Racing in “prime time” at Richmond International Raceway, Eric McClure battled a car that was primarily loose throughout the 250-lap event. However, he was still able to overcome his 41st qualifying position to finish the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 as follows:
26th-Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Toyota
Starting the race from the 41st position, McClure quickly worked his way through the field and was scored in the 32nd position by lap 10.
In an effort to help the car’s loose-handling condition on exit of the turns, McClure brought the orange and blue Camry to pit road, under the event’s first caution period on lap 36, for four scuffed tires, fuel, and a track-bar adjustment. When the race resumed on lap 44, he was scored in the 31st position.
Although McClure was able to advance one position on the restart, he wasn’t able to further advance his position over the next forty laps as the car was still loose on exit of the turns.
A caution on lap 110 allowed the team to visit pit road for four scuffed tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment to help the car’s drivability on exit of the turns. After the quick stop, McClure was able to restart the race from the 28th position and remain there through the halfway point.
As the race progressed, the car’s handling greatly improved, and when the caution flag waved on lap 143, McClure was in position to take the “wave around.” The team decided to forfeit this opportunity as they discovered they could complete the remainder of the event on one final pit stop. If the event stayed under green flag conditions, this would be to the benefit of the No. 14 team, but if a caution flag was displayed, the chance to advance more positions would be lost
The team’s plan didn’t work out as hoped, as the caution flag waved just five laps later for a two-car incident, which would bring out the red flag. Once the red flag was lifted, McClure remained on track to restart the race in the 25th position.
Just as the race resumed, the 33-year-old driver quickly slipped to the 28th position and informed the crew of a possible flat tire. After receiving assurance from both the crew chief and spotter that all tires looked inflated, McClure remained on track and went back to work regaining the positions lost.
In the end, he was able to regain two of the position lost to post his best finish at Richmond Int’l Raceway, marking his second track-best finish in as many weeks.
Eric McClure Quotes:
“I am really happy with the way I ran tonight. After practice and qualifying I didn’t think we were going to have a good night, but the guys made some adjustments to the car and we were respectable. This is the best I have ever run at Richmond. We performed better than the finish and are just a few little things away from having consistent, solid results. I am proud of my team and the progress we have made the last few weeks.”
TriStar Motorsports PR