Wimmer Drives Holiday Inn Chevrolet to a Top-12 Finish at Dover
Race/Date: Heluva Good! 200 – May 31, 2008
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway
Start Position: 16th
Finish Position: 12th
Owner’s Point Standing: Third (maintained position)
Tight was the word of the day for Scott Wimmer and his Holiday Inn Racing team in Saturday’s rain-delayed Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. However, a committed effort on pit road helped power Wimmer to a 12th-place finish.
Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Chevrolet maintained the third position in the NNS owners’ point standings and the team sits 296 points out of the top spot.
In time trials Saturday morning, Wimmer lapped the “Monster Mile” in 23.751 seconds (151.573 mph). The Wausau, Wis., native posted the 16th-fastest qualifying time, lining up his No. 29 Chevrolet on the outside of row eight for Saturday’s 200-lap race.
Rain showers moved into the Dover-area Saturday afternoon, delaying the scheduled 3 p.m. start by three hours. Shortly after the drop of the green flag, Wimmer reported a tight-handling condition but continued to race in the top 15 over the opening laps.
The first caution flag of the day waved on lap 18 and Wimmer peeled off the racing surface in the 14th position and the crew went to work bolting on four fresh Goodyear tires, adding fuel and making a pair of chassis adjustments.
Back under green on lap 25 in the 12th position, the 32-year-old driver radioed crew chief Pat Smith that the adjustments did little to reign in the temperamental machine. He fell back as far as 19th on lap 57 and fought to stay on the lead lap.
The caution flag was displayed for the third time on lap 102, providing a much-needed opportunity to make adjustments to the Holiday Inn Chevy. The 2008 Pepsi 400 winner brought his green and blue Chevy back down pit road for major air-pressure adjustments to all four Goodyears, a track bar adjustment and fuel.
Despite struggling with a tight-handling machine, Wimmer fought a hard battle to improve his position on the lead lap. He was scored 17th on lap 150 and 13th by lap 172.
Wimmer picked up a position in the closing 20 laps to take the checkered flag 12th.
Denny Hamlin earned his second victory of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season followed by Carl Edwards, David Stremme, David Reutimann and Greg Biffle. Fellow RCR teammate Clint Bowyer finished ninth.
Next week, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Music City for round 15 on the 35-race tour.
The Federated Auto PARTS 300 at Nashville Superspeedway will take the green flag Saturday, June 7 with Wimmer behind the wheel of the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. Race coverage will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The race will also broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio. Qualifying will air live on ESPN2 the same day beginning at 3 p.m. EDT.
SCOTT WIMMER QUOTE:
“It was not a bad day for the Holiday Inn Racing team to end up 12th. I really struggled with the car this weekend. We weren’t real fast when we unloaded off the truck. We could never really get a good handle on it but I think we continued to improve. The track changed quite a bit after the rain and I think that hurt us a little bit. We will go back to the shop and try to get it better. We are headed back to Nashville and have a good setup there. I hope to get on a roll and have a good weekend there.
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