Concord, NC (March 25, 2014) - Speed isn’t everything when it comes to racing. Strategy is equally as important, and the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Motor Speedway proved to be more of a chess match than checkers. After trailing for most of the race, Rev Racing finished with one driver in the top-5 and 3 in the top-10.
With Ryan Gifford as the only Rev Racing driver to qualify in the top-10, the rest of the group had their work cut out for them over the course of the 150-lap race. Once the green flag was issued, Gifford wasted little time improving his position to 8th. While this was occurring, Suarez, who had started 17th, was mercilessly passing competitor after competitor. By lap 50, Suarez had cracked the top-10 to join teammate Gifford. By the halfway mark Suarez, Gifford, and Peña were all in the top-15.
The next 75 laps were defined by strategy; one that ultimately paid dividends. Over the course of the next 25 laps, both Gifford and Peña dropped out of the top 15 in order to preserve their tires and prepare for one final push. Things started to look bleak as they fell all the way to 16th and 18th place. However with 40 laps to go, Peña and Gifford made their moves, ascending through the standings, passing one car after another. With 25 laps to go they were both challenging for a spot in the top-10, and after a restart with 13 laps to go, both were able to break through. Meanwhile, Suarez was neck and neck with P4 and P6, fighting to hold on to his 5th place standing. Another caution with 10 laps to go brought the action to a halt. The restart came with 6 laps to go and proved to be advantageous for Suarez, Gifford, and Peña as they solidified their 5th, 6th, and 9th place positions and held on until the checkered flag. Beasley and Bell finished the race 19th and 20th, respectively.
While Peña is please with his first top-10 of the season, he is far from content. In reference to his performance, Peña stated, “The start of the season has been pretty rough, so this was a nice relief. I want to thank my crew chief Wolfy and car chief Tanner for all of the hard work they’ve been putting in. We still have some work to do though. We need a 9th place finish to be a bad day, not a good day.”
The rest of the Rev Racing team shares this same mindset. After taking Sunday to rest and celebrate the impressive performances, the entire team was back at work early Monday morning to prepare for the next race.
Rev Racing returns to the track on April 25th for the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Speedway.
Unsung Hero of the Week
Mark Green (No. 2 Toyota Crew Chief/Shop Foreman) – Green returns to Rev Racing as Crew Chief of the No. 2 Rev Racing Toyota. In 2013, he helped Ryan Gifford earn his first career victory in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. That same year, the No. 2 Camry finished the season with four top-5 and six top-10 finishes. Green brings a wealth of racing knowledge with him to Rev Racing having competed in both the NASCAR Busch (currently Nationwide) and Sprint Cup Series.
In addition to his role as crew chief, Green is also the shop foreman. Under the direction of the Director of Competition, Green is responsible for the day-to-day management of the K&N Shop. Green works tirelessly with upper management to plan and develop company goals. He assists with optimizing department operations to ensure program efficiency and productivity, while implementing new procedures and policies as necessary. Lastly, Mark oversees the production and assembly of all the K&N race cars.
Green and Gifford just recently garnered their first top-10 finish of the 2014 season at Greenville Motor Speedway.