Clauson's Hometown Track Debut Interrupted by Mid-Race Incident
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 26, 2008) – Bryan Clauson made his first stock car start at O’Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) this past Saturday night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Kroger 200. Unfortunately, his debut at the short track was short lived as a mid-race incident slammed his No. 40 Fastenal Dodge against the outside wall and derailed the rest of his run, leaving the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) NNS team 32nd on the final rundown of the night.
Growing up racing around the Indianapolis, Ind., area and having raced at ORP in midgets, Saturday’s NNS run was one 19-year-old Clauson had wanted to make for a long time. The Noblesville, Ind., native lined up 19th for the initial green, and proceeded to maintain a top-20 run throughout the majority of the first half.
Clauson radioed crew chief Brad Parrott to tell him the No. 40 Dodge was loose throughout the first-half effort so Parrott called Clauson to first pit on lap 102. The Fastenal Team went to work to make air pressure and track bar adjustments to tighten up the car’s handling, and then sent the Fastenal Dodge back on track in 17th place.
Unfortunately, on lap 119 of the 200-lap competition, the team watched its blue Dodge get crowded up into the outside wall by the No. 88 car driven by Brad Keselowski. As a result, the No. 40 Dodge received considerable damage to its entire front and right side. Fortunately, the car was still drivable, so Clauson pulled behind the wall for his team to make the necessary repairs. Less than 30 laps later, Clauson rejoined the field in 35th place and proceeded to pick up three more spots before the end of the night to finish 32nd.
The No. 40 Fastenal team dropped one spot in the NNS owner standings—to 20th. With a current tally of 2,322, the CGRFS NNS team is 192 points away from 15th.
The NNS teams head north to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, to run the 23rd NNS race of the 2008 season next Saturday, August 2. The 74-lap road course event is scheduled to go green at 3:30 p.m. ET with live coverage starting at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.