Injury Forces Goess to Turn Over Wheel at the Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 10, 2008) - Eddie Sharp Racing's Craig Goess got his first taste of road course racing this weekend at the renowned Watkins Glen International. An inflamed elbow ...
Injury Forces Goess to Turn Over Wheel at the Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 10, 2008) - Eddie Sharp Racing's Craig Goess got his first taste of road course racing this weekend at the renowned Watkins Glen International. An inflamed elbow hindered qualifying efforts and forced Goess to relinquish the driver's seat to road course veteran Andy Lally on lap 19 of the Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen. Lally drove the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota into the top 10 when mechanical issues required the team to pit, losing a lap while replacing the battery. Despite running times that would have had him at the front of the pack, Lally wheeled the Camry to a 14th place finish, the highest car one lap down.
"As a driver, you absolutely hate having to climb out of that car," said Goess. "But I knew I was limited to what I could do out there and the team deserved 100% I really appreciate Andy hopping in for us at the last minute. The car was great and Andy did a fantastic job. I'm looking forward to getting back to New Hampshire in a couple of weeks."
With a sore elbow that rendered shifting nearly impossible, Goess struggled in Saturday's qualifying. He was able to produce an 80.016 second lap to start Sunday's event in the 26th position.
Just as the race was about to start at the 2.45-mile road course in the heart of Upstate New York's picturesque Finger Lake region raindrops began to fall. Teams quickly covered the cars and scrambled for cover from the showers.
When the rain subsided, the race was ready to start. Because of some post-qualifying withdrawals, Goess rolled off the grid in the 25thposition. Andy Lally was on stand-by to hop into the Greenville-Toyota Toyota when the race went green.
During the second caution of the day on lap 19, Goess brought the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota to pit road for the driver change. Andy Lally climbed behind the wheel of the Camry and returned to the field and restarted in the 11th position on lap 22.
Under caution at lap 27, the No. 2 sputtered to a halt on the track. Lally was eventually able to re-fire the engine and bring the Greenville-Toyota Toyota to pit road. The team worked quickly to replace the battery and return Lally to the track. Unfortunately, the lost lap would be costly for the Eddie Sharp Racing team.
Rain entered the area just past the halfway point of the 51-lap event. The cars returned to pit road and were covered as the rain came down so hard, it was nearly impossible to see the track. The race was halted for two hours. With 27 laps completed, the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota sat in the 21st position under the red flag.
At 3:15 p.m., drivers returned to their cars and re-fired their engines 15 minutes later. The field made caution laps before returning to green-flag racing at lap 32.
Already a lap down to the leaders, Lally focused on hitting his marks and running the best times he could. He advanced the No. 2 Toyota to the 17thposition when a caution occurred on lap 49. The cars were halted while the track was cleaned up and a green-white-checkered finish was mandated. The race was returned to green on lap 53. Lally took full advantage of the restart and climbed to the 14th position, the highest of the lap-down cars.
"I just want to thank my Eddie Sharp Racing team for a great race today," said Goess. "I'm sorry that I had to hop out, but Andy stepped right in and did a fantastic job! The car was good and fast. Had we not lost that lap, the No. 2 Greenville-Toyota Toyota would have definitely been up front contending for the win. I'm really looking forward to going to New Hampshire next. We had a really good test there a few weeks ago and it should be a very good race for us."
Next Stop: Craig Goess and the Greenville Toyota team have a two week hiatus and will return to racing at New Hampshire International Speedway on June 27th, 2008.