USAR: Jennerstown: Forrest Urban Jr race notes

Urban: "Can you hear me now? good... very good!" JENNERSTOWN, PA (April 15, 2003) - Forrest Urban, Jr., never gets perfect reception on his cell phone, but when he lost reception on his radio Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway, he was saying...

Urban: "Can you hear me now? good... very good!"

JENNERSTOWN, PA (April 15, 2003) - Forrest Urban, Jr., never gets perfect reception on his cell phone, but when he lost reception on his radio Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway, he was saying more than he'd call back. After having the communication problems fixed by his crew, the driver of the No. 46 Insurance Doctor Chevrolet managed a 7th place finish in the Lucas Oil 250.

Urban unloaded at the Laurel Highlands half-mile and was fast right off the truck, setting the fourth-fastest time in the first 30 minutes of practice. By the time the session was over, his fastest lap was still in the top ten and he was extremely pleased with the car on older tires. He qualified the No. 46 in the tenth position, matching his practice time and pumping himself and his crew up for the 250-lap main event that was to follow.

"I haven't been really strong in qualifying since we've been in Hooters Cup," Urban admitted. "We work more on a race setup than a qualifying setup. I think that's the way to do it because most of the tracks aren't that hard to pass at and you need to get the car dialed in for the race. Even if you give a little bit up in qualifying, hopefully you can make it up in 250 laps."

Urban quickly began charging towards the front after the drop of the green flag, making it up to seventh before fifteen laps were completed. Soon thereafter, he called into the crew under a caution and explained that the car just "wasn't the same" as it was during practice. Thirty laps later, he began to notice the radio problems that nearly set the team back significantly.

"I guess the battery went dead in the radio in the car. I lost communication so we came in and switched radios and it went back to working fine. You don't want to run too long out there without a radio and communication from your spotter," Urban said. "We were sorta strung out under green, and a few times I went by a lapped car and didn't hear Andy (his brother and spotter) say 'clear,' but I didn't think anything about it. When they had that crash on the backstretch, I asked Andy if he saw it, and there was no Andy! By then, I think everyone had figured it out. He got Charlie Ford to pull up beside me and tell me to come down pit road so we came in and switched them. After we switched them, I could hear fine."

Once the team alleviated the radio problem, Urban once again began charging from the back, working his way back up towards the top fifteen and eventually the top ten. On lap 110, the caution flag flew again and the Urban Racing brigade decided to short pit in hopes of fixing the car and gaining track position as well. The strategy almost worked, as the next caution flag saved the leaders who had not pitted from having to make stops under green. Urban would have been in third had green flag stops been necessary for the leaders.

"With the first set of tires that was on the car, I'm not sure if the stagger got off or if we abused one of the tires or something, but the first set of tires on the car wasn't nearly as good as the second set," the 1999 South Boston Track Champion said. "We ended up pitting a little bit earlier than we wanted to because we had to figure out what was wrong with the car. The car was better the second half, but once we got up to the front, around third or so, all the other guys had pitted for tires and they had 40 or 50-lap newer tires, and it's hard to hold a guy off with tires 40 or 50 laps newer than you have."

Urban held off those with newer tires as well as he could, ending up in seventh when the checkered flag fell at the end of the night. The finish was his third top-ten finish at Jennerstown in four races.

"We were hoping for a little bit better run, a top-five finish, but we got out of the race without much damage to the car with a top-10, and we covered our expenses for the weekend," the 31-year old driver said after the event. "We'll build on that and go to Lonesome Pine. We've never been there in a Hooters Cup car but I did get to practice a late model there for about 15 or 20 laps. Lonesome Pine's going to be a big test for us to get the car dialed into a track we've never been to that most of the other guys have been to. It'll be interesting to see what happens."

The USAR Hooters ProCup Lucas Oil 250 will be broadcast, tape delayed, April 10th on Speed Channel at 7pm ET.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car