Still manage a top-10 finish in Jegs 150
CONCORD, NC (July 24, 2012) Rev Racing experienced a rough return to Columbus Motor Speedway on Saturday night, in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Jegs 150, only able to achieve a single top-10 finish.
Making his rookie appearance at Columbus Motor Speedway, Bryan Ortiz proved that he would be a top race contender by posting some of the fastest practice times and a solid qualifying run.
Despite running on the outside for most of the race, Ortiz held a top-10 position throughout a race that had fans on their feet. After slipping into the top five within the first 100 laps, Ortiz was forced to save the No. 4 Toyota Racing Development Camry after receiving a tap in the final stages of this race, which caused the him to slip back to the sixth position where he would cross the finish.
With his top ten finish, Ortiz was able to continue his climb in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points standings and sits in seventh position only 45 points out of the lead. Additionally, he has taken over the points lead in Rookie of the Year standings.
“This was a great points night for my team,” said Ortiz. “Although I was hoping for another top five finish this week, it was a tough race and running on the outside was probably not the best decision at this track. I am happy that we were able to come home with a solid top-10 finish and are continuing to work hard and improve.”
Ortiz’s teammates weren’t as lucky. Only four points outside of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points lead prior to the start of the Jegs 150, Kyle Larson continued to hold a top-10 position before a flat front tire sent the No. 6 L&M Ethanol Maintenance Contracting, Inc. Toyota Camry to the pits with 20 laps remaining. Larson’s night continued on a downward spiral when he received damage to the right rear after pulling into the pits. Attempting to limp around the track, Larson was forced to return for a second pit stop causing him to fall two laps down, resulting in his worst finish of the season in 21st position.
“This was a disappointing night,” said Larson. “Fortunately, I have a hard working team that will do everything that they can to get us back on top in Iowa.”
Making his return to Columbus Motor Speedway this season, teammate, Ryan Gifford, was able to battle back from a tough start to the day for a top-10 position before being spun in turn two with 35 laps to go, resulting in a 13th place finish.
“We had a lot of challenges thrown at us today,” said Gifford. “The No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota Camry was strong come race time and I believe we could have had a top-10 finish, but everyone is out here to do everything that they can to win and sometimes they do things you just wouldn’t expect an experienced driver to do. We’ll keep our heads up and come back from this in Iowa.”
Jorge Arteaga’s inaugural run at Columbus also looked promising, as he battled for a Top 15 spot with a stout car under him. His night was prematurely ended when a cut right front tire sent him into the outside wall in Turn 2 on Lap 108, resulting in a 22nd place finish.
Rev Racing’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers will make their return to the track in the Pork Be Inspired 150, at Iowa Speedway, in Newton, IA, on Saturday, August 3.