USAR: Peach State: Chase Pistone race report

Chase Pistone Continues Top-10 Ride Through The "Peach State" Roller Coaster Week Ends With a Seventh-Place Finish at Peach State Speedway CONCORD, NC (April 10, 2006) -- Chase Pistone is a big fan of roller coasters, as are a lot of ...

Chase Pistone Continues Top-10 Ride Through The "Peach State"

Roller Coaster Week Ends With a Seventh-Place Finish at Peach State Speedway

CONCORD, NC (April 10, 2006) -- Chase Pistone is a big fan of roller coasters, as are a lot of 22-year-olds. However, the roller coaster ride that he had leading up to this last weekend's USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series event at Peach State Speedway wasn't a ride he'd like to take again.

Unlike most roller coasters, though, this ride ended going up, rather than down. Pistone went from having no ride and sitting second in the point standings as the week started to having a legitimate shot to win Saturday night's Naturally Fresh 250, the fourth race of the 2006 Pro Cup Southern Division schedule, once again driving for Doug Stringer Inc.

"There is a lot of stress involved in this sport," said Pistone. "Luckily, everything came together good. Come to find out, I'm in a pretty good situation over there with Doug Stringer, (Crew Chief) David 'Buggy' Pletcher and everyone. I think that is the best situation for me, so we are trying to make it work. We were able to find some money to get through Concord (Motorsport Park). Hopefully, after that, we can find some sponsorship. I hated the thought of having to give up second in the points."

Pistone worked out a deal to continue driving for Stringer and the #83 team after the two decided to part ways early last week due to a lack of funding. Money was found, and the two again teamed up at Peach State. Riding a streak of two-straight, top-five finishes and three-straight finishes of 12th or better to start the season, Pistone eventually continued his streak of top-10s, coming home seventh on Saturday night.

"We were decent in practice, but 'Buggy' changed the entire car before qualifying. So I was a little worried, but every time this year, he's steered me in the right direction. The car was decent, so we ended up falling in behind (Joey) Logano and drove to the front. I was up to third and we were up there all night long. I think Joey, Clay (Rogers), Shane (Huffman) and us were the best cars out there."

The race was a roller coaster ride for Pistone as well. Pistone pitted with the rest of the leaders with less than 50 to go, giving him fresh tires on a track known for being rough on tires. As Pistone was coming back toward the front, he got pushed into the high groove and fell back several spots. As he got back in line, Pistone got into the back of a lapped car, bringing a penalty from Pro Cup officials for rough driving. That moved Pistone back to the tail of the lead lap cars with less than 30 to go.

From there, Pistone set his sights on getting back into the top 10. By the time the checkers waved, Pistone had only made it back to seventh.

"We came in that last time to get tires and were getting through the field and the #01 (Wayne Willard) got into the back of me and got me up the racetrack. I just couldn't keep it on the bottom after that. I was getting anxious and trying to drive it harder after that. I was stuck on the outside and already frustrated. (The lapped car) came up off of (turn) four and put me in the fence. I was just upset and took it out on him the wrong way. I ended up spinning him out. That was my fault.

"It sucks for the whole team. This was the first race where I really thought we had a legitimate shot to win the race. I just got frustrated."

With the seventh-place finish, Pistone fell back one spot in the points (from second to third), but actually sits closer to the points lead (29 points out of the top spot).

"I'm glad that we got out of there in one piece.  We gave up a second-
or third-place finish.  It isn't a big deal.  We've gained spots like
that before when other people have misfortunes.  This week, it was my
misfortune of just making a mistake.  I felt like I drove a perfect race
with about 15 laps to go.  I learned my lesson."

The Pro Cup Southern Division will now have a couple of weeks off before getting back on the track when the series returns to Concord Motorsport Park in Concord, NC, for the Greased Lightening 250. That race is set to go off Saturday night, April 29th. The race will be televised on SPEED Channel at 5pm on Wednesday, May 3rd.

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