Broken Transmission Ends Lime Rock Race For Dion Ciccarelli Lime Rock, Conn. (August 18, 2007) - Last year at Lime Rock Park, Dion Ciccarelli was a rookie and running his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series road course. A...
Broken Transmission Ends Lime Rock Race For Dion Ciccarelli
Lime Rock, Conn. (August 18, 2007) - Last year at Lime Rock Park, Dion Ciccarelli was a rookie and running his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series road course. A year later, he returned and found himself much more competitive, racing for a top-fifteen, lead-lap finish when the transmission of his No. 84 Star Sales/Operation Gratitude Chevrolet failed with just three laps to go, resulting in a twentieth-place finish.
"I learned a lot last year and I was able to apply that to this race," he said. "I was having a blast, and I just wish we could have gotten the finish we were going to have before the transmission broke."
The weekend did not get off to a good start for the Severn, Maryland-based Jamerson Motorsports team as its hauler broke down in Delaware on its way to the northwest Connecticut track. The team scrambled to find a small enclosed trailer and a box truck, and put the race car and some basic tools in that to get to the track. They made it, but they were without their pit box as well as most of their tools and spare parts. Fortunately, the team parked next to them in the garage area, Rusty Wallace Inc.'s No. 66 team, proved to be very good neighbors.
"The one thing I do like about this series is that everybody is willing to help everybody else out," Ciccarelli said. "The 66 crew really reached out to us. They were feeding us and giving us parts, and whatever we needed they let us use. They let us plug into their trailer for power and they even helped crew the car when I needed to make pit stops. I don't know what we would have done without them."
On the track, Ciccarelli started applying lessons learned in last year's edition of the Mohegan Sun 200.
"Last year, I couldn't get my lap times under a minute and was running a few laps down in the race," he said. "This year, my goal was to stay on the lead lap and get the best finish that we could. As a driver, I have a lot more to learn but I have already learned a lot and I was having a good time out there. We were on our way to a good finish but I wound up breaking a transmission with just a couple laps to go. I was being extra careful, too."
That road racing is tough on race cars' mechanicals is no surprise. That it's happened to the Jamerson team twice in two years was a little frustrating.
"Last year we broke a rear end with just a few laps to go and this year I was sitting on the sidelines again with just two laps to go," he said. "That's frustrating, but at that point we had overcome so much just to get to the race and get into the race with the hauler problems. Thanks to the 66 crew helping us out as much as they did, and Lime Rock having such a good atmosphere for racing, we still had a great time."
Ciccarelli also expressed his thanks to Scott's Landscaping, a new Jamerson Motorsports sponsor, "They really helped us out a bunch for the race, we really appreciate their support."