NASCAR Driver Secures 22nd Place in O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 9, 2016) – As the NASCAR XFINITY Series wrapped up its first night race of the 2016 season, Ray Black Jr. “two-stepped” his way to his career-best finish in the series at Texas Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet finished 22nd at the 1.5-mile track after a weekend of fighting various handling issues.
“What an awesome weekend with my team!” said Black. “Texas is a track I have a lot of experience at, so coming here we were able to experiment more with setups and figure out what works for our team and what doesn’t. It’s great to see all our hard work come together like that and result in our best finish in the XFINITY Series!”
During the two practice sessions of the weekend, Black and the team worked on handling, as the car started out extremely loose. The car handled a little better overall during qualifying but issues with the battery forced the team into a 33rd place starting position.
Once the green flag dropped, Black and the team focused on learning all they could throughout the race. While the car’s handling swung from being too loose to too tight, Black managed to keep pace with the Top-25 for the majority of the night and was recognized during the race broadcast as one of five drivers with the highest amount of positions gained throughout the field.
As the laps wound down some drivers found themselves running out of fuel, but a strategic call from crew chief Jason Miller on when to make the final pit stop allowed Black to not have to worry about conserving fuel and capitalize on securing additional positions in the closing laps.
“This finish gives us something solid to build on,” explained Black. “Towards the end of the race, it was just a matter of finding a good spot on the track and surviving until the end. I’m looking forward to continuing with this momentum at Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend!”