ES: Music City: Dion Ciccarelli race notes

Rare Parts Failure Spells Early End For Dion Ciccarelli's Nashville Race Nashville, Tenn. (July 22, 2007) - Part Failures happen to even the best NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series teams. Sunday night at the Music City Motorplex...

Rare Parts Failure Spells Early End For Dion Ciccarelli's Nashville Race

Nashville, Tenn. (July 22, 2007) - Part Failures happen to even the best NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series teams. Sunday night at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee, it struck the Jamerson Motorsports effort driven by Dion Ciccarelli. In a race where Ciccarelli was looking at a top-ten finish, he only got halfway through the race before a mechanical problem sent him to the garage area and his first DNF of the season.

The series was making its first appearance at the historic .625-mile track and Ciccarelli was looking forward to turning his season around there. His No. 84 Star Sales/Operation Gratitude Chevrolet qualified nineteenth, and things were looking up for the Severn, Maryland driver.

"At the end of practice, we were very optimistic," he said. "I was excited, we were running with some very good cars in practice and I thought we were going to be in good shape for the race once the tires wore down a little bit."

In the race, Ciccarelli wound up racing a usual foe, rookie Michelle Theriault.

"Me and Michelle always seem to wind up racing each other every week, door to door, racing hard," he said. "And I was racing her pretty hard, trying to get by her but I hit her from behind a couple times. That got both of us messed up and a car came up from behind and made it three-wide. While I was trying to recover I hit the kill switch on the steering wheel. That killed the motor so I had to refire it, and that might have contributed to the rear end breaking. I could feel it getting loose and hard to drive like the locker springs were going.

"Something in the rear was coming apart, and to make a long story short, a couple of laps later, it completely let go," Ciccarelli continued. "It knocked the cover off the back, gear oil everywhere, we were done. It's very disappointing. I have not have any luck with these quick-change rear ends: I've had four of them break over the last few years. When I had nine-inch rears, I never had a problem with them. With the quick-change ones, nothing but problems."

Ciccarelli's 2007 season has been a troubled one with accidents and other troubles causing long nights in the shop and at the track. But the Jamerson Motorsports team continues undaunted.

"We were lucky last year, and we're paying for it this year," he said. "Last year we didn't have hardly any parts breakage, we hardly brought home a damaged race car. But this year it's the complete opposite. Larry and Beth have put so much into this that I hate to have another bad finish, but they're committed to do what it takes to get this program turned around. We do a lot of maintenance in the shop, we buy the good stuff to put in the car, but sometimes these things are out of our control.

"We'll fix this and go to Adirondack and do it all over again," he continued. "We've gotten a lot more consistent in the pits, the guys are starting to work better together so everyone knows what he's doing and we know what to do to fix whatever problems come up."

Adirondack International Speedway hosts the next Busch East Series race on Saturday, July 29th.

-credit: jm

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