Larry Maloney's Busch East Debut Is A Top-Ten Finish Lime Rock, Conn. (August 18, 2007) - Not many drivers can make their first race in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series a solid lead-lap finish, but Larry Maloney went one ...
Larry Maloney's Busch East Debut Is A Top-Ten Finish
Lime Rock, Conn. (August 18, 2007) - Not many drivers can make their first race in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series a solid lead-lap finish, but Larry Maloney went one better by placing his No. 88 Komatsu/C.N. Wood Co. Ford Taurus in the top ten in his first race, finishing Saturday's series event at Lime Rock Park in tenth place.
Maloney, who has previous experience on the road course's 1.53-miles in sports car competition, stepped into the JBR Motorsports' NASCAR racer on Friday for practice and qualifying. He earned the twentieth starting spot with a fast lap of 56.946 seconds (96.723 MPH).
"We were nineteenth in the first practice," the Waylong, Massachusetts driver said. "We changed a lot of stuff, and in the second practice we were fifteenth fastest. We didn't qualify where we should have qualified because I was overly conservative in my laps because I didn't want to loop the car. I knew we had a better car.
With Steve Bird atop the pit box calling the shots for the race, Maloney immediately started picking up positions. The run to the front was interrupted just twelve laps in when he suffered a flat right rear tire. By the time he made it around to pit road, had the tire changed and returned to action, he was off the lead lap.
Trying to make up time, Maloney made a risky passing maneuver going into the first turn that did not pay off.
"I tried to out-brake Eddie MacDonald going into turn one trying to make up ground and that didn't work out so well," he said.
Back on track, he got back on the lead lap when caution flew on lap 53, placing him nineteenth on the field. In the remaining laps, he picked up nine positions, maneuvering through an oily mess in the final turn of the last lap, to get a top-ten finish in his first start.
"Today, we proved that we had a better car," he said. "A top ten is good for the first time out, and hopefully we'll do even better the next time. These cars are a lot different compared to what I'm used to. They're a lot heavier car and their braking points are totally different. The cars I'm used to are about a thousand pounds lighter and drive much different.
"The team was awesome," Moloney continued. "Having Steve Bird on the pit box is a huge advantage. He's the one driving me while I'm driving the car. He's got a whole bunch of championships so when he gives you advice, you better take it. All the guys did a good job, from the spotters to the guys on pit road."
Moloney is looking forward to doing more East Series races and switching away from his familiar road racing to ovals.
"We're trying to get a sponsor on board and run some oval tracks, that's my goal," he said. "I've done road racing for a long time and I'd like to try oval-track racing. I'd like to start out on some short tracks and maybe by the end of the year work my way up to New Hampshire and Dover. I like the fast tracks."