Jefferson Redeemed at Miller NACHES, WA (August 4, 2008) Jeff Jefferson wanted to get back on track this past weekend and prove that he is a formidable road racing driver. He answered the call and scored his second top ten finish in as...
Jefferson Redeemed at Miller
NACHES, WA (August 4, 2008) Jeff Jefferson wanted to get back on track this past weekend and prove that he is a formidable road racing driver. He answered the call and scored his second top ten finish in as many races with a sixth place performance at Miller Motorsports Park this past Saturday.
Jefferson had a lot on his mind heading into the 41-lap event staged on the 3.06-mile perimeter course. Least of which was posting a solid finish. After the event at Infineon which saw his car destroyed in a late race incident while running in the top ten; would his new car be competitive? Would he?
Jefferson was competitive out of the trailer and was among the fastest in both practice sessions on Friday afternoon. Jefferson would back up his practice times with a solid sixth place qualifying effort in the 28-car field.
The game plan for the race was simple. Pit as soon as fuel would not be an issue and use track position to be in position at the end. Simple plan, but every driver in the field had the same plan.
Jefferson used the early laps to get into a rhythm and just race the track, not the competition. Over the first early portion of the race he never dropped lower than 8th in the running order before pitting on lap 17. The crew fueled the car and made a wedge adjustment. The stop took longer than planned.
After pitting, Jefferson was running in the 20th position but knew he would cycle back to the front when the others pitted. As the middle portion of the race unfolded, he found himself off-track a couple of times slowing his progress, but continued to move forward.
After a caution for debris slowed the action on lap 34, Jefferson decided to pit for tires since his Chevrolet was not to his liking while he was running in the 12th position. With only 18 cars on the lead lap it was a measured gamble. The pit stop did not go as planned and the crew needed extra time to make the routine stop. Jefferson lost six spots and would need to make the most out of the remaining seven laps if he hoped to get back inside the top ten.
Jefferson survived two off track excursions and a green, white, checkered finish to hold down the sixth spot in the final running order to secure his fourth top ten performance of the season.
"It was not really a pretty race but I will take," Jefferson said. "We had problems on our pit stops and I over drove the car several times. We were lucky to finish this well. I had a really good car but in road racing if you are not smooth and consistent then it can be tough out there. I was not very smooth, but we had a good finish and if we can string top ten finishes the rest of the season then we'll finish the season on a high note."
Jefferson continues to hold down the 12th position in the point standings with three races to go but closed to gap to just 10-points out of tenth place. Eighth through 12th are separated by just 39 points.
Jeff Jefferson and his MJ2 Racing team will have the next weekend off before heading to Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (CA) Saturday, August 16 for the second time this season. The event will be broadcast on a tape delayed basis on SPEED Channel later this summer.