Chris Fontaine drove the Discount Auto Parts/Suntrust ...
Chris Fontaine drove the Discount Auto Parts/Suntrust #46 Monte Carlo to a 17th place finish in the Cintas 200 Saturday night at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, his best finish to date in an All Pro race. Chris qualified 24th of 29 to start the race and held position for 13 laps before the first caution came out. On the restart he was in 23rd place.
He held that position by a car length for the next 12 laps until the car behind him caught him and began to challenge for position. Chris held him off for 4 laps while racing side by side, until Chris had a little bobble coming out of turn four, slipping up and allowing the other car by. On lap 36 a caution came out, and Chris pitted so the team could make adjustments to the car.
On the restart, Chris was 21st in the lineup. One lap later the #17 got by him after a duel through turns one and two. In turn four on the same lap the car behind Chris spun, but recovered before a yellow came out. Twentyone laps later, Chris overtook the #17, dueling for two laps and finally passing him on the backstretch. On the next lap, race leader Wayne Anderson overtook Chris, and two laps later on lap 69 caution came out again. Lining the cars up for the restart, the officials stopped the #46 at the start/finish line as they got all the cars in order for the restart.The #46 was one lap down and was put in front of the line behind the pace car. On the restart, the top six cars slid right by Chris, then he held his own in the field until yellow came out again two laps later. Chris took the opportunity to pit, and the crew went into action putting on two new right side tires and gassing the #46.
As Chris left the pits, sparks could be seen under the car and officials made him return to the pits. The crew found a loose exhaust pipe knocked loose by earlier rubbing with the other cars. Once it was removed, Chris rejoined the field running under caution. Chris had to line up at the back in 21st for the restart. He held position for the next 25 laps and was closing in on the #17 when the leaders David Rutimann and Wayne Anderson finally caught up to him. Twelve laps later the caution came out again for a spin in turn four and Chris took the opportunity to bring the Discount AutoParts/Suntrust #46 in.
On the restart, Chris chased the field for 12 laps,getting his nose under the #39 a couple of times, before the leader, Wayne Anderson, caught and passed him. Two laps later David Ruitimann in the Pennzoil #00 drag raced Chris down the frontstretch and passed him in turn one. Four laps later, Chris caught a slower car,passing him on the frontstretch. Three laps later another caution flag flew, and the team took the opportunity to check the car with a stop and go pitstop. On the restart, the #46 was lined up 19th in line. Twenty laps later he passed a car on the front stretch to move up. Six laps later, a spin in front of Chris in turn four brought out the caution again. On the restart,
Chris was in the 18th spot, and caught the #29 in turn four to race him down the front. Going into the turn Chris had to back off and follow the pack through though. He continued to duel for position with the #29 for two more laps until Chris finally got under him to pass in turns one and two. On the next lap the caution came out again. On the next to last lap of the race the car in front of Chris spun coming out of turn four and the one hour and 38 minute race finished under the checker and yellow flags. Chris and the Discount Auto Parts #46 took a 17th place finish for the race finishing two laps down. He was third out of the rookies who finished the race. Chris is currently 5th in the Wireway-Husky rookie points race, and 23rd in the 2001 NASCAR All Pro points.
The next race for the CJF Racing team is Wednesday, August 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway.