Anderson Impressive... Ragan Runs Out... Sherman OK After Big Wreck
SENT SPINNING WITH TWO TO GO
Young David Ragan had the run of his short ARCA career going at Lowe's on Thursday night. Unfortunately, coming to the green flag on the final “green-white-checker” restart, Ragan got spun from behind by the #5 of Blake Feese and then limped home to a 19th place finish.
“We had a great car,” said Ragan. “We just got an air pocket in the fuel line on that last restart. It stumbled one time and Blake was right on me. It was just one of those deals. You can't point a finger at Blake. He was on me tight, but you have to be on people tight. Had none of that happened though, I think we could have raced Ryan that last couple of laps.
David Ragan was in line for a career-best finish before a spin on the last restart.
Frank Kimmel was the only driver among the leaders that made a pit stop on Thursday night. While he didn't admit it was a mistake, it might have cost him a chance at the win.
“For a short track racer, that ain't bad,” said Anderson after the race. “I am real happy. This is probably the best we've ever run. I feel like we did all we could do with this team. Prospective teams out there need to open their eyes, just because I'm 35, it doesn't mean I'm over the hill.
“We pitted late and I thought we screwed up because I couldn't get good restarts. But we came back to the front, so I'm real happy with our finish. I can bring the short track to these big speedways. They just have to give me the car to run with.”
KIMMEL RUNS OUT OF TIME IN CHARGE
“It was a risky thing to come in,” said Kimmel, who finished third. “We knew we could probably go to the end on fuel, but it would be close to the end. We had to try something to keep up with those Ganassi Dodges. We adjusted on the chassis, put on tires and came from the back.
“I had a really good run off that last restart and even thought I had something for the leader, but the 50 car just got into my left rear and crossed me up and took away our momentum. Oh well, it was a good night for the team and I'm happy.”
HOBGOOD DEDICATES SECOND PLACE RUN
Justin Hobgood was admittedly and deservingly overjoyed at the end of the night on Thursday with his second place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the first run in the Arnold Motorsports #50, but at the end of the night, his thoughts were elsewhere.
“I just want to dedicate this run to my precious little girl (Natalie) who is in the hospital right now in intensive care,” said Hobgood. “She means the world to me and I am praying for her to get better.”
Brandon Knupp (#1) hit the wall in practice after coming up on the very slow moving #87.
Wayne Anderson was very impressive in the #35 machine at Lowe's. (51 Photos)
SHORT TRACKER HAS CAREER RUN
Short Track veteran Wayne Anderson is no stranger to running up front, but he hasn't yet had that luxury in the ARCA ReMax Series. That all changed on Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, when Anderson and his #35 team collected their first top-five finish of the season, a fifth in the Quaker Steak & Lube 100.
“I wish we would have run the apron on those last couple laps because we were so close on fuel. It sucks though because you are sitting in the car thinking about the great run you are having and how great next week's race is going to be with the good car you have now. It really just kind of was deflating.
“You just have to learn from it. That is all you can do. We took a gamble on staying out and it didn't quite work out for us, but it means a lot to run so good. It was the first laps I've ever turned on the speedway.”
FEESE PRAISES GERHARTS
Blake Feese may have been concerned with winning the race at Lowe's on Thursday night, but his heart was with that of his car owner Bobby Gerhart and his brother Billy. You see the Gerharts father, Bobby Sr., died in a tragic car accident on Wednesday.
“I ran out of fuel,” said Jarrett. “We knew it was going to be close. I knew it was going to be closer than what they were telling me on the radio. But usually, when you are getting ready to run out of fuel you get a little more of a warning. I came off of four and that was the first warning I had.
“When I put the pedal down and the fuel pressure dropped, I knew I had to get to pit road or I'd be stuck on the backstretch, so I cut across the infield. I knew there would be a penalty for it, but it is better to be at the end of the longest line rather than two or three laps down.”
Jarrett ran into some tough luck at Lowe's.
But both Bobby Jr. and Billy stuck around at the track on Wednesday after learning of their father's death, and came back to work on Thursday night, to help Feese earn a seventh-place finish.
“Bobby and Billy had a tough weekend and they showed their true character by staying and sticking it out for me and the team and Hendrick Motorsports,” said Feese, who is signed and running a developmental deal with Hendrick through the Gerharts. “They held their commitment and I can't thank them enough.
“Off of the truck we weren't as close as we have been the last couple races. It's a real testament to the team that they got the car that good by the end of the race. They worked really hard on it.
“The whole race, we needed five laps to get the tires up to temp and we never got long runs. Each time we got a fairly long run, that is when we started gaining and picking them off. Each restart set us
back though. Then the 88 (Ragan) ran out of fuel at the line and we got in the back of him. I was sorry about that, but there was nothing I could do.”
JARRETT TAKES A SHORT CUT
Many fans in the stands on Thursday night might have been pretty confused with the antics of Jason Jarrett late in the race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Just a couple laps before a late restart, Jarrett came coasting across the infield grass, taking a short cut from the front stretch to pit road. Jarrett's car than sat on pit road until his crew ran down from their pit and pushed him backwards into their stall.
So Jarrett's crew got the car refueled, he started at the end of the longest line and came back to finish 18th, one of 21 cars that finished on the lead lap
SHERMAN OK AFTER HARD DRIVER'S SIDE IMPACT
The only major incident of the night involved a number of different cars, but the hardest hit was that of outside pole-sitter Brent Sherman.
Sherman got crossed up and slid up the track in turn four and was t-boned in the driver's side door by Christi Passmore. The hit was so hard; it lifted all four wheels of Sherman's car off of the ground. But the hit wasn't hard enough to knock Sherman out of the race. He refired the car and took off toward the pits to make the necessary repairs.
“I went down to pass Jarrett and he ran me clean but he wasn't giving me too much room,” said Sherman. “I got pretty low and had to bind the car down in the corner. To stay off of him, I cranked it down a little harder and just got around and then got hammered by a couple of people.
“I'm alright. The car held up great. It shook me up a bit, but the spotter told me to fire it up and said we needed to finish the race. It wasn't the ideal way to finish, but what can you do.
“It sucks because we could have probably finished fifth or sixth. We would have ended up with a good finish, but I'll just have to blame it on driver error.”
Sherman finished 23rd, one lap down, while Passmore was credited with a 27th place finish.
NESBITT GIVES HIMSELF PASSING MARKS
ProCup Series regular Mart Nesbitt had his first taste of speedway racing on Thursday night and said he came away with a passing grade on his car's 13th-place performance.
“I think we get an A-,” said Nesbitt. “The racing luck didn't shine on us on the restarts. The goal was to get to the end of the race and keep the fenders on it and we did that. The car was awesome. I just wasn't real good on restarts.
“If we would have had long runs, I think we could have run more people down. We hope to make more races out of it. It was a different kind of racing. I wish it would have been 150 laps though. I got out of the car and felt like it was just practice that was getting over. We'll learn, do our homework and we can be up there with them.”
NO LONG RUNS HURT HENRIKSEN
AJ Henriksen, who figured to be more of a threat for the race win prior to the event on Thursday, ran to a boring sixth place finish.
“We had a good car for long runs, but we couldn't get a long run for anything,” said Henriksen. “We struggled yesterday in qualifying. We tried a bunch of stuff we probably shouldn't have. Oh well.
“All in all, it was a pretty boring race. It gets a little wild at times because the slow cars are way off the pace. It can get hairy, but other than that, it was just another good run.”
While the damage on Sherman's left side looked minor, a good portion of the left side of his car was torn off in the accident.