NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) regular, Brennan Newberry made his first appearance at the famed Talladega Superspeedway this past weekend on one of his off weekends. Newberry and his NTS team, comprised of members from both his and teammate Ron Hornaday’s truck teams, traveled to Talladega, Alabama, with high hopes of posting another Top-10 finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Newberry managed to keep his car in one piece after a near miss with the “big one”, gaining some great superspeedway experience and finishing just shy of the top 10 that he worked so hard for, bringing the No. 92 Fight for Life Chevrolet home 11th.
After seeing this track for the first time on Thursday, Newberry was able to turn some good laps in practice with the help of NCWTS veteran, Hornaday. Newberry would take to the track for qualifying later that afternoon, posting a lap time of 54.549 seconds and besting his fastest practice time by three-tenths of a second to secure a Top-15 starting position. After ARCA Racing Series officials disallowed the qualifying times of four competitors, Newberry’s qualifying effort would place him in the Top10.
The green flag for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega Superspeedway waived under cloudy skies, as rain threatened to wash out the race. Newberry rolled off ninth in his No. 92 Fight for Life Chevrolet, and spotter Rick Carelli radioed to him, “The fastest part of this track is the tri-oval, remember to stay in line and use your mirrors, and we’ll be good all day.”
The initial green flag run was short lived, as the first caution flag flew for debris on the front stretch only three laps into the 94-lap race. Restarting in the 11th spot, Newberry settled in and began to learn when and how to use the draft to his advantage. He raced his way into the seventh position, running two by two around the famed speedway, before losing a few spots before the next caution came out.
Crew Chief Ryan McKinney, called his driver to the pits for fuel only, when the caution came back out at lap 28, reminding him not to slide the tires. The Fight for Life pit crew picked up a spot in the pits, returning Newberry back to the track in the eighth position.
After the second restart, another competitor got loose collecting most of the field in a multi-car wreck, causing a lengthy caution on lap 38. Newberry radioed to the team that he might have some right side damage so McKinney called him down pit road. The NTS crew quickly assessed and repaired the minor damage on the Fight for Life Chevrolet, while taking four tires and topping off the fuel.
After several teams complained about debris on the track from the last accident, ARCA Racing Series officials called for a quick yellow flag a few laps later. Unfortunately, cautions would continue to fly as Carelli told his driver, “There is rain all around, so dig in and get all you can get.” Newberry raced around the Top10 all day, but as the race restarted one last time with 28 laps to go, the field hung him out on the high side, where he lost a handful of spots. Just as Newberry caught back up to the lead draft and began moving forward, another caution came out for rain on lap 66.
After six laps of caution, ARCA Series officials displayed the red flag and Newberry in his No. 92 Fight for Life Chevrolet settled for an 11th place finish, as the race was complete at lap 73, 21 laps short of the scheduled 94 lap distance.
NTS Motorsports PR