the finish, and every position counts at the end of the season. They are a great bunch of guys, and I'm very blessed to have each and every one of them on my team. Sure we were disappointed, but we win as a team and we lose as a team."
Robert Huffman won his second race of the season leading 52 of the race's 60 circuits - the other came on June 16th at the Kentucky Motor Speedway.
The next race is Saturday, July 14th at the Greenville/Pickens Speedway in Greenville, SC.