Following a season best finish at Kansas Speedway and spending the series’ final off-weekend of the 2012 season with family at Walt Disney World, Eric McClure headed to the Lone Star State looking for another solid weekend in his No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap® Toyota. After posting a career high starting position at the 1.5-mile speedway, McClure went on to the finish the 200-lap event as follows:
21st-Eric McClure, No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds Wrap®/ Toyota Camry
- Despite starting the race from the 22nd position, McClure slipped one spot by lap two.
- On lap ten, McClure radioed his crew, warning them of a possible flat tire as he was feeling a vibration not only in his steering wheel but under his seat. After using a lap to assess the situation, McClure was ready to hit pit road when the event’s first caution flag waved on lap 12. After visiting pit road for four tires and fuel, McClure was informed that the left rear lug nuts were loose on the No. 14 Camry. Although the team lost nine positions by virtue of pitting and was scored in the 32nd position for the lap 17 restart, they knew they had fast car and would be able to overcome the unfortunate set of circumstances.
- By lap 28 McClure had reentered the top 25 and was again scored in the 23rd position by lap 40.
- A caution on lap 45 allowed McClure to return to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air-pressure adjustment to help pacify the car’s tight-handling condition. Following the service, the team was scored in the 23rd position for the lap 49 restart.
- By lap 56, McClure had advanced two positions in the running order and was able to maintain the position until the event’s third caution flag waved on lap 83.
- Battling a car that was now loose in the center of the turns, crew chief Wes Ward again called McClure to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air-pressure adjustment. Although McClure was able to restart in the 19th position, he quickly slipped to the 22nd position where he remained through the halfway point of the race.
- As the race continued under green conditions, the car’s handling had improved in the center of the turns, but was now lacking rear grip on exit. Routine green flag pit stops began on lap 132 with McClure visiting pit road on lap 142 for a four tire and fuel service. Following the stop, McClure returned to the track in the 22nd position, two laps down to the race leader.
- A caution on lap 154 allowed the 33-year-old Virginia driver to remain on track and receive the “wave around”, allowing him to regain one of the laps lost to the race leader. As a result, he was now in position to receive the “lucky dog” award should a quick caution occur. Unfortunately, another car passed the all-pink Camry shortly before the yellow flag waved on lap 176. Pitting for four tires and fuel, McClure was scored in the 22nd position for the restart.
- In the final 20 laps, McClure was able to advance one position to post a 21st-place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
TriStar Motorsports PR