Franchitti Finishes 11th in Fastenal Dodge at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 22, 2008) – Dario Franchitti and the No.40 Fastenal Dodge team started from the outside pole at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) and crossed the stripe in 11th place after running in the top 10 for the majority of the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race. Franchitti also led for 87 laps during the race, a career high for the Scotsman in NASCAR.
Franchitti lined up on the front row, in the second-starting position, after his qualifying effort Friday afternoon earned him the outside pole. He took over the lead on lap 17 just before the caution flag waved on lap 19. Franchitti continued to hold onto the top spot when the caution flag waved on lap 87. Crew Chief Brad Parrot called Franchitti into the pits for an air pressure adjustment, four fresh tires and fuel. The Fastenal team performed flawlessly and Franchitti returned to the track still in the lead.
Racing resumed on lap 93 and Franchitti was passed by former NNS champion Clint Bowyer on lap 106. When the yellow flag was displayed on lap 187 of 250, Parrott called him onto pit road for the team’s final stop of the night. The team made an additional air pressure adjustment before fitting the car with tires and fuel. The green flag was displayed on lap 193 with the Fastenal Dodge in fifth place.
Franchitti continued to run in the top five until lap 235 when he was racing side-by-side with the lapped No. 22 car. The two made contact and Franchitti slipped a spot on the track. The Fastenal Dodge sustained some right-front fender damage and tightened up after the mishap. Franchitti continued to drop back in the field to 13th, but was able to pick up two spots on the last lap to finish 11th.
The top-15 finish kept the CGRFS NNS team 19th in the owner standings. Franchitti is also just one point out of the lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings behind Landon Cassill.
Next up for the Fastenal Team is Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The NNS teams will race under the lights for the second week in a row, taking the green flag at 10 p.m. ET. The 150-lap race will broadcast live on ESPN2, starting at 9:45 p.m. ET.
Dario Franchitti: “We were struggling with tightness on the Fastenal Dodge and it was making it difficult on the last run. And then the 22 car was racing me like it was for the win and he was a lap down. Absolutely gave me no room whatsoever and that really hurt us. I pushed the front fender in trying to get passed the 22 and that got us tight. It was a real shame those last 15 laps because the Fastenal guys did a good job all day and as I say, apart from the 22 car, I had a great time out there.”