Atlanta, GA., (August 18, 2003) -- Steven Christian added one more top five finish to his credits Saturday night, bringing the ...
Atlanta, GA., (August 18, 2003) -- Steven Christian added one more top five finish to his credits Saturday night, bringing the #2 Lucas Oil/Blacks Tire Chevrolet home fifth to conclude the Jackaroo Sauces 250.
Rain fell for nearly two hours prior to the race Saturday afternoon, sending fans scurrying to shelter and canceling qualifying. As the teams lined up in points order for the green, Christian sat on outside poll. Coincidentally, the Sugar Hill, Georgia driver had also completed his practice session second fastest earlier Saturday. At the green, Christian jumped pole-sitter Shane Huffman and led the first three laps. Barely ten laps into the event, Christian cut down a right rear tire and struggled until the first caution came out. When the yellow flew on lap 59, Christian dove into the pits.
Coming out 12th, he steadily moved back into position and by the time the leaders pitted on lap 130, Christian who was then running fifth, assumed the second spot. "We had winning car, no doubt", said Christian. "When the rain came, it tightened the car up somewhat, but we still had a good shot. Two things happened that slowed us up, one, the tire going down dictated our strategy for the rest of the race, and two, I had no radio communication with my team from the beginning of the race. I could hear them, but they couldn't hear me. We made the best of it."
It was unapparent that Christian was lacking radio communication as his spotter expertly guided him through several ensuing pileups and kept him running in the top ten down to the wire. When the #4 and #7 tangled on lap 245, Christian was able to advance two positions, and gained one more when he passed the #28. The Lucas Oil team crossed the start/finish fifth, retaining second place in the 2003 series points chase.
SPEED will air the Jackaroo Sauces 250 this Wednesday night at 10 p.m. (EST)