James Pritchard Jr. Suffers Last Lap Accident at Adirondack Beaver Falls, N.Y. (July 26, 2008) - After the last three races that James Pritchard Jr. has raced in NASCAR Camping World Series competition have ended with his already retired from...
James Pritchard Jr. Suffers Last Lap Accident at Adirondack
Beaver Falls, N.Y. (July 26, 2008) - After the last three races that James Pritchard Jr. has raced in NASCAR Camping World Series competition have ended with his already retired from the event, it looked like he was going to have a change of luck at Adirondack International Speedway. In fact, he and his No. 41 Mannings USA Dodge had run clean and green through 149 and a half laps of the Edge Hotel 150, but he could not avoid a car that had spun exiting turn four coming to take the checkers. The resulting contact left Pritchard 24th in the final rundown.
Pritchard, from Wharton, N.J., had reason to be optimistic heading to Adirondack. The circular half-mile track was the site of his best finish last year, and the engine problems that had plagued the team in earlier races seemed to have been cured. And while a 22nd place qualifying effort wasn't what the James Pritchard Motorsports team was hoping for, its driver was optimistic heading into the feature event.
Not too long into the race, rain started falling on the track and competitors were brought onto pit road to wait out an hour rain delay. Once that was out of the way, the track was dried and racing resumed. Problems had arisen, though, that gave the team some cause for concern.
"The car was great," Pritchard said after the race. "We had a car to race but picked up a vibration that was intermittent between runs. I'd have a good run where it wasn't vibrating and I could race and pass cars, and then it would start and it felt like the car was rattling apart. I was waiting for something to break in the car. It rattled the mirror off the car."
As the race entered its late stages, caution flags were a frequent sight as drivers battled either to get to the bottom groove or to stay there. The poking and rubbing increased in intensity as the race got closer to the end, and went all the way to the last corner of the last lap. The No. 52 car had spun and was sitting across the track, and Pritchard could not avoid striking the car. The damage to the Mannings USA Dodge was severe, and Pritchard could only watch as the field filed by on its way to finishing, while he would be unable to. He was classified as 24th, and not happy, after the race.
"You've got these Cup teams bringing in these young kids," he said. "They don't know anything about fixing a race car, building a race car, or any of the work that goes into putting one of these cars on the track. They put them behind the wheel of a $40,000 race car and they just destroy them. They don't care. In the top half of the field,, the only guys who care are the guys who are doing it on their own in their own equipment. It's hard to race under those conditions. NASCAR isn't doing anything about the rough driving, so it's gotten out of control.
"We came here optimistic," Pritchard continued, "and we had a good car, but it doesn't matter when you can't finish. The car's done, it needs a clip, so we'll see what we do next."