NASCAR Driver Forced to Back-Up Car After Wreck in Practice
AVONDALE, Ariz. (March 13, 2016) – It was a comeback weekend for NASCAR driver Ray Black Jr. at Phoenix International Raceway, as the XFINITY Series competitor and his team had to utilize their back-up car after an oil line broke and sent the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro into the wall during the second practice of the weekend. Both driver and team rallied back and were able to run competitively in the Axalta 200 at Phoenix International Raceway before finishing in the 25th position.
“Everyone really did an outstanding job at preparing this back-up car for the race in the short amount of time we had!” stated Black. “I just couldn’t believe our luck when the oil line broke during the second practice and sent us into the wall. It was a rough hit, but I’m so proud of everyone for just keeping their heads down and working hard to stay competitive this weekend.”
Black was running in the Top-25 on the speed charts when the incident happened in Turn 1 at Phoenix Raceway. The team immediately began preparing the back-up car, which was previously set up to be their primary at Auto Club Speedway, a 2-mile track, next weekend. Black was able to get out on the track during the third and final practice, and ended up running his fastest lap of the weekend in the car.
Immediately after starting the race on Saturday from the 25th position, Black was forced to pit road under the first yellow flag to check for right side damage after the No. 97 car forced him up the track and into another competitor. Luckily, no damage was found and Black was able to continue the race without worry.
For the majority of the Axalta 200, Black ran lap times consistent with the Top-20. While he and the team battled the car’s handling, they were able to maintain their position on the track before finishing 25th.
“I would have liked to have finished just a little bit better,” explained Black. “But overall, this was a great finish to a comeback weekend for the team! We came a long way this week and were able to learn some valuable things that will help us down the line this season.”
Next up for Black is the final race of NASCAR Goes West swing at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET.