ES: Thompson: James Pritchard Jr race notes

Late-Race Trouble Strikes James Pritchard Jr. Thompson, Conn. (July 12, 2008) - Bad luck has followed the Mannings USA-sponsored NASCAR Camping World East Series team throughout the first part of the 2008 season. After overcoming engine problems...

Late-Race Trouble Strikes James Pritchard Jr.

Thompson, Conn. (July 12, 2008) - Bad luck has followed the Mannings USA-sponsored NASCAR Camping World East Series team throughout the first part of the 2008 season. After overcoming engine problems that have plagued James Pritchard Jr. in his last couple races, the team was ready to rebound at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. And while the engine held up during the running of the Pepsi 100 on Saturday night, a cut right-front tire forced Pritchard's early retirement from the event in 26th place.

After repairing a shorted-out starter in practice, Pritchard started putting in laps on the .625-mile Connecticut oval. The team discovered that the No. 41 Mannings USA Dodge's chassis was hitting the track on bumps, so adjustments were made to the car. Time ran out on practice before they could simulate a qualifying run, which hampered the team's qualifying effort.

The Wharton, N.J. driver started the hundred-lap feature from the 27th position. He ran clean, but the dragging problem continued under race conditions. A mid-race pit stop to attempt to alleviate the situation helped some, but the damage was done.

"In the race we were dragging the chassis pretty bad still," he said. "We came in to make a change but the car was so bad to begin with I wound up glazing over the brake rotors and it was a handful to drive. On the restarts it was good for a couple of laps and we could run with anybody, but the longer we went we just got eaten up."

Determined to run to the race's conclusion, Pritchard encountered trouble just 25 laps from the end.

"Something happened going into turn three where a tire got cut down and I hit the wall pretty good," he said. The car was brought to pit road where it was retired from the event.

Pritchard was quick to shake off the Thompson race. "The car's not hurt that bad and I think we can get it ready to race again at Adirondack," he said. "We're having our trouble this season but we're not giving up. We have the support of Mannings USA and a great crew on this team and we're going to get this turned around and start having good finishes before long."

Adirondack International Speedway, a circular half-mile track in upstate New York, will host the Camping World Series on Saturday, July 26th. In the track's race last year, Pritchard posted his career-best finish of tenth.

-credit: ajc

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