Wednesday, Feb 08

Whitt Finishes 21st at Bristol Motor Speedway

An extensive weather system created an extended weekend for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Due to rain in the area, the MENCS qualifying efforts were canceled on Friday. NASCAR set the starting line-up per the rule book slotting Cole Whitt to roll off the grid 31st to start the Food City 500. As the precipitation continued to saturate the local area through the scheduled Sunday date, NASCAR was forced to postpone the event until Monday.  
The first caution of Stage 1 came as the result of an incident on lap 56.  Cole Whitt relayed the RITC Coolers No. 72 was "loose in the nose, loose in, tight in the center and loose off". Being one lap down from the leader, Crew Chief Frank Kerr made the call to keep Whitt out on track to take the wave around posting him back on the lead lap to restart 31st. On lap 102, Whitt radioed he was battling brake issues and soon fell a lap down from the leader. He completed Stage 1 in the 28th position one lap down from the leader. During the Stage 1 completion caution, Whitt pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment sending him back out to rejoin the field 28th.
A Stage 2 incident on lap 211 resulted in the third caution of the day. Running 27th, Whitt reported he had sustained some right rear damage but stayed out under caution to again take the wave around for track position. Soon thereafter, on lap 219, a much needed caution afforded Whitt the opportunity to pit for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Continuing to battle a loose condition and brake issues, Whitt completed Stage 2 in the 25th position and was the wave around recipient.
Beginning Stage 3, Whitt took the green flag restart 25th and back on the lead lap in the RTIC Coolers No. 72. After a few laps, Whitt reported the car was bouncing in the front-end and the handling was worse. Despite the handling, Whitt stayed out on track during a caution on lap 325 and was scored 19th on the lead lap for the restart on lap 329. With the handling worsening, he fell two laps down from the leader. Whitt continued to battle brake issues but maintained and 18-20 place running. He ultimately crossed the finish line 21st two laps down to complete the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Tristar PR

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