PENSACOLA, FLA. - Round three of the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division schedule brought yet another dose of what could have been for driver Shane Huffman and his XTRA Motorsports team during Saturday night's running of the Lucas Oil 250...
PENSACOLA, FLA. - Round three of the USAR Hooters ProCup Series Southern Division schedule brought yet another dose of what could have been for driver Shane Huffman and his XTRA Motorsports team during Saturday night's running of the Lucas Oil 250 presented by Food World at Five Flags Speedway. After capturing the Lance Snacks Pole Award, at a track record 97.720 m.p.h., and playing race strategy to perfection, an electrical problem cost the "Brat Bunch" two laps while on pit road and ultimately relegated Huffman to a 14th place finish.
"We felt like we had (the field) beat, plain and simple," said Huffman. "We only changed two tires on our first stop and then just played follow the leader. We knew we were about the only lead-lap car with four tires left (USAR allowed teams ten tires, up from the usual eight, due to excessive tire wear) and that meant everything at this track."
From the outset, Huffman was quick, leading a total of 45 laps and never running outside of the top five, but things were not as smooth as they may have seemed. "Shane came on the radio early and said the motor was skipping," said crew chief Ronnie White, "but it wasn't affecting us. He just settled in and ran the race we had planned."
If not for a red flag at lap 165, the problem on the Johnsonville Ford Taurus may never have been an issue. "When they re-fired the field, I flipped the starter switch and nothing happened," said Huffman. "We got a push and I still had nothing, so we had to come in. It looks like the battery just died."
"You know coming into this that things will go wrong, that's just racing luck," commented Huffman, "but when you've got a car like we had tonight, you really hate to let one get away like this."
Huffman is currently fifth in the USAR Southern Division point standings, 20 points behind fourth place Derrick Kelley. Fans can catch all the action of the Lucas Oil 250 from Five Flags Speedway via tape-delayed broadcasts by the Speedvision network on Thu., Apr. 5 at 9:00 p.m. and Fri., Apr. 6 at 1:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.