USAR: Jennerstown: Mike Hampton race report

Hampton 8th at Jennerstown Speedway and 8th in Northern Division Points: Mike Hampton posted a solid eight place finish in the Hooters 250 presented by Eaton Electrical at Jennerstown driving the ...

Hampton 8th at Jennerstown Speedway and 8th in Northern Division Points:

Mike Hampton posted a solid eight place finish in the Hooters 250 presented by Eaton Electrical at Jennerstown driving the #31n Chevy Impala sponsored by Eaton Corporation. Mike moved from 11th to 8th place in the in the Sears Auto Center Northern Division point standings with two events remaining in the regular season. Racing in a backup car prepared by crew chief David "Buggy" Pletcher due to a qualifying accident at Motor Mile Speedway, Mike and the DLP Motorsports team had a good day at Jennerstown.

As practice began on July 26th, the DLP Motorsports team went into action to adjust the car for the half-mile track. Mike worked on finding the fast line around Jennerstown and "Buggy" made changes to refine the setup. Knowing the Chevy was down on power compared to the Ford that Mike normally races, the focus was handling during the 250 lap event and not qualifying speed. At the end of the two hour session, Mike had moved into the 17th position with a time of 19.367. As qualifying began, Mike was the fourth car to qualify on the historic Jennerstown track. Mike took the green flag and his first qualifying lap was a 17.461 and on the second lap Mike posted a 17.436 which resulted in the 20th starting position for the 250 lap event.

As the spectators entered the front straight for the on track autograph session, a lot of wonderful race fans stopped by to wish Mike good luck and a safe race. As the green flag waved, Mike focused on running all 250 laps and the plan between driver, crew chief and spotter, John Gunther, was clear - "race smart, be cautiously aggressive and finish on the lead lap". When the yellow waved on lap 27, Mike went to pit road for 4 tires and the DLP crew sent Mike out in 20.6 seconds. When another yellow flag came out on lap 69, it was time to return to pit road for fuel. Not one but two penalties resulted during this stop. The first penalty was for dropping down before pit road was open which meant going to the end of the longest line. When the crew fueled the car, a "stop and go" penalty was given for a crew member being on the right side of the car. After the penalty was served, Mike returned to action deep in the pack of cars. It was time to pass a lot of cars and pick up track position. On lap 90, Mike was in 18th position with spotter John Gunther keeping a close eye on all the action. Mike had worked his way to 11th when a caution for debris came out on lap 210. By lap 225, Mike was running in the 10th position when the final caution flag came out on lap 232. The green flag came out on lap 235, Mike was able to advance two more positions finishing on lead lap in 8th position. While loading up the car, Mike commented, "It was a team effort for DLP Motorsports and we are heading home with a decent finish and a car without damage."

This concluded a very busy week for Mike Hampton! The Avon Electrical Open House on Tuesday, July 22nd, in Hauppauge, NY was a big success. Mike Hampton and Don King met and talked with many Eaton customers and provided them an up close look at the #31n sponsored by Eaton Corporation. The next stop was New Brighton, PA which is just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. On Thursday, July 24th, Mike and Don again proudly displayed the Eaton race car and met with Eaton customers. "It was a pleasure to participate in the Avon Electrical and Wesco Distributing, Inc. Customer Appreciation events. Having a chance to thank these great race fans for their support of Eaton Corporation has made this a wonderful week for me and it was good to put a top ten finish in the record books." stated Hampton after the Jennerstown event.

-credit: dlpm

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Series Stock car