NASCAR Driver Perseveres Through Unscheduled Pit Stop to Secure 18th Top-25 Finish of Season
DOVER, Del. (October 3, 2016) – It was a tough, rainy weekend at Dover International Speedway for NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr., but he and his SS Green Light Racing team waited out the rain and fought through multiple challenges to finish in the 24th spot. The finish marks the driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro’s 18th Top-25 finish of his rookie season.
Black and his team unloaded fast at the mile-long concrete track and were happy with the car’s handling despite the rain-shortened practices. Going into qualifying, the No. 07 was a little snug but overall handled well. Black completed the first round of qualifying in the Top-24 but rain prevented the rest of qualifying from being completed, forcing Black to start from the 23rd spot. Unfortunately, the rain never went away Saturday afternoon, delaying the start of the race until Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Once the green flag dropped, Black immediately began moving up into the Top-20 while fighting a loose-handling racecar. The team immediately began working on tightening up the car for him during multiple early caution flags, but Black’s car only seemed to get looser and looser as the race went on, making it difficult to handle and dropping him back to the 23rd position.
On Lap 97 Black’s Spotter Jason Hedlesky reported that the right rear tire appeared to be coming apart, forcing him to pit for four new tires and avoid the damage that comes from a blown tire. The unscheduled pit stop put Black and his team three laps down in the 27th position. However, a decision to stay out and take a wave-around under a late-race caution helped Black get back into the the competition. From there the 25-year-old driver was able to battle back to the 24th position before the checkered flag waved.
“That was definitely not the race we were planning on at Dover,” said Black. “We ran really well here in the spring and unloaded fast once again, so we were expecting to run a lot stronger in the race. Unfortunately, the car just would not tighten up Sunday morning and we had to fight the handling for the entire race. We managed to finish in the Top-25 but will be looking to have an even better finish next weekend at Charlotte.”
Up next for Black and his SS Green Light Racing team will be the Drive for The Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, October 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET.