ES: Dover: Michelle Theriault race notes

Michelle Theriault & Team GLOCK Close Season with Top-20 Finish at Dover "Team GLOCK Honors Heroes in Final NBES Points Event of 2007 Season" DOVER, Delaware (September 25, 2007) - - NASCAR Busch East Series (NBES) rookie Michelle Theriault made...

Michelle Theriault & Team GLOCK Close Season with Top-20 Finish at Dover
"Team GLOCK Honors Heroes in Final NBES Points Event of 2007 Season"

DOVER, Delaware (September 25, 2007) - - NASCAR Busch East Series (NBES) rookie Michelle Theriault made her Dover International Speedway debut this past Friday. While the finish wasn't exactly what Team GLOCK was looking for, the team utilized the event to honor heroes who have made a difference.

GLOCK, Inc. announced earlier this month that Dover would serve as "Tribute to Heroes" day. GLOCK, Inc. had several guests at the Monster Mile with GLOCK, Inc. honoring them for their heroic efforts. Members of the Law Enforcement and Armed Forces GLOCK Heroes team include Jennifer Fulford, Robert Wuller, Alfred Butler and Heath Grossman. Team GLOCK also unveiled a special "Tribute to GLOCK Heroes" car paint scheme. In conjunction with Dover International Speedway's Salute to law enforcement pit crew program, GLOCK was pleased to have Detective William Breault and Officer Stan Roache as additional pit crew members for Friday's season finale.

Additionally, GLOCK, Inc. celebrity spokesperson, R. Lee Ermey attended Dover International Speedway for the NASCAR Busch East Sunoco 150 race on Friday. Ermey also served as the Honorary Starter and waived the green flag in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday, September 23rd. Ermey is acclaimed for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the hit movie, Full Metal Jacket in 1987. "It was great to have all that support with our team at Dover," said Michelle Theriault, driver of the No. 37 GLOCK Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "It's an unbelievable feeling to have the amount of people cheer you on both on and off the track."

On Thursday, Theriault participated in the two practice sessions leading up to qualifying on Friday afternoon. During the first practice, Theriault noted the 29th fastest time after turning a lap of 26.282 seconds at 136.976 MPH. "This is a track that I cannot compare to anything that I've ever raced on before," noted Theriault, the only full-time female NASCAR competitor. "I know we're not where we need to be, but I think we'll make progress in the second session."

At the conclusion of the second practice, Theriault had picked up the pace considerably after finding six-tenths of a second from her first tenure on the track. During "Happy Hour" she bolted her machine around the one-mile speedway in a time of 25.639 seconds at 140.411 MPH.

Returning to "The Monster Mile" for Friday's activities, Theriault was feeling good about her Dover debut and knew that a clean qualifying run would be key. For qualifying, Theriault drew an early number. With the draw not expected to show any advantages or disadvantages, she knew it was time to put the pedal to the metal.

In her two qualifying trips around Dover, she clocked the fastest time of 25.180 seconds at 142.971 MPH, finding another half-second from her practice run the day before. Her effort locked the 26th starting position. "I think we're in a comfort zone," she noted. "We've been able to pick up the pace throughout the whole weekend and we posted our fastest lap of the weekend in qualifying. Hopefully that is a sign of things to come for the race."

At the start of the Sunoco 150, Theriault had slipped one spot but was controlling the 27th position when the first caution flag waived on lap five when the No. 63 lost an engine. Theriault reported that her car wasn't handling to her liking and car owner Jeff Spraker agreed to make a stop on pit road for an adjustment on the track bar. On the lap 14 restart, Theriault was holding the 24th position.

By lap 23, the lead pack had caught Theriault and took her from the lead lap. Shortly after, Theriault reported to the crew that she felt something broke. She stated the car was hard to drive and she couldn't get a rhythm going. Car owner Jeff Spraker asked Theriault to bring her machine on pit road on lap 39 where the team changed right side tires while inspecting the Chevrolet to make sure that everything was intact.

Theriault went back to the track and reported no difference which forced another pit stop on lap 41 to make another chassis adjustment. Team GLOCK Racing lost several laps after making the pit stops.

A caution flag waived on lap 44. Theriault made another trip to pit road to change left side tires. On lap 56, she keyed the radio again and said that her machine was still pushing. Theriault would wait until lap 66 for another opportunity to make a change on her Chevrolet. During the stop, the team would make a track bar adjustment. Despite the changes and frustration, Theriault continued to dig deep.

The yellow flag would waive on lap 86 allowing a chance to refuel the GLOCK Chevrolet in preparation for the remainder of the event. Back to racing nearing lap 100, Theriault would use the remaining fifty laps to race on the "Monster Mile." The late race attrition would move her through the running order to claim the 20th position.

"It wasn't the day we were looking for but we persevered with a top-20 finish," Theriault said after the race. "I couldn't get the car to turn the way I needed to and it wound up hurting me all day long. We had a lot of support for the race and I really was hoping to bring in a good finish, but a top-20 finish under all the circumstances we faced is something I'll take."

The Sunoco 150 marked the final race of the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series season. Theriault finished 13th overall in the final point standings in her first full season of NASCAR racing.

Next up for Theriault and Team GLOCK is an invitation to compete in the NASCAR TOYOTA All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California on October 19 and 20.

-credit: MichelleTheriault.com

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Spraker , Michelle Theriault