Tuttle scores top-10 in Minnesota, ST. PAUL, Minn. (September 3, 2002) - Russ Tuttle and Team Conseco spent this past Monday celebrating not only Labor Day, but also their top-10 finish at Minnesota State Fairgrounds Speedway. Despite becoming...
Tuttle scores top-10 in Minnesota,
ST. PAUL, Minn. (September 3, 2002) - Russ Tuttle and Team Conseco spent this past Monday celebrating not only Labor Day, but also their top-10 finish at Minnesota State Fairgrounds Speedway. Despite becoming the unlucky victim of not one, but two accidents during the American Speed Association (ASA) Miller Lite 300, Tuttle rallied to bring home his fifth top-10 finish of the year.
Due to restrictions made by the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds Speedway is authorized to host only one racing event per year. Fortunately for Tuttle and his teammates, the ASA Series holds the honors. Because of the restrictions, the usual two-day event schedule was limited to just one day with only one and a half hours of practice permitted. In addition to the shortened practice schedule, ASA officials lined up the field for the Monday afternoon event on points rather than on qualifying times, which meant the No. 16 Chevrolet Monte Carlo started on the grid in the 11th position.
The green flag dropped for the ASA field to begin racing and within 15 laps the No. 86 car spun on the frontstretch. Unfortunately the spinning machine collected the No. 16 Conseco Chevy causing damage to the right rear quarter panel. Immediately following the incident, crew chief Glen Allen Jr. made the call for Tuttle to pit early in order for the team to assess the damage and change right side tires. Running in the top-10 prior to the accident, Tuttle fell back in line becoming the last car on the lead lap.
Soon Tuttle's car, which was consistently running two-tenths faster than the leader, had made its way back into the top-10. With the abrasive Minnesota oval surface wearing the grip on the BF Goodrich tires, Allen and Tuttle made the call to pit again for right side tires. With new tires, Tuttle once again attempted to make his way to the front. Unfortunately, the No. 60 car of Ed Brown slowed the No. 16's attempt. In two separate instances, the No. 16 attempted to pass the lapped car of the No. 60 and both times the cars made contact. Despite the altercations, Tuttle went on with his mission to move to the front of the field.
At lap 235, with just 65 circuits left in the event, Tuttle and his team were forced to pit the car for fresh tires. The team had pitted early in the race out of sequence with the leaders and unfortunately, the team did not feel that its tires could hold up to the end. Running in the fifth position, Tuttle reluctantly headed to the pits for fresh tires. Tuttle returned to the track with a considerable distance to make up on the leaders. When the checkered flag flew, Tuttle crossed the finish line 10th.
"It was a pretty good day for Team Conseco," explained team owner and driver Russ Tuttle. "We have another top -10 on our records which makes five for this year so far. This race gives us good momentum going into the event at Hawkeye Downs."
Tuttle and his team return to the state of Iowa for the running of the Iowa 300 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids. The race, which will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN), will be aired at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.