SES: Fontaine 2001 season review

Chris Fontaine and the Discount Auto Parts/Suntrust NASCAR All Pro ...

Chris Fontaine and the Discount Auto Parts/Suntrust NASCAR All Pro #46 wrapped up the 2001 season at the new Nashville Superspeedway on Nov.25 in the MBNA All American with 32nd place,and hopefully wrapped up the bad luck with it.

The finish dropped Chris to 22nd in the 2001 NASCAR All Pro points. Had he finished the race, he would have secured at least the 20th spot he had been in. But, debris on the track shredded Chris' left front tire on the 38th lap of the race. When he pitted to change tires, the team found that the damaged tire had torn out the brake lines and damaged the master cylinder.

Chris started the race in 17th position, his second best start this year. Since qualifying had been rained out the day before, the field was lined up according to points going into the race.

At the drop of the green flag there was a pileup of four cars on the front stretch. Chris got through the carnage without a scratch, and on the restart he was lined up 14th in line, putting him on the leaderboard.

For the next three laps, Chris ran a tight race, but started sliding back in the field as he was passed by faster cars. On the fourth lap two cars got together in turn one, and Chris pitted on the yellow to make adjustments.

On the restart, Chris was held by the officials until the field had restarted and he had to run a good line to catch up from the back of the line.For the next 20 laps, Chris caught up to and began passing cars at the back of the field, until the first round of pit stops.

While a lot of pitting cars rushed to their pits, Chris had to coast in, and after closer inspection, it was found that the left front tire was coming apart, and had ripped the brakelines out of the master cylinder, putting Chris behind the wall and out of the race.

Chris and the CJF Racing Team's rookie year in the NASCAR All Pro series has been a learning experience for everyone on the team. The inexperience coupled with the bad luck throughout the year makes just finishing the season a championship effort in itself.

Throughout the year, Chris qualified as high as 14th, and has finished as high as 17th, and was 20th in the points chase going into the final race. Chris and the team always kept their heads up and kept digging no matter the odds.

Next year, Chris and the team plan to return to the All-Pro series to gain more experience, and hopefully will have better luck. They also plan to run two or three Busch races by the end of 2002, with plans to run the full Busch series in 2003.


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Drivers Chris Fontaine