Time was not on Tuttle's side. Team Conseco finishes 18th at Berlin. BERLIN, Mich. (June 3, 2002) - The one-day American Speed Association (ASA) event held at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway this past Saturday just didn't give Team Conseco enough time to...
Time was not on Tuttle's side.
Team Conseco finishes 18th at Berlin.
BERLIN, Mich. (June 3, 2002) - The one-day American Speed Association (ASA) event held at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway this past Saturday just didn't give Team Conseco enough time to provide its driver, Russ Tuttle, with an optimal racecar. The No. 16 Pontiac started out the day on old tires and the 20th- fastest qualifying time in the first practice. After putting on new BF Goodrich tires, the green machine had improved its place in the line-up moving up to the 12th position at the conclusion of the practice session.
While the times looked good, Tuttle sensed there was something wrong with the racecar's engine. His instincts proved right, and during the last practice of the day the engine seized forcing the Team Conseco crew to replace the motor prior to qualifying. Without much time to assess the new motor and its power, the team headed into qualifying not knowing where they would end up in the starting line up. In qualifying, the Conseco Pontiac proved to be extremely loose, and when the session concluded, Russ Tuttle was listed in the 22nd starting position.
With the one-day session format, ASA officials would not allow the field to make adjustments to the cars following qualifying, leaving Tuttle to start the race with a loose-handling car. Fortunately, the cooler night temperatures brought tighter track conditions thereby alleviating some of the problems of Tuttle's ill-handling entry. As soon as the green flag dropped, Tuttle began moving through the field making a bid for a top-five position. Unfortunately, the No. 30 car of Travis Kittleson dashed Tuttle's hopes after he spun Tuttle out, causing minor damage to the No. 16.
Following the incident, the No. 16 Team Conseco Pontiac struggled to advance its position. When the checkered flag finally dropped, Tuttle crossed the finish line in the 18th position, five laps down. A frustrated Tuttle was happy to see the checkered flag wave.
"We easily had a top-10, maybe even a top-five car today," stated Tuttle. "We just didn't have enough time following changing out the motor to make adjustments to the car. These one-day shows are great because it means I am away from my family less, but today I wished we had a little more time."
Tuttle and his team won't have much time to fix the No. 16 before hitting the road to Wisconsin International Raceway. The race will be held at 1:00 p.m. CST on Sunday, June 9 and will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN).