USAR: Lakeland II: Chase Pistone race report

Chase Pistone Finishes Sixth at Adopted Home Track ...

Chase Pistone Finishes Sixth at Adopted Home Track

#83 Team Crew Chief Pletcher Is From An Area Near USA International Speedway

CONCORD, NC (June 5, 2006) -- Chase Pistone was born and bred in North Carolina. Tracks like Hickory Motor Speedway and Concord Motorsport Park were where he acquired a taste for short track racing.

On the other hand, USA International Speedway is not even close to being in the same neighborhood. The Lakeland, Florida, track is a wide-open oval hundreds of miles south of North Carolina. Still, Pistone has ties to the track thanks to his crew chief, David "Buggy" Pletcher, who is from the nearby Tampa Bay area.

So when Pistone finished sixth there in Saturday night's Sears Auto Center 250, you could say that it was a strong finish at his adopted home.

"That was a really good run for us down in Lakeland," said Pistone. "We qualified really well and ran up front all night long, which was really good for the whole team. We held the pole for a long time in qualifying and we were really hoping that we'd get it before Jeff Fultz went out and took it away from us. Still, we started second and were settled in before we got hit from behind about 25 laps into the race. That bounced us back pretty good and we had to fight our way back to the front."

Having Pletcher making the strategy calls helped make that fight a little bit more winnable.

"We used a little bit of pit strategy to get up into the lead at the halfway point and we led for about 18 laps. Buggy made a good call to keep us out in the lead when a lot of the leaders pitted. Even when they pitted, we were still just as fast as them. Eventually we had to come and get new tires, but we just had to work back up. We got as high as fourth before going to sixth at the end."

As a young driver honing his skills, Pistone has really come to value the guidance that Pletcher is able to give him.

"Buggy and I are really working well together. I've got a lot of faith in him and he does a good job of keeping me on the wheel. I'm out there running against Clay Rogers, Shane Huffman, and Bobby Gill who have all been doing this Pro Cup thing for a long time. This is just my second year doing it, so I kind of rely on his experience and knowledge at a lot of these tracks."

Now, the season for Pistone and his #83 team is definitely looking up.

"After the bad run that we had at Concord last time out, this was a really good run for us. It was a really good point day for us, too. I think we may have even gained a position and got into fourth.

"I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. I like all the tracks that we're going to except maybe for Myrtle Beach. We struggled there last year, but I think that we can have a good run there this time. Buggy has had a lot of success there and coming off a sixth at Lakeland, we should be good there."

Pistone and the rest of the USAR Pro Cup Southern Division competitors return to action on June 24th at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC).

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers , Jeff Fultz , Shane Huffman