Clauson Races to a Well Earned 16th-Place Finish at PIR
AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 2008) – Bryan Clauson and the Fastenal team started the Hefty Odor Block 200 in the 24th position. By lap two, Clauson had passed three cars, moving himself securely into the top-20 which is where he remained for the majority of the day. The Fastenal team was able to overcome a tight-handling race car to run door to door with the leaders and remain on the lead lap all day at the difficult PIR short track, eventually calling it a day in 16th place.
The car started the first 20-lap run a bit snug on entry and loose off , and when the caution flag flew on lap 22 the Fastenal team came down pit road for four fresh tires and a track bar adjustment. The pit crew was able to pick up two positions and Clauson resumed racing in the 18th position.
Clauson radioed in on lap 28 he had brushed the wall so the Fastenal Dodge came down pit road on lap 38 to pit off sequence and make sure there was no damage to the car. The call worked as the yellow flag came out shortly after that on lap 46 and the team was able gain spots as Clauson stayed out and the leaders pitted.
As the race progressed, the sun set and the track cooled off, tightening up the handling of the Fastenal Dodge. Clauson persevered through the ill-handling condition and continued to log fast times as the crew worked diligently to free up the car and allow for it to have more forward bite.
The Fastenal team gained some momentum on lap 87 as a big wreck collected four of the lead cars and landed the Fastenal Dodge unscathed in a strong 12th-place position.
The last 100 laps of the race were dominated with green-flag runs and the car continued to lose grip. The team fell back to 19th but never lost hope as a gutsy call for tires at the end of the race allowed a determined Clauson to pick up three spots and finish a well deserved 16th.
The Fastenal team looks to go out on a positive note this weekend in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Be sure to watch the Fastenal Dodge race toward victory lane. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2.
Bryan Clauson: “We weren’t too bad early, just back in traffic. Unless you’ve got it turning really good, it’s tough to make moves because you get so tight back there. We gained on it and gained on it and went the wrong way on that final adjustment. We were able to come back down pit road there at the end and get some tires and get a couple spots. We got that adjustment back out and it was good. I think if not for that issue, we could have run inside the top 15 … we ran with the [No.] 7 [car] I guess for a little while but that long run held us up.”