Hard Fought 27th Place Finish for Whitt at Richmond

A 27th place finish concludes the day for Monster Energy NASCAR Series driver Cole Whitt in the TriStar Motorsports No. 72 at Richmond International Raceway.
 
Whitt qualified 36th to start the Toyota Owner's 400. An incident on lap 7 of Stage 1, brought out an early caution. Running 35th, Whitt relayed he was continuing to battle the same issues he had experienced in the three practice sessions earlier in the weekend. The TriStar No. 72 was "plowing and tight through the center". He utilized that caution to pit for fresh tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustment. As Stage 1 progressed, the handling worsened, losing rear grip under a long green flag run. An incident on lap 67 brought another caution allowing Whitt to pit requesting adjustments that would allow for more rear grip. He returned to the field 21st. By the conclusion of Stage 1, Whitt was scored 27th and received more chassis adjustments under the Stage 1 completion caution.
 
Stage 2 resulted in less forward drive and the loss of front and rear grip. Whitt continued to battle the handling and slowly slipped a lap down. With Stage 2 being caution free, Whitt pitted under the Stage 2 completion caution and started Stage 3 in the 24th position, one lap down from the leader.
 
Continuing to run in the top-30, Whitt relayed the No. 72 had no rear stability. As cars cycled through green flag pit stops, Whitt came in on lap 334 for much needed adjustments and rejoined the field 30th, two laps down from the leader. A timely caution on lap 345, allowed Whitt to stay out and take the wave around restarting 27th, one lap down. The field had just returned to speed when a few laps later another caution played to Whitt's advantage. He again stayed out to take the wave around for track position, setting him to take the green flag restart 26th and back on the lead lap. Having stayed out for the two previous cautions, Whitt desperately needed another caution, which came quickly allowing him the opportunity to pit. He continued to run in the top-25. Having just pitted, Crew Chief Frank Kerr kept Whitt out on track with the next caution. Whitt would take the green flag restart in the 6th position. Not having the fresh tires of his competitors, Whitt began to lose positions. As the race neared end, Whitt was poised to gain a top-20 finish when he sustained contact from a fellow competitor causing him to slip a few positions. After a hard fought day, Whitt finished 27th, on the lead lap for the Toyota Owner's 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
 
Tristar PR
Speedway Digest Staff

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