Pritchard, Jr. 23rd At Music City Motorplex Nashville, Tenn. (July 22, 2007) - James Pritchard, Jr.'s rookie season learning the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series continued in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday night when he competed...
Pritchard, Jr. 23rd At Music City Motorplex
Nashville, Tenn. (July 22, 2007) - James Pritchard, Jr.'s rookie season learning the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series continued in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday night when he competed in his fifth race of the year. In the Music City 150 at the .625-mile Music City Motorplex, Pritchard took a poor-handling car as high as thirteenth place before a spin knocked him back in the lineup. He finished 23rd.
It was a lot of work in the Wharton, New Jersey shop that houses James Pritchard Motorsports in the week leading up to the Nashville race. Damage from the previous race left the team with the need to replace the nosepiece as well as the front fenders. But when the team unloaded at Nashville, they were ready to race, with one last detail to be taken care of.
"We started out and found we had a hole in the radiator," Pritchard said. "We lost a lot of time fixing that and I only got two runs out there late in the first practice session."
Pritchard got a lot more track time in the second session and more work was needed to find more speed in time for qualifying.
"The car wasn't really there, it was all over the place," he said. "We made some adjustments that didn't really help, so we threw the kitchen sink at it for qualifying and we picked up six tenths of a second."
In the early stages of the race, Pritchard found his No. 41 Mannings USA Chevrolet still not handling well. But as the race wore on, things improved to the point where he could compete, and he eventually got close to the top ten.
"We raced our heart out but the car still wouldn't come to me at all," he said. "I was sideways a lot and there were a couple of times that I was lucky to save it. But I adapted and started picking one car off at a time and I think after all of that I had a top ten car. I was definitely faster than a lot of the cars in front of me."
An incident where he was spun out by another car set him back, though.
"The 50 car came in a little hot, got into my door and turned me," Pritchard explained. "That wasn't intentional, he came right over after the race and apologized, but it was something we could have done without. We blended in where we thought we should have been but they brought us in for a pass-through penalty, and that's something we didn't need."
Pritchard's rookie season continues with his first visit to Adirondack International Speedway on Saturday, July 29th.