Toledo: Casey Smith race notes

AUSTIN, TX (May 21, 2003) -- Casey Smith debuted a new sponsor for the Smith Racing team at Toledo Speedway, as Warranty Gold joined forces with the Texas teen for the Glass City 300 this past Sunday. Ironically, the team could have used a...

AUSTIN, TX (May 21, 2003) -- Casey Smith debuted a new sponsor for the Smith Racing team at Toledo Speedway, as Warranty Gold joined forces with the Texas teen for the Glass City 300 this past Sunday. Ironically, the team could have used a service contract from Warranty Gold, due to the fact that their #08 Chevrolet Monte Carlo broke a wheel bearing and axle during the race. Too bad Warranty Gold only covers passenger vehicles and not racecars.

Smith had quickly moved up to ninth place and looked to be well on his way to his third-straight top-10 finish before the mechanical problems set in. Smith finished 28th.

"Boy, that was really disappointing," said a dejected Smith. "We were really bummed because that is something that you just can't control when you have a mechanical failure of that sort. And it was the last thing we wanted to see with Warranty Gold coming on board with us this weekend. We even had an in-car camera to showcase our ability and to promote Warranty Gold even more. And we were going to have a top-10 car. We knew that, and we were just going to ride around for a while and bide our time until it was time to get up there and race those guys.

"We were cruising in the top-10 at the time everything broke. I noticed that something wasn't right one lap and I was told by my spotter that there was some smoke showing from the car. Three laps later, I went into turn three and about lost it. ASA then black-flagged me because the smoke was getting really bad. We came into the pits and the guys immediately noticed that the right-rear wheel was wobbling loose. So we had no choice but to go behind wall and fix it."

Smith's crew worked hard at getting the car repaired, but when they returned to the track, the number-08 was 131 laps down. The team never fell behind another lap while on the track and was able to gain five positions, which is crucial to the chase for the 2003 Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year chase.

"I'm really proud that the guys were able to get the problem fixed and get back out there, but changing an axle and wheel bearing isn't just a quick fix. As a racer, you know you are going to have bad days where things that you just can't control are going to happen, but it couldn't' have come at a worse time. We really wanted to showcase Warranty Gold and all their help, but a couple little parts kept us from doing that. We could have used a good warranty on those parts from Warranty Gold, if they covered racecars."

Smith and the team are planning to make the trek to Cedar Rapids (IA) for this Saturday's Iowa 300 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway, despite a lack of sponsorship. Smith and the entire team are still actively looking for sponsors to keep their 2003 season going, which includes two top-10 finishes, including a third-place finish at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia.

The Iowa 300 is set for 9:00 pm (ET) on Saturday and will be seen live on SPEED Channel.

-caseysmith.com

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Series Stock car