Wimmer, Holiday Inn Racing Charge to a Second-Place Finish at Kentucky
Race/Date: Meijer 300 – June 14, 2008
Location: Kentucky Speedway – Sparta, Ky.
Start Position: Ninth
Finish Position: Second
Owner’s Point Standing: Third (maintained position)
Scott Wimmer and Company got the Holiday Inn Chevrolet dialed in and earned a solid second-place finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
The formidable finish was Wimmer’s second top-five and sixth top-10 finish in nine starts this season. Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 machine maintained the third position in the 2008 NNS owners’ championship point standings, just 235 markers behind the leader. Despite having competed in just nine of the division’s first 16 events, he advanced two positions, to 19th, in the NNS drivers’ point standings.
In time trials Saturday afternoon, the Wausau, Wis., native tripped the mile-and-a-half D-shaped oval in 31.049 seconds (173.919 mph), posting the ninth-fastest qualifying time.
At the drop of the green flag, Wimmer was battling a tight-handling machine but continued to race in the top 10. Green-flag pit stops began on lap 52 and the Holiday Inn Chevy peeled off the racing surface eight laps later. Crew Chief Pat Smith called for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and air pressure and track bar adjustments to free up the green and blue Chevrolet.
The No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevy was scored ninth when the field cycled through green-flag pit stops on lap 70. The adjustments seemed to aid the tight condition and Wimmer went to work making his way through the field. The 32-year-old driver quickly notched two positions and was seventh on the scoring pylon when the third caution came out on lap 79.
Wimmer radioed to Smith that he needed to turn a little better. He brought the Holiday Inn Chevy down pit road on lap 81 and, in a predetermined pit strategy, the team added fuel only during the stop. The plan afforded Wimmer the top spot and he led the field back to green on lap 84.
The 2008 Pepsi 300 winner was scored fourth on lap 122 when he radioed to his crew that he needed more grip.
While running fifth on lap 150, the fourth caution flag slowed the field and the No. 29 made a final trip down pit road for tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to the three of the car’s four fresh tires. Another lightning-fast stop by the Holiday Inn over-the-wall crew notched the two spots exiting pit road.
The No. 29 restarted third on lap 143 and Wimmer went to work battling for the lead. He battled the No. 38 machine for the second spot on lap 192 and turned his sights toward the leader. Over the final eight laps, he was posting times faster than eventual race winner Joey Logano but ran out of laps before closing the gap. He took the checkered flag second.
Logano earned his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory. He was followed to the line by Wimmer and Mike Wallace. Brad Keselowski and Bryan Clauson rounded out the top-five finishers. Fellow RCR teammate Clint Bowyer finished ninth in the No. 2 Camping World Chevy.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series travels to Wimmer’s home track, The Milwaukee Mile. Wimmer will be behind the wheel of the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for the Camping World RV Rental 250. Race coverage will be televised live Saturday, June 21 on ESPN2 beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The race will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio. Qualifying for the 17th of 35 races on the 2008 NNS calendar will air live the same day on ESPN2 beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT.
SCOTT WIMMER QUOTES:
“We hung in there. Track position really helped us out and we were able to get some clean air. It is really hard to run with the No. 18 and 20. They have really got it going on right now. The team is getting better and it feels really good to have a top two in the Holiday Inn Chevrolet. We will move to Milwaukee and get them there.”
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