Flat Tire Keeps Eric Holmes From Stafford Success Stafford Springs, Conn. (June 8, 2007) - Californian Eric Holmes had heard about Stafford Motor Speedway, located in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and came east to race on it in NDS Motorsports'...
Flat Tire Keeps Eric Holmes From Stafford Success
Stafford Springs, Conn. (June 8, 2007) - Californian Eric Holmes had heard about Stafford Motor Speedway, located in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, and came east to race on it in NDS Motorsports' Waste Management Recycle America Ford Friday night in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series competition. When it was over, he had first-hand knowledge of how Stafford can take its toll on the best of race teams as he had to deal with suspension problems and finally a flat tire during the running of the TSI Harley-Davidson 150, leaving him nineteenth in the final rundown.
Holmes, the 2006 NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series champion, made his fifth start of the year in the East Series. It started out on a strong note, with his posting eighth- and seventh-fastest lap times in the two afternoon practice sessions. The success continued into qualifying as he posted the seventh-best time ( 19.857 seconds, 90.648 MPH) of thirty entrants, giving him a starting spot on the inside of the fourth row.
"This is one of the places I've heard a lot about and I've always wanted to race here," he said before the race. "It's a fun track to drive on, but I don't know how it'll be to race on. The car's probably the best we've had it all year, so I'm looking forward to getting into the race with it. They've put a lot of work into the car, a lot of long nights were put in this week getting this car ready. We'll be starting close to the front so we should be in good shape. We had a good car last week, but we started too far back. That's not the case tonight."
Holmes ran as high as fifth in the early going of the TSI Harley-Davidson 150. That good fortune was not to last, though, as Holmes suffered a cut right front tire and had to pit to have it changed, dropping him to the rear of the field. He spent the balance of the race trying to get back to the top ten but laps were running out and traffic was tough, and he had to settle for twentieth at the finish.
"We had a flat tire," he said after the race. "We were having a good night, I was just kind of riding there around sixth or seventh and the car was pretty good, but I got a flat and we were stuck in the back. I didn't want to tear it up racing with those guys so I played it safe to get a finish. At least the car was good car to start with, so we're making progress."
Holmes' next race will be with his own team, racing the NASCAR West Series race at Infineon Raceway which is the prelude to the Nextel Cup Series race there. He'll rejoin NDS Motorsports for the running of the Busch East New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway on June 29th, also a part of a Nextel Cup weekend. He prepared for that event with a test day at the 1.058-mile oval in May.
"We'll be a lot better at Loudon where we had a good day testing there," he said.