Chain of Events Forces Goess to 24th Place Finish at Dover
Dover, Del. (May 14, 2011)– A string of unfortunate events Friday afternoon at Dover International Speedway, including changing track conditions and two separate incidents on the backstretch, added up to the first premature ending of a race this season for Eddie Sharp Racing and driver Craig Goess. After taking the green flag for the Lucas Oil 200 from the 11th spot, his best start thus far in 2011, Craig’s day would stop short of the scheduled 200 laps when contact with another truck on Lap 186 sent the No. 46 Greenville Toyota of North Carolina Toyota Tundra into the retaining wall.
The first caution flag of the day flew early on the sixth circuit for a spin on the backstretch, which gave Craig a chance to key the radio and explain to crew chief Trip Bruce the truck was loose and lacking overall grip. Over the next 35 laps, Goess continued to battle in traffic while attempting to keep his Tundra handling through the corners as it became more free each circuit around the Monster Mile.
Coming through turn two on Lap 45 Goess and Brad Sweet’s No. 32 machine made contact, sending the Greenville Toyota of N.C. Tundra spinning down the backstretch. With very little visible damage sustained in the incident, Craig pulled around with the rest of the field under caution and came down pit road to the attention of the ESR crew for four tires and adjustments. Losing a lap during the incident, Goess restarted 27th as the second truck one lap behind the leader.
Adjustments made under the first pit stop did not help the handling, and after continuing to wrestle with the truck through the corners, Craig made another pit stop during a caution period on Lap 72 for more aggressive adjustments.
Goess informed the crew throughout the next long run the truck was still loose and very unstable and couldn’t pinpoint exactly how to explain it to Bruce. Adding to the troubles, he missed the opening to pit road in traffic while trying to pit on Lap 151. Craig was able to make his stop the next time around, but headed back onto the track just as the yellow flag flew once again, miring him to the back of the pack four laps down.
Racing back in heavy traffic after the field went back to green flag action on Lap 155, Goess maintained consistent lap times once again until contact with the No. 93 truck with 14 laps to go sent Craig into the wall in turn three. The incident caused significant damage to the No. 46 Toyota, forcing Craig and the team to finish the day in the garage in 24th position.
“The track was really greasy at the beginning of the race which loosened up the truck quite a bit and I couldn’t carry speed through the corners,” Craig Goess commented after his first DNF of the season. “I think the damage from the first spin was worse than we originally thought because our Tundra was really unstable from that point and none of the adjustments we made seemed to help.”
“Our truck didn’t handle the way it had in practice right off the bat, and unfortunately that put us back into traffic. After that a chain of things happened that just put us behind, but we continued to make adjustments to tighten up the truck. It’s a long season and you can’t give up, no matter what happens during the race,” Truck owner Eddie Sharp explained.
Sliding back one spot in the driver point standings, Goess will ride into Charlotte in 14th place with 149 points. Practice, qualifying and the 200 miles of NCWTS action will take place next Friday, May 20 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the running of the NC Education Lottery 200. Qualifying begins at 4 pm, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for 8 pm EST.
For more information on Eddie Sharp Racing, Craig Goess and the No. 46 Greenville Toyota of NC Tundra, visit TeamESR.com and CraigGoess.com. Follow us on Twitter (@TeamESR) and find Eddie Sharp Racing on Facebook.
Event: Lucas Oil 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Date: Friday, May 13, 2011
Venue: Dover International Speedway – Dover, Delaware
Result: Start 11 / Finish 24