USAR: Jennerstown: Tim Bailey Jr race report

Tim Bainey Jr. and the Greased Lightning Racing Team Very Impressive at Jennerstown Osceola Mills, PA-Tim Bainey Jr. and the Greased Lightning Racing Team made the most of a much anticipated return to Jennerstown Speedway with the USAR Hooters...

Tim Bainey Jr. and the Greased Lightning Racing Team Very Impressive at Jennerstown

Osceola Mills, PA-Tim Bainey Jr. and the Greased Lightning Racing Team made the most of a much anticipated return to Jennerstown Speedway with the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Saturday Night.

"It was a great night for the team," said a smiling Bainey Jr. "I know what we are capable of - and tonight we finally got to show some of it."

And show it they did.

After a long day of thunderstorms and cold weather the teams would get a short practice session that would be followed with an eventually rained out attempt at qualifying.

Tim Jr. would provide some excitement to the hometown crowd before rain would force the qualifying session to be cancelled.

"We were going for the pole," said his brother and crew chief Dan Bainey. "He was on it" - he cracked a smile "He was really on it, but we just didn't get that last 100 yards." Dan was referring to his brother's qualifying lap in the No. 15 Greased Lightning Ford.

There was no doubt Tim Jr. was on pace to set a fast lap. As he exited turn 4 the car wiggled, then broke loose - he almost saved it - but then it turned to a wild spin down the frontstretch. Tim Jr. and the team managed to escape with minor damage to the rear of the car.

"It was a little disappointing - but hey - when you have a shot at the pole and it's at your hometown track - you have to go for it," said Bainey Jr. with a smile. But the whole incident would prove to be nothing more than a little excitement as the rain would fall before qualifying was completed for the field, which meant all times were scrapped and the field would line up according to the Championship Point Standings.

Bainey Jr. and the Greased Lightning Team would roll off from the ninth position for the night's event. Tim Jr. and the team had one plan for the nights event - Go to the Front - and they stuck to it.

The severe thunderstorm that cancelled qualifying had really watered down the track.

"It was really wet," said Tim Bainey Sr. the team owner. "The USAR Officials deserve a lot of credit for sticking to their guns and doing what they had to do to get the race going. I think I speak for a lot of owners, drivers, and teams when I say they made a great call in the way they handled things."

The decision made was for a rare yellow flag start to the race in which the cars were instructed to maintain their position and follow in line around the track. As the cars ran in line the track would slowly begin to dry. It took nearly 70 laps, but the decision proved to pay off as the racing groove became visible and finally the field was turned loose.

It was clear from the start Tim Jr. and the Greased Lightning Racing Team had the No. 15 Ford tuned up and dialed in for the night. It wouldn't take long for Tim Jr. to make his way up into the top five. A caution fell and about half of the field decided to pit, including two of the cars in front of Tim Jr. moving him into third place for the restart.

"That was a decision we had in mind from the start," said crew chief Dan Bainey. "There was a lot to think about - we didn't want to be at the back of 36 cars at Jennerstown - 9 times out of 10 that will get you caught up in a wreck. And you also had the weather situation, so we went with our plan."

It was clear that Tim Jr. was going to be a contender. He ran in third until the next caution. He would lead the race for four laps, before a hard charging Shelby Howard in Tony Stewart's No. 20 Pontiac would get by him. But Tim Jr. wasn't ready to let go of the top position that easy.

For the next 30 laps Tim Jr. would run in the second position on the bumper of Howard. He was clearly faster that the No. 20 Pontiac, but could not quite get a good enough run to get around him.

"We were really good," said Tim Jr. "I messed up a little and let Shelby get by us and then I couldn't get back around him. I was doing everything I could to try and get a run either under him or on the outside, but he had just enough that I couldn't get a clean pass on him. We were close a few times - but man it was just fun racing like that."

The Greased Lightning Racing Team would finally come to pit road about Lap 180, the stop would send him to almost the tail of the lead lap where he would take the green flag from the 19th position.

"That was tough," said Dan, "We didn't want to be that far back, but we still had 60 laps for Timmy to get us back to the front."

And that is exactly what they did.

Bainey Jr. would manage to work his way back through the field, all the way up to the seventh position before the checkered flag fell.

"That was tough, but it was fun," said Tim Jr. "The car was great tonight, we have been really good just about every race this season, but tonight we finally got to break through and show just how good this team is. The guys are really on top of things right now and I think we are close to getting our first win. We keep ourselves up inside the top 10 and its going to happen soon."

The team is currently 10th in the 2005 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series points. The next event for the Greased Lightning Team will be Saturday, June 11 at Mansfield.

You can catch the Naturally Fresh 250 broadcast from Jennerstown this Saturday night June 4 at 10 p.m. on the Speed Channel. Don't forget to tune in and catch all the action from the weekend's event.

Keep up with Tim Bainey Jr. and the Greased Lightning Racing Team at www.timbaineyjr.com.

-grlt-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Tony Stewart , Shelby Howard , Tim Bainey Jr.