Series-Best Finish at Daytona for Wimmer, Holiday Inn Racing
Race/Date: Winn-Dixie 250 Powered by Coca-Cola – July 4, 2008
Location: Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, Fla.
Start Position: 13th
Finish Position: Seventh
Owner’s Point Standing: Third (maintained position)
Scott Wimmer notched a series-best seventh-place finish behind the wheel of the Holiday Inn Chevrolet in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Winn-Dixie 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway.
The strong finish was his eighth top-10 finish in 12 starts this season. Meanwhile, Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 machine maintained the third position in the 2008 NNS owners’ championship point standings, 377 markers behind the leader. Despite having competed in just 12 of the division’s first 19 events, he advanced one position, to 18th, in the NNS drivers’ point standings.
The Wausau, Wis., native was the 18th of 45 drivers to make a qualifying run Friday afternoon. A fast lap of 50.184 seconds (179.340 mph) on the two-and-a-half mile high-banked tri-oval put the Holiday Inn Chevrolet on the inside of row seven, in the 13th position, for Friday night’s 250-mile event at the “World Center of Racing.”
At the drop of the green flag, Wimmer lost the draft and was shuffled as far back as 20th but had powered his way to 10th when the first caution flag waved on lap 14. Wimmer reported a loose-handling machine to crew chief Pat Smith and noted that he needed more rear grip. Smith called for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and air pressure and track bar adjustments to tighten up the green and blue Chevrolet.
The Holiday Inn Chevy restarted 12th when the field went back to green on lap 17. The adjustments seemed to aid the loose condition and Wimmer went to work making his way through the field. The 32-year-old driver quickly moved up the leaderboard and was scored as high as third on lap 28.
The second caution flag was displayed on lap 30 and Wimmer came down pit road sixth. The six-time Nationwide Series winner overshot his pit stall and the team was forced to push the Holiday Inn Chevy back to the allotted space before adding four fresh tires, fuel and making another round of air pressure and track bar adjustments.
Returning to green on lap 34 in the 18th position, Wimmer went to work moving up the leaderboard. He was scored 14th on lap 36 and moved in to the 11th position on lap 43.
Green-flag pit stops began around the 75-lap mark and Wimmer hit pit lane with 21 laps remaining in the scheduled 100-lap Fourth of July contest. After noting a tight-handling condition, Smith called for another round of air pressure adjustments to free up the No. 29 Chevrolet.
Over the closing laps, Wimmer raced in and around the top 10 until the final caution flag waved when the No. 16 machine slammed into the backstretch wall two laps from the checkers.
Wimmer lined up 11th for a green-white-checkered finish and was able to pick up four positions over the final two laps to cross the finish line seventh.
Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag first and was followed to the line by Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. RCR teammate Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series blows into the Windy City for its annual stop at Chicagoland Speedway.
The Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola will be televised live on ESPN Friday, July 11 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio. Qualifying for the 20th race on the 2008 Nationwide Series schedule will be televised on ESPN2 the same day beginning at 4 p.m. EDT.
SCOTT WIMMER QUOTE:
“The Holiday Inn crew did a great job in the pits all night. I messed up on the second stop and overshot the pit stall. That hurt our track position but I was able to overcome that. It feels good to have a top-10 finish at Daytona.”
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