NASCAR Driver Finishes 20th in Watkins Glen International Debut
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 7, 2016) – For the second weekend in a row, NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) driver Ray Black Jr. secured a Top-20 finish out on the track, placing 20th in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the No. 07 ScubaLife.com Chevrolet Camaro had only one previous road course start in his national touring career from last year’s season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).
With three practices on the schedule this weekend, Black and his SS Green Light Racing team spent much of their time learning the course and the fastest way to get around it. After Black reported a “sputtering” engine issue in the final practice, the team changed the regulator on the carburetor and prepared for qualifying Friday afternoon.
During qualifying, Black came up on a slower car too fast and spun his Chevrolet Camaro avoiding it but did not cause any damage to the car. While they qualified farther back than they wanted, Black and his team were determined to move forward from their 33rd place starting spot during the Zippo 200.
Once the green flag dropped on Saturday, Black was forced to visit pit road multiple times due to some debris he picked up on the grill, which caused him to fall a lap down. Luck was on his side when a caution came out at Lap 14, allowing Black to earn the “Lucky Dog” position to get back on the lead lap with most of the field. He would go on to expertly avoid a huge wreck just a few short laps later that took out multiple race contenders and caused the race to be red flagged for a short period of time.
Once the red flag was removed and the race went back to green flag conditions, Black competed as high as 11th before making his final pit stop of the afternoon under another yellow flag. He would restart P22, as his air conditioning line had to be hooked back on during the stop.
During the closing laps of the race, Black reported that the car wasn’t turning off the corners like he wanted to and that he couldn’t keep up with anyone during them. Despite the lack of turn, Black held on and fought hard against his competition to moved up two spots to 20th place before the checkered flag flew.
“I’m really proud of my team this weekend,” stated Black. “It was a true team effort to have this type of success my first time out at The Glen. I had a lot of fun out there while getting to turn left and right for a change, and it paid off with our second straight Top-20 finish! I’m really looking forward to taking on Mid-Ohio for the first time next week!”
The Mid-Ohio Challenge will take place on Saturday, August 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Fans can tune in via USA or MRN Radio for live race coverage.