Early Damage Creates Tough-Handling Car for Goess; Finishes 24th at Thompson Thompson, Conn. (July 12, 2008) -- Craig Goess and his Eddie Sharp Racing team travelled to Thompson, Connecticut this weekend for the Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100.
Early Damage Creates Tough-Handling Car for Goess; Finishes 24th at Thompson
Thompson, Conn. (July 12, 2008) -- Craig Goess and his Eddie Sharp Racing team travelled to Thompson, Connecticut this weekend for the Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100. Goess qualified the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota in the 15th position. Unfortunately, Goess was the victim of short-track racing early in the 100-lap event and fought to hold onto the ill-handling damaged Camry for the remainder of the race. Goess finished the night in the 24th position.
"This was just a disappointing race for the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota team," said a frustrated Goess. "The guys kept working on things all day and I appreciate all their hard work. We improved our practice times and posted a 15th-place start in qualifying. I was looking forward to getting back to a short track, but we just did not have the night we had hoped for."
Clean-up from an accident during the PASS Super Late Model Touring Series heats delayed Qualifying for approximately an hour. Goess was the 12th car to take the track for qualifying laps. The second lap was Goess' fastest at 20.717 seconds, putting him in the 15th starting position. Trevor Bayne earned the pole position with his lap around the 5/8-mile track in 20.357 seconds.
As soon as the Late Model event completed, NCWSE teams rushed to set up pit stalls inside of the 5/8-mile track. Prior to the end of the Late Model race, drivers climbed into their cars that were staged in the garage area for the post-qualifying impound. The 28 car field quickly pulled onto the track and to the front stretch where they remained for driver introductions. Engines fired and the race went green under an impressive display of fireworks off the back stretch of the speedway.
Early in the 100-lap race, the driver of the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota reported that the Camry was lacking front grip. By lap 30, Goess slid back to the 19th position as he worked to control the car. On lap 33, contact from behind put the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota into a spin in turn 3. The back of the car connected hard with the outside wall.
Goess brought the No. 2 down pit road and the crew immediately went to work on the damaged left rear of the car. Returning to the track down one lap to the leader, Goess was in the lucky dog position when the race restarted on lap 38. The lead cars were in turn 2 when the spinning No. 35 sent the field scrambling out of the way. Surprisingly, no one was collected in the melee and Goess regained his lost lap.
The lap 49 caution allowed the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota team the opportunity to bring the car back to pit road to make adjustments to try to help the ill-tempered Camry. Goess reported that the car "feels like it's hitting a rock, like there's no suspension. And every time it hits it feels like it's going to come around on me." The team also had Goess return to pit road under caution on lap 81 to continue to work on the car's handling.
The race restarted on lap 81 only to go to caution again at lap 84 when another incident in turn 3 collected the No. 2 of Craig Goess. As the No. 99 spun in the turn, Goess hit his brakes to avoid contact which turned the already grumpy-handling No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota. Goess came back to pit road and the team went to work on the additional damage to the rear of the car.
In the closing laps of the 100-lap event, Goess held on to finish in the 24th position.
"Well, it's on to Nashville next," said Goess. "We have three races in a row now and I'm looking forward to the seat time and just continuing to build on my experience and work with my Crew Chief Johnny [Allen] and the rest of my Greenville-Toyota team."