NCWTS Rookie Earns Seventh Top-15 Finish of the Season During Dirt Track Debut
ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 23, 2015) – It was a tough race, but NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ray Black Jr. battled through multiple obstacles during the 1-800-CARCASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night to finish in 15th place. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet managed to survive a caution-filled race and overcome a pit road miscue to earn his fifth Top-15 finish in his last six races.
Black was up and down on the speed charts throughout the day, as he was still adjusting to the style of a dirt track. During qualifying, he jumped up to third place and started on the pole for the third qualifying race. He would go on to start the race in 23rd place.
“Starting on the pole for the third qualifying race was great! It was a little unexpected but great to see,” said Black. “The team had been working hard all day on getting the truck set up just right, so it was nice to see their efforts pay off with a fast lap.”
Once the green flag waved, Black quickly moved up through the field before settling in to 16th place. Much of the race was spent remaining patient and avoiding the multiple cautions coming out for trucks spinning out on the track.
During the second competition caution, miscommunication amongst the team on when Black would be visiting pit road caused the driver to miss his time to pit for four new tires, fuel and adjustments. The team decided to pit with the next group of trucks even though they would be penalized and have to start from the back, as the benefits of having the adjustments and tires outweighed the consequences.
After restarting 20th, Black worked a lot with his spotter, Stevie Reeves, on figuring out which grooves were the best ones to run. With only 23 laps left in the race, the pair fought hard to gain as many spots as they could before the checkered flag waved. Black spun while crossing the finish line but managed to save both the truck and his 15th place position.
“That was a lot of fun! Great finish for the team and for my first time on a dirt track. Glad we could keep our Top-15 streak going,” said Black. “We had to fight for every position there at the end, but I knew we could make up the ground. I just had to keep focusing on each lap as it came and not overdriving the truck.”
Black remains in 11th place in the NCWTS championship standings, just 11 points outside of 10th place driver, Ben Kennedy.
Next up for Black and Team Scuba will be the Pocono Mountains 350 at Pocono Raceway on August 1.