Wimmer, Holiday Inn Racing Sixth at Thunder Valley
Race/Date: Food City 250 – August 22, 2008
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
Start Position: Fifth
Finish Position: Sixth
Owner’s Point Standing: Fourth (gained one position)
Scott Wimmer and the Holiday Inn Racing team battled a loose-handling machine in Friday’s Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, a set of solid pit stops helped fuel Wimmer to a sixth-place finish.
The solid performance was Wimmer’s 10th top-10 finish in 17 starts this season and advanced Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 team to the fourth position in the 2008 NNS owners’ championship point standings. The team now sits 377 markers behind the leader and 112 points out of third. Despite having competed in just 17 of the division’s first 26 events, Wimmer advanced two positions, to 16th, in the NNS drivers’ point standings.
In time trials Friday evening, Wimmer lapped the .533-mile, 33-degree banked Bristol oval in 15.834 seconds (121.182 mph). The Wausau, Wis., native posted the fifth-fastest qualifying time, lining up his No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet on the inside of row three for Friday’s 250-lap race.
Shortly after the drop of the green flag, Wimmer reported a loose-handling condition but continued to race in the top eight over the opening laps.
While running in the ninth position, the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 17 and provided an opportunity for Wimmer to visit pit road in order to tighten up his Holiday Inn Chevy. He peeled off the racing surface and the crew went to work bolting on four fresh Goodyears with air pressure adjustments to all four tires, adding fuel and making a pair of chassis adjustments. After a scorching-fast pit stop, the boys in blue and green sent their driver back on track fifth in the running order.
Back under green on lap 22, 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 11th on lap 69.
The caution flag was displayed for the third time on lap 187, providing a much-needed opportunity to make adjustments to the Holiday Inn Chevy and implement a predetermined pit strategy. The six-time Nationwide Series winner brought his green and blue Chevy to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and a track bar adjustment. The decision not to take fuel advanced the team an additional four positions on pit road.
Wimmer went back to green sixth in the running order on lap 192 and the adjustments seemed to ease the handling on his Chevy Monte Carlo SS. He maintained the position over the closing 58 laps and crossed the finish line sixth
Brad Keselowski earned his second victory of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season and was followed to the line by Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer. Greg Biffle, Cale Gale and David Stremme rounded out the top-five finishers.
Next week, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to “The Golden State” for the annual Labor Day weekend doubleheader for NASCAR’s junior and senior circuits.
The Camping World 300 at Auto Club Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, Aug. 30 with Jeff Burton behind the wheel of the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. The race will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will broadcast coast-to-coast on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio. Qualifying for the 27th stop on the 35-race tour will be televised live on SPEED the same day at 5:30 p.m. EDT. PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio will broadcast qualifying updates live.
SCOTT WIMMER QUOTE:
“It was a pretty quick race for Bristol. It looked like we could have had just one stop but we opted for two pit stops tonight. The car was off at the beginning of the race. The car was real loose but we got the Holiday Inn Chevrolet better at the end. Pat (Smith, crew chief) and the guys had awesome pit stops all night long and that’s why we finished up front. So we’ll take a sixth at Bristol.”
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